It is never too late for new beginnings, and 56-year-old David Barner, Northampton Community College (NCC) precision machining graduate, is a perfect example of how true that is. Barner was a successful owner and operator of a Tastykake distributorship for the past 32 years until he decided he wanted to change things up with his career and daily routine.
After selling his business, Barner began his search for something new. He knew he didn’t want to sit at a desk or work at an uneventful job, but instead, he wanted to find a career where he could work with his hands. That’s when he heard of NCC’s 9-week precision machining training program and signed up with hopes of gaining new skills and creating exciting opportunities. The training for the program focuses on providing students with the skills needed to fill high-demand machining positions for Lehigh Valley and Pocono businesses. Throughout the 9-weeks, Barner learned fundamental skills in manufacturing such as safety, reading blueprints, shop math, measurements, and the use of calipers and Vernier scales. He also developed skills needed for the operation of drills, lathes and milling machines as well as computer numerical control (CNC) machining.
Right from the beginning, Barner went into the program with an open mind and determination, which has helped him get to where he is today. He gives a great amount of credit to NCC’s program mentors and explained how much they have helped him during this career change. “The program didn’t only teach me new skills, but it also built a sense of confidence and excitement within me,” he said. He has now recognized that with the right resources and guidance, even the biggest life choices and decisions can be simplified and seem less stressful. His excitement stemmed from being able to confidently go into class and know that he would be leaving with new knowledge. When asked what advice he would give to anyone thinking of a career change or thinking of trying something new his response was simple. Barner stated, “Go for it because life is too short to have regrets, and you never truly know how something is going to turn out until you do it.”
Barner took his own advice, and his leap of faith paid off. He received four National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) awards and landed a full-time position at Mancor as a CNC machinist. He expressed how NCC’s industrial program helped him with the entire process from start to finish, including resume building classes and mock interviews, which helped him the most when it came to landing the job. Mancor Vice President and General Manager, Steve Yinst, also shared great appreciation to both Barner and the NCC program. “The precision machining training program offered by NCC is well suited for what our industry needs more of, and David brings a great attitude and willingness to learn to work every day, which has made him an excellent addition to the Mancor team. We look forward to growing our partnership with NCC and other students like David in the years to come!”
With this new chapter in Barner’s life just beginning, he’s excited to grow and succeed as he continues his new career. To learn more about the program and updates to when classes will be held, visit https://www.northampton.edu/machining.