AJAC’s Youth Apprenticeship Program

Program Overview:

AJAC’s Production Technician (Youth) Apprenticeship is a 2,000 hour program designed for high school juniors and seniors to develop career-ready skills in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries. This apprenticeship program combines paid on-the-job training at an AJAC employer and college-level classroom instruction which can lead to a high school diploma, journey-level card and short-term college certificate.

Aspiring Youth Apprentices

What Is a Production Technician?
The job duties of a Production Technician is to set-up, test, and adjust advanced manufacturing machinery or equipment, using a combination of electrical, electronic, mechanic, hydraulic, pneumatic, or computer technologies. Production Technicians will work hands-on with computer aided design (CAD), analytical and scientific software.

How Much Does The Program Cost?
The Production Technician apprenticeship program is a no-cost program for qualified apprentices or employers. AJAC will provide all apprentices with free dinner during their weekly classroom instruction.

Where Will I Work and How Much Will I Earn?
AJAC has partnered with Pierce County advanced manufacturers to provide supervised and structured on-the-job training. Apprentices will work 10-20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during the summer. Pay will vary by employer and number of hours worked.

Why Apprenticeship, Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing?
Apprenticeships are the ideal vehicle to teach young adults job-ready skills through mentorship while providing quality education and creating productive, lifelong learners.

Where Are Classes Held and Will I Earn College Credits?
Apprentices will attend class one night a week at Lincoln High School. During this time, apprentices will learn the theory behind the art of advanced manufacturing from the industry’s top instructors. Additionally, the apprentices will earn 15 total college credits, tuition-free from Bates Technical College.

What Does It Take To Succeed?
You should be detail-oriented, a problem-solver and capable of working independently and as part of a team. You should also have a good work ethic, basic math skills and an interest in working with your hands.

How Do I Get Started?
To launch your career as a Production Technician, you will need to meet the minimum qualifications:

  1. You must been a high school junior or senior enrolled in the Tacoma School District
  2. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
  3. Recommended by a Tacoma School District teacher
  4. Completed and passed Algebra Level 1
  5. Must have transportation to and from worksite

Where Can I Apply?
If you have met the minimum qualifications, you can apply via our online application.


What Is a Production Technician?
Production Technicians (PT) set up, test, and adjust manufacturing machinery or equipment, using any combination of electrical, electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, or computer technologies. They also calibrate or adjust equipment to ensure quality production, using tools such as calipers, micrometers, height gauges, protractors, or other specified equipment.

PTs operate and maintain machinery in the machine shop; cut and prepare work; maintain traceability from first to final cut with paperwork and job number; meet internal due dates and deadlines; and maintain a clean, neat and safe machine shop.

Lastly, PTs load materials into production equipment. Remove products or workpieces from production equipment. Operate machinery used in the production process, or assist machine operators. They will place products in equipment or on work surfaces for further processing, inspecting, or wrapping and examine products to verify conformance to quality standards.

What is the Cost and How Much Will I Pay Each Apprentice?
The Production Technician apprenticeship is a no-cost program for AJAC employers. However, youth apprentices are paid while on-the-job and receive set wage increases as they progress through the program.

How Will The Apprentice’s Progress Be Tracked?
Progress of apprentices will be tracked by the mentor on a monthly basis based on core competencies. This progress will be reviewed by program staff to ensure satisfactory performance on-the-job.

Why Youth Apprenticeship?

  • Apprenticeships build a pipeline of talent and generate a positive ROI
  • Young adults are tech savvy and eager to work with emerging technologies
  • Young adults will drive product and process innovation to new heights
  • Apprentices will boost a company’s productivity, retention and develop a committed workforce.

When Will The Apprentice Work?
Apprentices will take class one night a week at a local high school or community/technical college. It is up to the employer and the student to work out an appropriate work schedule that adheres to L&I guidelines and school district schedule.

How Many Hours Can Each Apprentice Work?
During the school year, apprentices can work up to full time depending on their high school academic commitments. It is anticipated that they will work 10-20 hours per week during the school year and full time during the summer.

How Can an Employer Participate in this Program?
Employers who have signed an AJAC Training Agent agreement or those who are interested in becoming an AJAC employer can participate.

Will This Training Articulate Into Other Apprenticeships?
Yes! AJAC’s Production Technician youth apprenticeship program develops skills and core-competencies for apprentices to move into machining, metal fabrication, industrial maintenance and plastic injection molding.

What Are The Employer’s Responsibilities?

  • Employ youth in an entry-level position and allow them to work full time or part time during the summer and school year respectively.
  • Assign a mentor(s) to supervise the apprentice throughout the program.
  • Conduct supervised on-the-job training to reinforce classroom learning.
  • Ensure a safe work environment for the apprentice.
  • Pay the apprentice the established rate for the youth program.
  • Provide feedback on the youths’ job performance on a quarterly basis.


Contact Information

For Aspiring Youth Apprentices, please contact:

For Youth Employers, please contact:

Apprenticeship in the High School Career Ladder