2023 AJAC Graduation at The Museum of Flight

AJAC Graduates 59 Apprentices in Front of Largest Crowd Since 2019

June 16, 2023 | The Museum of Flight

AJAC Graduates 59 Apprentices in Front of Largest Crowd Since 2019

June 16, 2023 | The Museum of Flight

The 2023 AJAC Apprenticeship Graduation ceremony commenced at The Museum of Flight, welcoming apprentices, their families and friends, employers, sponsors, instructors, partnering organizations, speakers, and AJAC’s Committee and Board.

The event aimed to celebrate the graduates who will serve as the next generation of professionals in various fields such as Automation Technicians, Production Technicians, Industrial Manufacturing Technicians, Industrial Maintenance Technicians, Machinists, and Tool & Die Makers.

The graduating apprentices were called upon to be leaders and role models in the evolving advanced manufacturing industries. With over 350 guests present, this graduation ceremony marked AJAC’s largest in-person event since 2019, featuring 59 apprentices from 36 different companies. Additionally, AJAC expanded its reach beyond Washington State by celebrating the first cohort of apprentices from Idaho in this year’s ceremony.

Nathan Hall, the 2023 Class Speaker, spoke about his experience as a Tool & Die Maker, and the desire to continually improve his skills, even if it meant making a mistake, “I would like to continue my career, pushing my limitations and machines. Thinking outside the box, inside out and backwards. I am very excited to see what the industry throws at us. Now that I have completed my apprenticeship, I am most excited to learn from my next failure. For too many people, failure it is an ultimatum, they never want to encounter failure and if they do, they concede and simply never attain their goal.”

Hall emphasized the importance of passing on knowledge and experiences to the next generation and acknowledged the role of mentors in his own development, “I think it is our duty as journey-level apprentices to pass on our knowledge in parallel to further our culture and society as a whole. This knowledge does not only apply to skills, but to what makes us human. Our responsibility to this world is to leave it better than when we entered it, I believe this only happens when we share our knowledge and the teachings of integrity, work ethic, and family values as well. This is something that Mark McNeil knew and implemented. Mark, I thank you.”

The night concluded with each graduate walking across the stage and receiving their certificates—marking an end to their apprenticeship but the start of a new journey, a new vocation.

“With the completion of your apprenticeship, you are taking with you a nationally recognized journey-level certification signaling your hard work and perseverance. This provides you with vast opportunities as you grow in your career,” said Demetria “Lynn” Strickland, Executive Director at AJAC and emcee of the event. “My message tonight is this, remember to thank the people who mentored you and try to return all those favors by being some kind of mentor for somebody else whenever you can. The truth is, no one gets to a moment of graduating on their own. And to all of those who made these graduate’s’ life story possible, we thank you,” she concluded.

The perseverance of the 59 graduates equated to a combined 507 college classes, 2,535 college credits earned, 25,350 classroom hours and 315,000 hours logged through their on-the-job training.

Congratulations to the AJAC Class of 2023!

Photos from Our Event

If you would like to receive a link to all of our event photos, please email Aaron Ferrell using the link below. 


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