Kailey Harding’s interest in manufacturing first peaked when she saw students making carbon fiber skateboards at the Pierce County Skills Center. As an avid longboarder, she was immediately drawn to the hands-on learning.
After two years of learning composites, fabrication, and machining through the skills center, Kailey landed a job as a machinist and immediately enrolled in AJAC’s four-year machinist apprenticeship program. Through her time in the apprenticeship, Kailey grew her foundational machining skills through one-on-one mentorship and industry-aligned curriculum delivered by AJAC’s instructors.
Her current role at Spearman Corporation in Kent, Washington is to create high tolerance parts for commercial and military airplanes. Over the last three years, Kailey has proudly machined parts for the Boeing 737, 777, and 767 respectively.
For Kailey, the industry as a whole can do a better job of marketing manufacturing to women, “Its really not influenced. You don’t see advertising to say ‘Hey, females, work here!’. It is a big growth process to get to where I am today. Overall, it is a morale boost going to AJAC. You’re learning different things throughout the four years and every time you learn something new, you can take it back to work and apply it.”
Kailey’s advice to encourage more women to pursue manufacturing, “No matter where you work, you have to have the passion for it. If it is in you, and you are feeling a little nervous, step on in it. I would definitely get into AJAC’s because they are going to guide you and support you. Go for it; be confident in your words, and who you are.”
Kailey is in the third year of her machinist apprenticeship and expects to graduate in 2021.
To learn more about AJAC’s Machinist Apprenticeship program, please visit: https://www.ajactraining.org/apprenticeship/occupations/machinist/.
To launch your career in advanced manufacturing, please visit AJAC’s Getting Started page: https://www.ajactraining.org/apprenticeship/getting-started/
Aurelia Greene has completed all of the college-level classwork for her Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee Machinist Apprenticeship Program, and now she’s building up hours with paid on-the-job training. Apprenticeships in Washington’s advanced manufacturing industry create a wealth of opportunities Aurelia Greene says she started at the bottom of the barrel, but she didn’t stay there long.
To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2020, AJAC sat down with former machinist graduate, Evan Thomas, for a candid interview about his apprenticeship experience. Our 24-minute conversation covered a wide variety of topics including his start in manufacturing, why he chose the apprenticeship pathway, and how he is paying forward the knowledge he received from industry mentors.
Evan graduated AJAC’s machinist program in 2017 and is currently a Career and Technical Education Teacher at the Pierce County Skills Center. In Evan’s new role, he teaches high school juniors and seniors precision machining and fabrication.
About National Apprenticeship Week:
National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is a nationwide celebration that brings together business leaders, career seekers, labor, educational institutions, and other critical partners to demonstrate their support for apprenticeship. NAW also provides apprenticeship sponsors with the opportunity to showcase their programs, facilities, and apprentices in their community. The week-long celebration highlights the benefits of apprenticeship in preparing a highly-skilled workforce to meet the talent needs of employers across diverse industries.
Mallory Martindale’s apprenticeship with the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee is almost complete. She’s been working in manufacturing since she graduated high school, and the apprenticeship gives her a strong foundation for a long career. Help your career take off with paid on-the-job training and college-level instruction!
Meet Noah Retallic, a 17 year-old Automation Technician Youth Apprentice through the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC).
Ephrata Machinery invited AJAC to their machine to tell Noah’s story on how he became involved in manufacturing and his desire to grow within the industry.