Washington STEM, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) and AJAC gave a joint presentation on all-things Youth Apprenticeship during a live webinar on June 26, 2017. Josie Bryan and Jody Robbins from L&I gave a comprehensive background on the apprenticeship system including how youth fit into the equation and the standards with which they are governed by.

AJAC’s Deputy Director, Shannon Matson spoke in length about AJAC’s Production Technician program which kicked off in January 2017 in the Tacoma Public School District. Shannon included the importance of identifying an occupation, how to engage employers, creating a committee and the balance between structured on-the-job training and college-level classroom instruction. A special thanks to Gilda Wheeler of Washington STEM for allowing AJAC to talk about our Youth Apprenticeship program!

View the PowerPoint here.


From left to right: John Page from Tacoma Public School, Kristi Grassman, AJAC, Lynn Strickland, AJAC, Jesse Cote from IAM 751 and Sandra Husbands, L&I at the Washington Apprenticeship Training Council meeting on January 12, 2017.

Seattle, WA: The Washington State Apprenticeship Training Council approved the state’s first Youth Apprenticeship program for the local aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries. This program will provide high school students with an opportunity to earn tuition-free college credit, high school credit for graduation completion, 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training and mentorship from industry professionals.

Youth Apprenticeship Washington is a collaborative effort between the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC), Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Governor Jay Inslee, Bates Technical College and the Tacoma Public Schools. Youth Apprenticeship Washington is “a direct bridge from high school into industry and it provides a diverse pipeline of applicants. Youth apprenticeship in Washington holds the promise of employing thousands of high school students across numerous high demand industries over the next several years.” said Lynn Strickland, AJAC’s Executive Director. With the nearly 3.5 million job openings in the next ten years for manufacturing, the industry is facing a shortfall of skilled labor, particularly from young adults.

“We’re focusing on creating more opportunities to connect young people with great careers,” said Governor Jay Inslee, during the 2016 Youth Apprenticeship Summit. He added, “We know that a four-year track is not the only way to succeed in our state. And for too long, we have been creating this implicit tacit message to our youth.” Apprentices on average earn $300,000 more in their lifetime compared to non-completers and in Washington, manufacturers earn over $87,000 a year with zero college debt.

Youth apprenticeship in Washington holds the promise of employing thousands of high school students across numerous high demand industries over the next several years. – Lynn Strickland, Executive Director, AJAC

AJAC’s Youth Apprenticeship program works directly with local-area employers who current partner with AJAC for adult apprenticeship. These employers have expressed that high school students, particularly those already in career and technical education programs make good candidates for entry-level employment when coupled with an apprenticeship model of post-secondary education.

KBTC’s “Northwest Now” will feature a panel discussion on Youth Apprenticeship Washington on Friday, January 27th at 7:30 p.m. The panel will feature AJAC’s Executive Director, Lynn Strickland, Labor and Industries Liz Smith, John Altman from the Governor’s Office and Ron Langrel, President of Bates Technical College.

Download the press release here

Watch AJAC’s appearance on KBTC’s “Northwest Now” Featuring Youth Apprenticeship


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.

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