LONGMONT - Front Range Community College will offer a class in precision machining to help fill a void of skilled machinists in Northern Colorado.

The Corporate Solutions Division of the community college met with more than 30 manufacturers in Northern Colorado to assess their hiring needs. More than 90 percent of the manufacturers said they wanted to hire an average of five machinists in the next year.

According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the median salary for machinists in 2011 was $19.62 per hour, or $40,800 per year. Entry-level salary was $13.42 per hour, or $27,908 per year.

The community college will conduct an information session Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Boulder County Campus in Longmont for its new noncredit Precision Machining training program.

The meeting will take place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Classroom Building, 2190 Miller Drive, Longmont. Optional tours of St. Vrain Manufacturing Inc. in Longmont and Mountainside Medical LLC in Boulder will be offered after the meeting.

Working with a steering committee of manufacturers, FRCC is developing curriculum. The first class, Introduction to Machining, is an 81-hour class that covers such areas as safety, work ethic, introduction to machine tools, hand measurement, bench tools, shop math, blueprint reading, introduction to cutting tools, and manual mill and lathe.

Other classes in the sequence are Machining Operator Training, Advanced Machining, and Intermediate Quality Control for the Machine Shop.

The first class is split about 50-50 between classroom instruction and hands-on work in a state-of-the-art machining lab at the Career Development Center, a part of the St. Vrain Valley School District.

The class will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday from Feb. 4 to April 20. The Longmont campus was chosen for the class because of its central location within the college's service area, which stretches from Westminster, Broomfield and Brighton to the Wyoming border.

To register for the information meeting, contact Veronica Chavez at veronica.chavez@frontrange.edu or 303-404-5462.