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Titan Gilroy’s “American Built” CNC Academy

Author: Jim Carr

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Many colleges and schools that “teach” manufacturing don’t have sufficient material, the latest in tooling technology, or any true curriculum to teach manufacturing. Every teacher is creating their own curriculum based on their own experiences and they’re not on the cutting edge because most are retired from the industry


Bringing light to the awareness gap in machining

Titan points out that everyone talks about skills gaps but he believes there’s actually an awareness and training gap. You never used to see manufacturing on the news. Behind the scenes, companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin have 250,000 square foot buildings with rockets inside. A million engineers are changing human space flight. But they don’t let the cameras in the door. There is multi-million dollar automated machinery in doctor’s offices that no one ever sees. Things are so proprietary that no one sees what’s going into the manufacturing of the machinery. So Titan created his TV show to bring more awareness to the industry. 

How Titan’s TV show, “American Built” came to fruition

Discovery actually called Titan for a part. He took the opportunity to pitch his show and didn’t get it—but a seed was planted. He met someone who introduced him to John Walsh from “America’s Most Wanted” who helped Titan make his sizzle reel better. He took it to MAVTV, who picked up his show. After two seasons, Titan felt he wasn’t making a difference because there was a deeper problem: education

He was walking into his office one day and Michael Valdez—in charge of 35 prisons in California—told him they had machine shops in some of their prisons that needed help. Titan visited the prisons, walked around, and told Michael what he needed to do to take the shops to the next level. Unexpectedly, Michael asked Titan to implement the changes. So Titan went home, prayed on it, and talked to his wife. 

How Titan helped inmates become full-fledged machinists

Titan felt that God took him along the path of his TV show—paired with his past in prison—to bring him to that exact moment to build a school and change prisons. Titan was willing to walk away from the TV show to take this opportunity. But he was given the go-ahead to film his third season in the prison(s). Titan helped rebuild their entire school. That’s when he realized there was no curriculum worth using, anywhere. Titan’s goal became creating a template for every school in the nation to teach cutting-edge manufacturing. 

California spends $500 million on education in the prison system per year. Yet they’re coming out with no skills. Titan gave them an affordable system that allowed them to make a lot of parts, learn through repetition, and master manufacturing. He taught the inmates how to learn a trade. One guy—Fernando—was able to get out of prison and get a job at Tesla. 

Learn more about Titans of CNC Academy 

Titan had a plethora of machining footage and curriculum from filming his show. So seven years ago, he took all of it and put it online for free. When you go to Titans of CNC you can read the instructions for the regular academy, watch the tutorials, look at the sheets—it’s all FREE. 

Titan firmly believes that if you want to build your culture, train your people. If you want to advance your technology, train your people. Challenge your team to learn, design, and program parts so they know them intimately. Allow your teams to make those parts on your machines and truly put what they’re learning to practice. As they get more advanced, it feels like it’s a game to learn. Work with your teams to create a vision as you advance the education of your company. You can all achieve greatness. As the company makes money, they will all make money. 

Titan is currently working on a system where anyone can get certified as they complete specific trainings. The platform then becomes a portfolio of their work. Titan’s goal is to teach the trade on a high level. To be a resource for teachers, students, machinists, and shop owners. They systematically teach how to cut different materials. 

Titan is also passionate about creating a space where kids and uniquely abled people on the autism spectrum can learn how to design parts. To learn more about his passion for teaching cutting-edge machining, check out episode #287 of the Making Chips podcast!


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