AJAC’s Training Agent Aeroplastics was recently interview by Seattle’s KING-TV to highlight their efforts in creating parts for industries outside of aerospace. Watch the clip above and read more about this company here.

tommy phs

Tommy grew up in a big family with three brothers and two sisters in Grays Harbor on Washington State’s coast. He was involved in school and sports as a young teen. However, when things started to get difficult at home, Tommy started spending more time outside of the house, hanging out with a different crowd.

At first, he was just hanging out with kids and smoking marijuana, but then meth was introduced to him and his addiction began. Tommy stopped participating in school sports and going to class, and in his freshman year he started robbing houses with other boys to pay for his new habit. He was kicked out of high school for his many truancies and arrests.

In his sophomore year he transferred to a new high school but things really went downhill when he started selling drugs. By the time he was a junior he had served time in juvenile detention, and when he was released he went to live with his grandmother. He attempted to attend school and work, but the violations and arrests built up again as his addiction reared its ugly head.

This AJAC apprenticeship training that Pioneer is giving me brings some light to the end of the tunnel.

Eventually, Tommy’s felonies for possession of drugs and stolen property lead led him to prison. He ended up serving a 20-month sentence in prison and several years on probation. After his release, he fell back into drug use – but this time he was selling heroin and meth. At a family event his former partner brought his child to see him and that’s when Tommy realized he needed to get clean.

When I looked into my son’s eyes I knew that I had to quit. I was sinking fast and I needed help. I self-reported my drug use to my probation officer and was put into residential treatment.

When Tommy finished the treatment program he moved in with family in Everett for support and attended NA meetings. His probation officer told him about Pioneer and he enrolled in the Roadmap to Success job training program to get prepared for work. He learned about Pioneer’s aerospace manufacturing division and was hired at Pioneer Industries six days after he graduated from Roadmap to Success.

Tommy has off probation and working hard over the last few years at Pioneer Industries learning all the manufacturing machines. He was accepted into the two-year AJAC sheet metal fabrication apprenticeship program and is excelling in the program.

“People need to realize that when someone gets out of prison they have debts and responsibilities stacked on them immediately. Getting hired in a job where you can grow your position is really important. I want to be a good father and provider and this AJAC apprenticeship training that Pioneer is giving me brings some light to the end of the tunnel. Housing is another issue and scoring an affordable apartment in one of Pioneer’s housing programs was a big relief.”

AJAC was granted permission from Pioneer Human Services to publish this article. Click here to read the original. 

The Victory Series | Episode 12 Featuring Matt Washburn of Senior Aerospace AMT from 4th Avenue Media on Vimeo.

How a business leader is keeping manufacturing and machining alive, by training millennials in skilled trades. Hear from Matt Washburn of Senior Aerospace AMT, who is redefining the stigma of manufacturing, and the impact it’s having on local communities.

Senior Aerospace AMT is a long-time AJAC Training Agent located in Arlington, Washington. Learn more about their company here.

In 2012, the median age in manufacturing was nearly 45 years old, a number that is expected to rise continually over the next decade. An influx of young talent into the industry will undoubtedly offset the widening gap between baby boomers and millennials.

AJAC’s Training Agent, the Work Force Development Center, partners with 36 Snohomish, North King, and Island County high schools to provide structured on-the-job training for Washington State’s booming aerospace industry. Over the last 23 years, trainee’s at the center earn high school credits while preparing their skill set for a rewarding career in aerospace and advanced manufacturing.

AJAC recently sat down with two current employees – one apprentice and one recent high school graduate – to share their story on how manufacturing has bettered their lives while obtaining job-ready skills. Learn more about the Work Force Development Center here. Watch the short-film here: https://youtu.be/iyRG0B2GOKg