For students at Whittier Regional High, it’s time to step out of the mid-1900s — literally.
They will make the trip with some money from the state and help from a local company founded by a Whittier graduate.
Whittier machine shop students have been training on lathes that came from the old Haverhill Trade School and are 50 years old.
But thanks to a $45,420 grant from the state, those machine technology students will get 11 new machines on which to hone their machining skills.
The grant is part of $1.1 million that the state’s Vocational School Equipment Program gave 25 Massachusetts schools to buy equipment necessary to prepare them for the modern work force.
Whittier officials said they will also use the grant money to buy four HAAS Controller Simulators to supplement the three the school currently has. That equipment will allow all students in the program to work on programming to design machine parts at the same time.
The program will also receive a Computerized Numerical Control Milling Center, which students use to cut material and make parts. A local business — Little Enterprises, Inc. — donated the used milling machine worth $25,000, school officials said.
Little Enterprises Owner Scott Little is a Whittier graduate who opened his machine shop more than 20 years ago in his garage. He now employs 12 Whittier graduates and several co-op students at his Ipswich facility.
He calls Whittier his “feeder system.”
“Scott has been a great co-op partner, not only for day-school but also for night-school students,” said Paul Moskevitz, Whittier’s machine technology instructor. “I know who to send him and he hires our kids, no questions asked. Some have been there for 20 years.”
The grant money is a boon to Whittier’s machine technology program, Moskevitz said.
“It’s up-to-date machinery that our students will be using in the trade on their co-op jobs and after they graduate and get a job,” he said.