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.
He is a jack of all trades but he has mastered the perfect pizza combo. Meet AJAC’s new Apprenticeship Preparation Manager, Jim Johnson!
What’s the best part of your job so far?
Everything! I have the opportunity to work with the instructors and the students to make sure that we are providing the best overall experience, with the best instructors.
What’s your greatest achievement and how has it shaped you?
My family! I have 4 girls and to watch them grow into the fantastic adults that they are has been a true pleasure.
What was your dream job growing up?
I always wanted to be an astronaut. I watched the launch of Sputnik and the first walk on the moon and thought that would be an awesome job.
Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one?
I have always wanted to learn everything I can, so a jack of all trades is the route that I have taken and it has worked well for me.
What is your perfect pizza?
That’s easy. My perfect pizza is mushroom, black olive and Canadian bacon.
Learn more about AJAC’s apprenticeship preparation program, the Manufacturing Academy here.
The Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee, in partnership with the YWCA and South Seattle College hosted the first-ever Women in Manufacturing Symposium at South Seattle College – Georgetown Campus, highlighting the training and career opportunities available to women in advanced manufacturing.
AJAC’s Executive Director Lynn Strickland (left) and AJAC Machining Apprentice Ebonee Heller (right) of Pioneer Industries
The symposium was led by a panel of women who are involved or currently work in manufacturing, including career navigators, apprenticeships and industry managers. The panel fielded questions regarding the role of women in advanced manufacturing and how AJAC’s pre-apprenticeship program, the Manufacturing Academy (MA), can boost their confidence and provide job-ready skills for a rewarding career. AJAC’s MA utilizes a comprehensive approach to retraining workers through 10 weeks of hands-on learning, soft skills training, insight into the industry, and applied mathematics.
The panelists debunked every myth in manufacturing, from the “dark and dirty” shop floor to the applied shop math. The most frequent question asked during the symposium rested on the presumption that manufacturing poses barriers to women including their lack of transferable skills, “you have to get in there and take the extra step,” said Donna Raz, a Manufacturing Academy instructor. The days of mindless heavy-lifting have been replaced by innovative techniques and state-of-the-art technology which some say, women are a better fit for. “Women have better hand-eye coordination and attention to detail,” said one panelist. These skills are ideal for many careers in manufacturing such as Quality Assurance and Maintenance Technicians.
Women – welcome back to manufacturing
Nevertheless, a booming industry requires a well-trained workforce, but how can an industry that is historically represented by men challenge the status-quo that women can play a role in manufacturing?
For starters, the industry needs to focus on empowering women to try something new and bold that takes them out of their comfort zone. It’s no secret, local manufacturers want to hire more women, but very few apply.
AJAC’s Technical Specialist, Teri Hegel demonstrates machining on a HAAS CNC VF 2
Advocacy for women in manufacturing is key to creating a more diversified and well-balanced workforce. Through conversation and encouragement, manufacturing has a strong chance to continue its reign as America’s backbone. Take on the challenge of building something new every day and as one panelist said “women – welcome back to manufacturing.”
Senator Patty Murray stopped by the Seattle Manufacturing Academy program on August 9th to discuss how the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) has helped undeserved and disadvantaged individuals to a rewarding career in aerospace and advanced manufacturing. Check out more photos from the day below!
Join us for this forum and networking event introducing women to career and training opportunities in the exciting and dynamic field of advanced manufacturing. Hear from a panel of women working in the field and learn about the industries, employment and potential career pathways. Get expert advice on navigating college, career resources and apprenticeships.
Panelists include: Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC), South Seattle College, General Plastics, and Orion Industries.
We will also introduce the partnership between the YWCA and AJAC for an all-female Manufacturing Academy cohort beginning October 17th!
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