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Meet the Faculty: Cindy Johnson

Sep 13, 2017

Cindy Johnson, Computer-Integrated Machining Faculty

B.S., B.A. North Carolina Wesleyan College

After 37 years in the manufacturing industry, RCC Instructor Cindy Johnson resigned to fulfill her dream of teaching machining to the next generation.

Johnson graduated from Wake Technical Community College’s machining program in 1982 and began her career as a machinist/tool & die maker. After 12 years, she joined Caterpillar, Inc. as a drafter and held a variety of positions including hydraulics design engineer and a variety of operations and quality management positions. She was a member of the team that developed and oversaw the start-up of Caterpillar’s Large Mining Truck axle manufacturing operation located in Winston-Salem.

“Sometimes my students are shocked to see a woman teaching machining,” Johnson said. “Not many women are in the field, but there’s no doubt women can do the job. Machining builds a great sense of confidence in women, but they have to enter the field knowing that mental strength and being able to defend decisions is important.”

Today, most manufacturing facilities are clean, organized and designed with ergonomics that support a wide range of physical abilities. Being physically strong is not as important as in the past. Good machinists must be dedicated to their work, willing to put in long hours, and, most importantly, be a team player. At the end of the day, the machinist can see and touch the work that they made.

“At Caterpillar, I saw machines on job sites and I knew that I played a role in designing them,” Johnson said. “Seeing the results of your work gives you a real sense of pride.”

In the classroom, Johnson enjoys watching her students grow their machining skills and soft skills. In today’s workplace students need to understand that they are held accountable for everything, excuses are not acceptable, and being responsible is paramount.

“For some, the first semester is hard for the student who is not used being held accountable,” Johnson said. “I run some of my classes to mimic the real world of manufacturing and it can be an eye-opener. Simple skills like being on time and prepared are often more important in the beginning than being a great machinist. I love seeing my students grow.”

Possible entry-level jobs in computer-integrated machining include: operator, lead technician, tool & die/tool room machinist, and mold making. There are various types of positions related to Machining: Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Quality, in addition to CNC programming, tooling and fixture designers, and CMM operators and programmers.

For more information on the Computer-Integrated Machining program of study at the college, contact the Admissions Office at 336-342-4261, ext. 2333.

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Rockingham Community College
PO Box 38
215 Wrenn Memorial Rd.
Wentworth, NC 27375


Monday to Thursday:
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Friday: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm


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