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August 9, 2013

Blinn’s Hodde Center graduates six new machinists

Hands-on training prepares students for high-demand careers

Students from Brenham, Cypress, Giddings and Bellville received their machinist certification from Blinn College’s A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center today, qualifying them to fill the local industry’s growing demand for professional machinists.

Eduardo Alaniz, Eric Alcala and Eric Batson of Brenham, Xavier Francis of Cypress, Matthew Frazier of Giddings and Ian McGonagill of Bellville each received their graduation certificates after completing 280 hours of training. The certification included 200 hours of hands-on experience working with mills and lathes.

Machinists use specialized tools to make or modify metal and plastic parts by cutting away excess material in much the same way a woodcarver cuts away wood to form a specific shape or design.

The Hodde Center course covers mathematics, precision measurement, blueprint reading and manual operation of mills and lathes.

The Hodde Center will expand its machinist training offerings this Fall when it introduces a new CNC (computer numerical controlled) machinist course. MIC Group and TFE Company Inc. have each donated CNC machines to the Hodde Center and Blinn has purchased another to give the Hodde Center manufacturing lab a total of 12 machines for student training.

The next machinist class runs from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, Sept. 3 – Oct. 18. The course costs $2,100, and partial scholarships are available.

The 12,000-square foot Hodde Center was built in 2009 to provide local training for a quality, viable workforce in Washington and the surrounding communities. Its staff works in cooperation with local businesses to provide a well-trained workforce that strengthens the local economy. For more information on the Hodde Center and its course offerings, call 979-830-4443 or visit

PHOTO – From left: Eric Alcala, Eric Batson, Xavier Francis, Ian McGonagill, Matthew Frazier and Eduardo Alaniz recently completed their machinist certification from Blinn College’s A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center after completing 280 hours of training, including 200 hours of hands-on experience.