The Machine Operators Skills Training Program (M.O.S.T.) is a pilot training program designed to prepare displaced, unemployed workers for careers as machine operators in advanced machine shops. Candidates selected for this free program participate in an intensive, two-week training process. Starting wages for CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machine operators can range from $10 to $15 per hour.The Vermont Department of Labor (VT DOL) is now accepting applications for the M.O.S.T. program that begins in Bennington on May 8, 2006. Applicants are not required to have previous manufacturing or machining experience. Candidates who successfully complete the training will be eligible to fill current job openings in the Bennington area.The 10-day, accelerated curriculum includes Basic Math Skills, Basic Blueprint Reading, Mechanical Measurement and Quality Control, CNC Milling Technology, and hands-on CNC Programming and Machine Operation. All training is done in a mobile training center specially equipped with computers and desktop machining equipment. After completing the M.O.S.T. classroom training, successful participants selected for employment will receive 60 days of paid, on-the-job training.The M.O.S.T. program is being managed by the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) and the five other New England affiliates of the nationwide Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). M.O.S.T. is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The program was launched in Maine on February 8, 2006 and is now spreading to the other New England states.For more information or to apply for the M.O.S.T. program, contact Wendy Morse (802-442-6376) at the VT Department of Labor in Bennington.About VMECVMEC is a not-for-profit Center headquartered in Randolph Center whose mission is “To improve manufacturing in Vermont and strengthen the global competitiveness of the state’s manufacturers.” This is done through professional consulting, one-on-one coaching, and public and onsite workshops to help Vermont’s approximately 2,000 small and medium sized manufacturers increase their productivity, modernize their manufacturing and business processes, adopt advanced technologies, reduce costs, and improve their competitiveness. Visit www.vmec.org(link is external) for more information.