Meet our Team
A great leader, Dave Curry is the program manager for Laramie County Community College’s (LCCC) Advanced Manufacturing and Material Center (AMMC). His journey at the center may have just begun, but his time with LCCC has been a tenured experience involving multiple positions. Originally from Sedalia, Missouri Dave began working for the college in 2010. After starting as an adjunct instructor, Dave has moved up in several roles, including a full-time faculty member, Director of Technical Studies, part-time safety instructor, and now into this position.
He’s excited to be a part of the AMMC as his favorite aspect of his job is seeing the center come to life. Dave said, “This is an exciting opportunity to start new programs that are a catalyst for change in southeast Wyoming and the entire rocky mountain front. I’m grateful to the taxpayers of Laramie County with approving and supporting the sixth penny tax which was crucial in jumpstarting the center and making an inspiring place for those entering or are surrounded by the manufacturing industry.” His role is to help grow the manufacturing center, building up on the AMMC’s three pillars of students, community, and industry employers/partners.
Dave enjoys seeing how manufacturing is an exciting career field for years to come. He said, “Whether someone is just starting out or nearing 50 years in the field, it can be a place to accomplish so many different things as manufacturing is rich and diverse in its ability and opportunities.” Dave encourages anyone looking to begin their career in manufacturing to not be scared and come in for a facility tour. Another piece of advice he offers is to never ask “what if”, always try something because you never know what might happen.
Christopher Allen, a Wyoming native, completed Laramie County Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing and Material Center’s (AMMC) first bootcamp session. Christopher previously worked for a decade in the automotive and casualty insurance industries and has three years in 3D printing and design efforts. After hearing about the recently renovated and installed AMMC and receiving a tour, Christopher knew instantly he wanted to begin his journey in the manufacturing industry through the center. He loved the program, with the bootcamp addressing everyone’s learning styles while taking a safe and proactive step by step plan to build each student’s confidence on the machines. Christopher said, “I’m a maker and crafter at heart and always work better with my hands. I enjoyed making things and seeing my drawings and designs come to life!”
After finishing the bootcamp, Christopher plans on learning more about manufacturing. Although he did not have these resources when he was younger, he is thankful for what he learned and would like to continue learning and with AMMC while sharing his knowledge from the class. He enjoyed his bootcamp, making a lot of fun memories with his peers and teachers. He looks forward to seeing what the center can bring to the community and future ideas initiated. To those interested in the manufacturing industry, Christopher says, “Don’t second guess yourself, even an ounce of wonder is enough to fuel someone’s passion for a better future where dreams can become a reality. Take a chance, ask questions, and most of all have patience with yourself.”
Catherine Conard, Administrative Assistant at Laramie County Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing and Material Center (AMMC), has a variety of tasks, from managing the center’s social media and digital presence, creating and enrolling classes, to planning events, and beyond. She originally started in the marketing department for a local healthcare system in the panhandle of Nebraska.
After relocating from her hometown near Scottsbluff, Nebraska Catherine found the AMMC to be a great fit to continue her career. She says her favorite part about her job is, “I love being creative through a marketing perspective as well as getting to meet new people and show them why the AMMC is next level.”
Jac Corless is a man of many talents, including his vast experience in the manufacturing industry. He has had over 49 years of experience in the field, primarily in Colorado, doing a variety of work from a rubber company, self-employment, medical supplies, wind energy, and being an instructor. He has a true passion for the manufacturing industry and learning as he loves to pass his knowledge down to the students. Jac stated, “This industry is amazing because you’ll never be unemployed, there’s a variety of jobs in this industry and across the country.”
Jac was originally introduced to Laramie County Community College’s (LCCC) Advanced Manufacturing and Material Center (AMMC) when viewing the open house of the center on the nightly news. He wanted to become involved in this great opportunity and after contacting the program manager, became an adjunct instructor. He says, “My favorite part about teaching is having fun! I like getting to know students and we all have a good time in class. I am currently teaching how to maneuver CNC Lathes in the summer bootcamp. My favorite machine is the CNC Mill, which has a variety of services. I love all of the parts you can make on this machine.”
Laramie County Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing and Material Center (AMMC) Instructor, Jesse Lackey, has had various experiences to support his current role. He has taught WyoTech courses and owns an automotive restorative shop which includes Sheetmetal fabrication, manual machining, paint and bodywork, interior fabrication, wiring, plumbing and suspension work and managing a crew to obtain award winning results for his shop. After hearing about the AMMC from a person imperative in getting the center started, Jesse not only helps teach a variety of classes but also assists with 3D printing and manual machining programs.
Jesse loves teaching at the center as he says, “There are no limits on what we can invest ourselves in and learn. There are so many ways to manufacture products and with the program, we have covered nearly all the main staples of manufacturing from machining to 3D printing and everything in between.”
Adding to that, Jesse says his favorite aspect of his new role is the ability to manufacture nearly anything we can dream of and also have the opportunity to share it with our community by teaching what we know and what we are learning.
He is able to work with all of the equipment at the AMMC which can make it hard to narrow down on a favorite. Jesse says he enjoys 3D printers since he’s focused in that area, but also loves the ability to work with the 5 axis CNC, CNC mills, lathes, and EDM. Jesse offers advice to those considering entering the manufacturing industry, “The manufacturing industry is the future to keep work in the states. Without a solid workforce of professionally trained employees, manufacturers will be forced to outsource to foreign entities. We can stop the outsourcing by training here first! We need this for our country and our community.”
Adjunct Instructor Chase Lesher has had over 14 years of experience prior to joining Laramie County Community College’s (LCCC) Advanced Manufacturing and Material Center (AMMC). He grew up in small town, Thedford, Nebraska, before earning his associate’s degree in machine tool technology from Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska. Chase has worked in a variety of jobs for a medical company as a Tool & Die Maker and Mold Maker, to currently running and owning his own company in Cheyenne.
He found out about the center from a LCCC welding instructor, which made Chase want to help out and so he agreed to help teach the first CNC bootcamp. Liking to not only teach, but help in all aspects of the center’s machining technology of manual lathes and mills, CNC mills, lathes, and grinder; Chase enjoys being at the AMMC and with all of its new technology and equipment. He’s passionate about machining, specifically research and development His advice for those who want to learn manufacturing is, “Don’t hesitate! Manufacturing is a fun and rewarding career and then it can make for a high paying future, especially with the low initial cost of the degree.”
After growing up in Cheyenne, Nick Owen earned a bachelor’s degree in architectural/structural engineering and a master’s degree in civil/structural engineering at the University of Wyoming. Afterward, he began his career as a structural engineering consultant firm in Cheyenne where he helped design commercial buildings and other structures throughout the region and nation. After a time, Nick decided to change pathways and earned a teaching certificate.
While finishing his teaching certificate, Nick attended a group tour of Laramie County Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing and Material Center (AMMC) as part of a career and technical education meeting for Cheyenne high schools. He met the program manager and knew instantly he wanted to be a part of the AMMC, noticing the potential the center had.
“Manufacturing is an exciting place to be, on both subtractive and additive side (3D plastic and metal printing).” To someone who might be hesitant to begin in this industry, Nick offers the advice of, “don’t be intimidated. Design, manufacturing, and working with the machines is not as hard as it looks. The process of taking an idea from your mind to a product is getting easier all the time. Whether you want to be machine operator or an entrepreneur, this is the place you should go. If you visit the AMMC, you will see how exciting it is.”
“To anyone who’s interested in beginning in the manufacturing industry, but hesitant I advise them to start small. Here at Laramie County Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing and Material Center (AMMC), anyone who has an idea can put it into one of our programs, make it work, and potentially start their own business here,” said Adjunct Instructor Kraig Parrish, who currently works in the AMMC’s Concept Forge with 3D printing and design, Epson printing, laser engraving and cutting.
Kraig is a WyoTech graduate, with a National Tech Honor Society honors, in Auto and Chassis Fabrication. He has since worked in a variety of jobs including: window tinting, plant maintenance, custom automotive fabrication, specialty automotive wiring, and WyoTech as an instructor support technician with a focus in automotive courses, shop, and tool maintenance. Kraig is passionate about recreating and restoring Jeep Wagoneers, he has built custom jeeps, and is the co-lead fabricator at his job currently.
He enjoys combining car restoration with 3D printing that the AMMC has to offer. After seeing someone use 3D scanners and printers on social media, Kraig became interested in utilizing it to recreate hard-to-find parts for restoring after-market cars. Kraig stated, “3D printing is applicable in everything, it helps you to find solutions to problems.” He continued to explain that the AMMC’s equipment is incredible, especially since technology is rapidly developing. He’s excited to get in touch with the community and help them with their projects.
Jennifer Rouse Advanced Manufacturing and Material Center (AMMC) administrative assistant is grateful to begin her new position by putting her skills to work and exploring new opportunities. She is excited to dive into the manufacturing world with room to grow in her certification as an Administrative Support Specialist and continuing her education. Jennifer loves the exciting things the AMMC can do with the machines and for the community as there is a large variety of services. She offers the advice of those who are new to the manufacturing industry, “You need to dive right in and let your imagination guide you.”