The Wells Fargo Foundation, established in the U.S. as a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization in 1980, is the company’s primary philanthropic funding arm. In 2018, the foundation donated nearly half a billion dollars to 11,000 nonprofit organizations, including the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC).
AJAC is also a non-profit 501(c)(3) that provides registered apprenticeship training to adult workers and high school youth, and a pre-apprenticeship training program (Manufacturing Academy), which prepares job seekers for employment and apprenticeship opportunities across the state of Washington in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries. Students who enroll in AJAC’s Manufacturing Academy (MA) are looking to kick start their future by attaining a full-time job and continued career training through AJAC’s available apprenticeship programs leading to sustainable income, and some semblance of financial freedom. A new partnership between Wells Fargo and AJAC provides more than just manufacturing training to help students get closer to their goals.
Dwight J. Prevo, Vice President of Wells Fargo’s Community Relations West Region, spoke about the importance of learning financial literacy skills, especially for individuals starting new career paths. Prevo states, “As the majority of AJAC participants will start career opportunities that provide wages, providing financial education is a way to ensure that recipients of the instruction understand how money works, and how to effectively utilize money as a way to accomplish their short and long term objectives.”\
Local Wells Fargo team members use the Wells Fargo At WorkSM program to help AJAC apprentices establish healthy financial habits and achieve greater financial stability and success. The program also allows students to participate in financial health webinars and conversations with a phone banker on topics like budgeting, saving, or strengthening credit. Wells Fargo’s free, non-commercial Hands on Banking program is an additional resource with a bevy of interactive financial wellness courses. Students enrolled in MA will receive the one-hour training twice a month for the duration of the program and learn skills ranging from basic finance to managing more advanced financial resources. Zuleima Flores, a summer graduate from AJAC’s Kent Manufacturing Academy, explained the class “was a great time to reflect on pursuing a career and one day owning my own home.”
Lynn Strickland, Executive Director of AJAC, feels a responsibility for educators to take students future into consideration, “AJAC’s goal is to help people prepare for a prosperous future and through our partnership with Wells Fargo, students will now be more prepared to make healthy financial decisions on their pathway to apprenticeship.”
Please welcome our first intern since 2014, Eytan Raphaely! Eytan studied marketing communications at the University of Washington and recently graduated this past June. His role at AJAC will focus on helping the marketing department with a wide variety of projects including social media, newsletter, storytelling, outreach and website development. Eytan will also assist the Youth Apprenticeship department during their recruitment in the winter and spring.
What’s the best part of your job so far?
The best part of my new job has been meeting all the new people. I’ve only known the people around the office for a few days but I can honestly say these are some of the kindest and most knowledgeable people I know.
What is your favorite part about working in the non-profit industry?
My favorite part of working at a non-profit is knowing that my job directly influences changing people’s lives for the better.
If you could live in a book, a TV show or movie, what would it be?
I would live in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender. If you don’t know, it’s one of the best shows ever created and should be required viewing in all homes across the world.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Most days I like to unwind from work by playing basketball, reading, playing video games or writing.
Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
People tell me I look like a mix between Pete Davidson and Francisco Lachowoski.
Please welcome the newest addition to the AJAC family, John Manning. John has been hired as our new Apprenticeship Navigator serving primarily King and Pierce Counties. John will help navigate job seekers into AJAC’s portfolio of programs including our pre-apprenticeship program, Manufacturing Academy and one of nine adult apprenticeship programs. Get to know John below!
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
Barack Obama. The amazing impact he has made on our world has let us know that we must keep fighting the good fight.
What’s the best part of your job so far?
At AJAC I love that I have supportive coworkers that are available to inform, advise and work with me.
What’s the best joke you’ve ever heard?
My college roommates 7 year old sister told us a version of the below joke 30 years ago and I still tell it.
A duck walks into a store and says, “Give me some Chapstick.”
The clerk says, “How are you going to pay for that?”
“Oh, just put it on my bill.”
If you could bring one musician back from the dead, who would it be and why?
Bob Marley. His music is timeless. Just think what else he could have shared with us.
If you could live in a book, TV show or movie, what would it be?
Californication. Hank Moody seems like a blast.
AJAC is thrilled to announce 10 new partnerships and grant funding we have received to help support local partners and workforce development initiatives to advance apprenticeships here in Washington State.
Seattle Jobs Initiative/JPMorgan Chase: In August 2018 AJAC began a new partnership with Seattle Jobs Initiative through funding from JPMorgan Chase to launch its CareerReady program for manufacturing. CareerReady is a collective impact initiative focused on expanding access for low-income South King County residents to jobs and careers in manufacturing. JPMC resources are enabling SJI to leverage its Basic Food Employment Training (BFET) dollars to connect South King County residents to pre-apprenticeship orientation and training at AJAC’s Kent Training Center, and to support these individuals through completion of AJAC’s Manufacturing Academy pre-apprenticeship and into next-step jobs and careers. SJI is contracting with Partners in Employment, TRAC Associates, Pioneer Industries and the Multi-Service Center to implement this work.
Wells Fargo: In Fall 2018, AJAC entered into a partnership with Wells Fargo to provide financial education to Manufacturing Academy participants. Wells Fargo volunteers from local branch offices attend MA classes in Kent, South Seattle College’s Georgetown Campus, and Bates Technical College one hour per week to provide these classes. In February 2019, Wells Fargo awarded a one-year $10,000 grant to support this work, specifically around expanding access to MA training in South King County for opportunity youth – young adults who are not currently in school or working, or are under-employed in a low-wage job.
Aspen Institute: In March 2019, AJAC was awarded a two-year $50,000 grant to expand access to MA and Youth Apprenticeship pathways for opportunity youth. The goal of the grant is to integrate high school completion strategies into AJAC’s pre-apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship pathways, and to connect at least 50 opportunity youth to these programs over the 2-year period. Learn more.
Generation Work/Annie E Casey Foundation: AJAC has partnered with Port Jobs, SkillUp Washington, ANEW, South Seattle College, the Roadmap Project, the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County and many others over the past 3 years to build stronger partnerships with the youth re-engagement community in South King County to build awareness and stronger connections to apprenticeship pathways for opportunity youth. Generation Work resources are helping support AJAC’s opportunity youth-focused recruitment efforts for Manufacturing Academy in Seattle and Kent. Seattle was one of 5 communities across the country to be awarded these funds. Learn more.
Kaiser Permanente: The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County was awarded a three-year grant from Kaiser Permanente to work with AJAC, the Puget Sound Education Service District, the Roadmap Project, and many others to build stronger regional infrastructure to connect out-of-school youth to apprenticeship pathways in the manufacturing, construction and healthcare industries. The grant will support the WDC and the Puget Sound ESD to build a business plan that can help mobilize state Open Doors funding for out-of-school youth into pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship pathways, and braid various public and private funding required to support student persistence and completion. Learn more.
Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA): AJAC partnered with the Construction Center of Excellence at Renton Technical College to successfully apply for a one-year grant from New America’s PAYA initiative, which seeks to expand registered youth apprenticeship pathways by building on existing programs and creating opportunities in new industries. The grant will support the creation of the King County Regional Youth Apprenticeship Consortium, which will focus on building regional capacity to grow this work while guiding state policy and practices and creating opportunity for scale and innovation with a focus on equity and access for youth. The award was one of nine grants awarded to partnerships across the country, out of a pool of over 220 applications from 49 states and Puerto Rico. Learn more.
City of Seattle Office of Economic Development: AJAC partnered with the Seattle Public Schools Skills Center and South Seattle College in a successful application to the City of Seattle for resources that will support AJAC youth apprentices at the Seattle Skills Center at Rainier Beach High School, and to promote CTE, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship pathways to Seattle high school students. Learn more.
Cities of Auburn and Renton Human Services Departments: AJAC was awarded resources from the cities of Auburn and Renton to recruit city residents into AJAC’s Manufacturing Academy pre-apprenticeship programs in Kent and Seattle.
Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Regions: AJAC is beginning a new partnership with Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Regions to launch a new Manufacturing Academy at Goodwill’s Milgard Work Opportunity Center. The training will be available to low-income Tacoma residents attending class at the Milgard Work Opportunity Center, but will also be available via remote learning technology to Goodwill locations in Yakima and Longview. Learn more.
City of Kent: The City of Kent recently awarded AJAC a Lodging Tax Grant to support the 2019 Washington State Youth Apprenticeship Signing Day. The grant dollars will help support travel and lodging for youth apprentices and their families who are traveling to the event from Eastern and Central Washington.
Family based. Good pay. Good benefits. Those were the three takeaways from students who toured Buyken Metal Products last Thursday as part of a nationwide celebration of manufacturing.
Manufacturing Day—occurring the first Friday of October—is meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers and create a dialogue about why manufacturing is in a better place than ever before.
Buyken Metal Products, an 80 year-old CNC, metal fabrication, and engineering shop, opened their doors on Thursday, October 4th to showcase, highlight and inform the Manufacturing Academy students about their company and what separates them from other manufacturers.
The Manufacturing Academy, sponsored by the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) offers a solid foundational career pathway into aerospace and advanced manufacturing apprenticeship opportunities. Upon completion, students will have the basic foundational skills to find gainful entry-level employment and may meet the minimum qualifications to pursue additional career pathways in advanced manufacturing through AJAC’s portfolio of apprenticeship programs.
“Buyken is continually advancing our technology and streamlining operations. We offer everything from general stamping and brake press operators to laser, punch and CNC operators and programmers,” said Laura Hawk, Buyken’s Operations Manager. “We are always open to looking for new people to add to our family to help make us better while we grow our business.”
14 students from the Manufacturing Academy class received presentations from Buyken about the history of their company, the various positions on the shop floor, and what they look for in future employees. Buyken, a partner in apprenticeship training, offers each employee opportunities to continue their professional development, whether it’s through apprenticeship classes or short-term training programs.
“The CEO was very inspiring and clearly has a great vision for the growth of the company,” said Daniel Cho, a 23 year-old Manufacturing Academy student from Kent, Washington. “He encourages cross training, education, and hands-on learning which is very good to see. The company seems like it really takes care of its ‘family’.”
Manufacturing Day is more than opening doors to the public, its focus is knocking down stereotypes about the industry that have plagued it for decades. For people who have never stepped inside a manufacturing facility before, there are preconceived ideas of what it may be like to work in the industry. For the students, it was nothing short of an irreplaceable experience.
“We hope students’ take away was a clearer sense of the processes, machines, responsibilities and opportunities in the manufacturing environment,” Hawk told the students.
“Buyken appreciates participating in the Manufacturing Day yearly to foster new interest in the manufacturing trades and give students a first-hand view of what they can expect in the metal fabrication workplace.”
For Cho, who has eight weeks left of his Manufacturing Academy class, hopes new pathways, such as those highlighted at Buyken, will bring a newfound interest to the trades, “I am excited for what the future holds for me in this class and my possible endeavors.”
You can learn more about AJAC’s registered apprenticeship preparation program at www.ManufacturingAcademy.org. AJAC is an industry-driven apprenticeship organization, founded on the belief that mastery occurs on the job. Through pre-apprenticeship, youth apprenticeship and adult apprenticeship, all people have the opportunity to earn competitive wages, find meaningful and fulfilling work, and pursue lifelong learning. AJAC currently serves over 350 apprentices and 250 employers across eight high-demand occupations.