What does it mean to work in manufacturing? For some, they see it as an industry booming with innovative ideas and state-of-the-art technology. For others, they see engineers and machinists designing and developing the next generation of parts for industries including aerospace, medical, and marine.
National Manufacturing Day, celebrated on the first Friday in October brings together the misconceptions, the public perception, and the career pathways that make up what many would argue is the most vital industry to our country. More than anything, Manufacturing Day is an opportunity to bring modern manufacturing to life for the public.
Teri Hegel, AJAC’s Technical Specialist talks with students about CNC Machining during National Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 6th at South Seattle College – Georgetown Campus
For National Manufacturing Day, the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) partnered with the Tacoma School District, Rainier Beach High School, OMAX Corporation, Cadence Aerospace – PMW Operations, Gensco, and South Seattle College to offer tours, hands-on activities, and presentations about all things manufacturing. Many of the students we invited were currently enrolled in Career and Technical Education programs such as aerospace science, engineering and manufacturing.
2017 is a unique year for AJAC’s Manufacturing Day initiatives, as we launch the next wave of Youth Apprenticeship cohorts for this school year. Students from every background and social-economic status came together and learned what a day-in-the-life is like for a manufacturer; from concept to design, to fabrication and machining. These are the components each company utilizes to make their products world renown.
At Cadence Aerospace – PMW Operations, students saw larger-than-life CNC machines cutting metal parts for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and Airbus’s A320-Neo. They rode a 5-axis Cincinnati Milacron Gantry CNC machine as it spewed coolant over the airplane parts, cutting each part with precision. At Gensco, a company known for its fabrication of HVAC equipment, students were drawn to laser cutters and heavy sheet metal equipment to build commercial heating and ventilation systems we have in our very buildings. OMAX Corporation, the world leader in abrasive waterjet machining, demonstrated how 60,000 PSI of water can machine parts down to the thousands of an inch.
Throughout the three tours, students understood what it takes to become a journey-level machinist or fabricator. AJAC’s registered Youth Apprenticeship and Adult Apprenticeship programs brought to life the career pathways that give them freedom to earn while they learn, complete college-level classes, and refrain from years of college debt.
AJAC would like to thank all of the companies and post-secondary organizations for opening their doors to the world of modern manufacturing. By working together during and after Manufacturing Day, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.
View our MFG Day 2017 photos on AJAC’s Flickr channel.
AJAC’s new intake specialist will work directly with individuals needing guidance to carve their career in aerospace and advanced manufacturing through job-readiness preparation and pre-apprenticeship training.
1.What is the best part of your job so far?
I love helping people. Helping people achieve their goals and bettering themselves for the future, really does something in my soul and motivates me to continue to better myself also.
2. If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
I would choose the 44th President of the United State, Barack Obama. Being the first black President of the United States of America came with a lot obstacles and criticism but he stood tall and didn’t waiver thru all eight years in office.
3. If I could bring one musician back from the dead, who would it be and why?
The King of pop MICHEAL JACKSON!!! Once I saw MJ moonwalk across the floor on the Motown 25th anniversary show, I was hooked!
4. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
At work they call me Diddy, so I guess Sean P Diddy Combs! LOL!!
5. What’s one thing about you that would surprise me?
I’m world famous karaoke singer in my shower! I love to play music when I take a shower. I sing or rap to all my favorite music.
AJAC’s Manufacturing Academy has partnered with Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration and Pioneer Human Services this past year to offer young adults an opportunity to learn job-ready skills through the 12-week, pre-apprenticeship program. With the thousands of baby boomers nearing retirement, new, innovative pipelines must be created to maintain the employment levels in aerospace manufacturing. “Being able to work with younger kids who have made mistakes, but we want to provide them with skills so their life can take a different trajectory once they are done,” said Demetria “Lynn” Strickland, AJAC’s Executive Director.
Upon completion of the program, students will have certifications in forklift, flagger, OSHA 10, CPR/First-Aid and experience in basic manufacturing skills including machining, assembly, composites, shop math and precision measurement.
A special thanks to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services for shedding light on these amazing individuals.
Robin Williams may not come back from the dead, but AJAC’s newest hire has a knack for bringing new programs to life. Meet Erin Williams, our new Snohomish County business developer extraordinaire!
What’s the best part of your job so far? I love the facility and shop tours from various advanced
manufacturing companies. Getting to see how the products are made and the machines our apprentices work on is fascinating.
If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?
Playing guitar (or any musical instrument really). I wish I hadn’t given up back in high school, or thought that playing an instrument was cooler.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Be active. The best way to keep me active is to have a goal I am working towards such as a marathon, big bike race, triathlon, or fundraiser. That, and hang with my cat.
If you could bring one musician/actor back from the dead, who would it be and why?
Robin Williams. There is still so much to learn from that man. Such a loss of talent and awesomeness.
How would your best friend describe you?
Energetic, loyal, dedicated, and a little spastic.
To become a journey-level worker signifies a changing of the guard – an ideology that mastery occurs on the job – not solely in the classroom. For AJAC’s 49 apprentice graduates, these men and women have invested the last three to four years to learning, understanding, and performing some of manufacturing’s most vital skillsets – many which contribute directly to Washington State’s local aerospace industry.
AJAC’s apprentice graduates speakers, James Crotz (left) from Orion Industries and Heather Edgell (right) from Fatigue Technology
As apprenticeships continue to grow nationally and money is reinvested into the skilled trades, communities are seeing firsthand the significance of having a workforce that is prepared to take on challenges today and in the future. Over 20 companies from seven different counties celebrated a milestone on Friday, June 30th – a benchmark they identify as forward thinking into the golden age of technology and innovation.
Up until 2009, many Washington State manufacturing companies relied on a traditional pipeline of talent coming into the industry to help bring new life onto the shop floor. With AJAC’s Machinist (Aircraft Oriented) and Aircraft Mechanic (Airframe) programs, seasoned mentors helped encourage and inspire the next generation of workers that will build tomorrow’s aircrafts and complex machined parts.
Keynote speaker Pat Thurman from Senior Aerospace – AMT
AJAC’s apprentices are not only fully trained and can “Journey out” as a master craftsman in their own right, but are called upon as alumni to carry forward a tradition of service – an obligation, to prepare the next generation of apprentices.
The support each apprentice received from their employer, family members, and coworkers was evident in the stories our graduates and keynote speaker shared. It takes a village to raise a child and an employer to raise an apprentice. The vast opportunities these 49 apprentices have to grow and expand their careers is endless. From master mechanic and maintenance supervisor to tool and die maker to engineer – these new career goals were solely made possible because an apprenticeship program was offered by an employer that believed in paid on-the-job training and college-level classroom instruction.
Chris Kirsop (left) receives AJAC’s inaugural Instructor of the Year award alongside AJAC’s Program Manager of Instruction, Danica Hendrickson (middle) and Lynn Strickland (right)
“A journey-level card stands for commitment, preparation, integrity, and fraternity – not just a credential,” said Demetria “Lynn” Strickland, Executive Director of the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC). “Apprenticeship serves as the foundation for lifelong learning and advancement that will make Washington State’s workforce the best in the world.”
AJAC’s industry instructors and shop-floor mentors have laid the foundation for the next wave of manufacturers. These journeymen may go on to start their own company, run the facility at their current employer, or simply take the knowledge they have received to better their current work. With continued support of apprenticeship as a viable career-training pathway, Washington State will thrive as a leader in aerospace and advanced manufacturing training.
AJAC’s Class of 2017