Calhoun Community College ranks No. 1 across the country for advanced manufacturing degree training.
But, not every manufacturing student at Calhoun has the same story or the same path.
"I got a real difficult past," said Chadric Page.
When life began to spiral, Page went through the Downtown Rescue Mission's life recovery program.
"Toyota Manufacturing came up to our mission and in one of the classes, they were telling us about all the different stuff they've got going on," said Page.
An inspiration to start a new chapter. A mentor along the way encouraged Page to apply to Calhoun's Alliance for Machining Professionals.
"He said hey, I want you to apply to the AMP program, it's for guys who want to get into machining," said Page.
Now, Page is working at M&J Precision, a machine and fabrication business in Decatur. He's balancing not only work but classes too.
"I'm learning both at my job and at the school, which is great because I think it really does fast track my education," said Page.
But, this is just one journey to a career in manufacturing.
Dean for Technologies, John Holley, said students can get short-term certifications or continue their education at a four-year college.
The goal is to give students, or adults, an employable skill.
"Our programs are probably about 20% theory, what students would say is classroom work and 80% hands-on," said Holley.
Machines at the school, give students the opportunity to get hands-on experience.
"What this program is going to do, it's going to start you off on that machinist level," said Page. "To be a good programmer, you need to be a good machinist, so I'm getting the basics of what I need to know to be able to move forward, said Page.
Page's story, an unconventional route to some and possibly an inspiration to others.
"There were people that were meant to push pencils all day and I'm not," said Page. "If M&J decides that I'm worthy enough to stay on with them, I'll probably stay on with them for a while."
Page said he may even make a career out of it.
Students interested in manufacturing can pinpoint their passion and take it well beyond their education. Page is proof of just that.
For students wanting to dive into advanced manufacturing, registration begins in October for the next semester. Calhoun Community College will give financial support to those who need it and are interested in any of the programs! More information can be found, here.