Beginning in 2014, AJAC partnered with the Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) to provide a 12-week pre-apprenticeship training to incarcerated young men living in a DCYF transitional living facility in Tacoma, WA.

The success of the DCYF partnership in Tacoma provided a blueprint for a pre-apprenticeship program design for opportunity youth, with funds from the Aspen Institute’s “Pathways to Careers”, provided critical capacity building and instructional support for AJAC to work with partners including Federal Way Public Schools, the Boys & Girls Club of King County, the YMCA Social Impact Center, and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC).

The Boys & Girls Club’s EX3 Teen Center in Federal Way was identified as a training location for opportunity youth associated with Federal Way Public School’s Truman Campus, which hosts two alternative high school programs, Open Doors at Truman and Career Academy at Truman, as well as the Internet Academy for grades K-12.

Over the last two years, AJAC has partnered with Federal Way Public School’s Truman Campus and the Federal Way Boys & Girls Club to offer AJAC’s Manufacturing Academy to FWPS students looking to explore different career paths and interests. AJAC’s 10-week pre-apprenticeship program covered technical skill development in shop math, blueprint reading, and precision measurement. Students also earned industry-recognized certifications in forklift, OSHA-10, CPR/First-Aid, and lean manufacturing.

Upon completion of the 10-week program, students will not only leave with technical manufacturing skills, but soft skills that can increase their chances of employability. AJAC’s instructors teach students how to work independently and in teams, how to develop an effective resume, and how to dress and act appropriately in the workplace.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of King County’s teen employment program, YouthForce, handled case management for the students through the Workforce Innovative and Opportunity Act (WIOA). “This program right here gets them a well-rounded approach to the workforce. They’re well-prepared. You’re not just getting manufacturing skills. You’re getting on-the job-skills, too,” said Brian Maina, Program Manager at Youth Force. “I see more responsible young people in my community, after going through programs like this, that essentially could expose youth to those jobs or opportunities that, otherwise, they wouldn’t have been exposed to were not for AJAC.”

To capitalize on the skills learned in class, AJAC works with its network of 300 advanced manufacturing employers to identify internship opportunities for students who wish to apply their knowledge of the trades to a real-world environment. Not only will students earn a weekly stipend by participating in the Manufacturing Academy program, but can continue to earn additional income through structured internships at local companies.

“I just see kids that are excited, excited about the outlook of what’s out there. It’s not just law school or medical school,” said Brian. “There’s trades that can be done and be a responsible young person that can provide for themselves and their families.”

To learn more about the Manufacturing Academy, please visit: https://www.ajactraining.org/apprenticeship/pre-apprenticeships/

AJAC Machinist apprentice, Mallory Martindale, was invited to speak on a panel regarding women in nontraditional occupations hosted by WANTO. Mallory is nearly complete with her four-year machining apprenticeship, and shared her experiences about how she started in the industry, and how local communities can improve their outreach strategies to encourage more women to pursue careers in manufacturing.

About WANTO: The Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant helps to expand pathways for women to enter and lead in all industries. In 2020, the WANTO grant program awarded $4,100,000 to six community-based organizations to increase women’s employment in apprenticeship programs and nontraditional occupations.

In-case you missed it, Mallory was recently interviewed by the Everett Herald to talk about her journey into manufacturing.

This article was originally written and published by the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF)

One of the many benefits of youth placement in least restrictive community facilities is the opportunity to receive education and vocational training in the community, sometimes under the wing of community members with lived experience. Derek Jones is a shining example of community members going above and beyond to support youth in our care.

Oakridge Community Facility provides youth with the opportunity to join the Manufacturing Academy, a 12-week pre-apprenticeship with certifications that prepare youth for entry-level positions in the manufacturing industry. Derek manages the program and provides hands-on instruction to the youth participants, but his support for the young people doesn’t end there.

“Derek is always willing to teach and help. If you don’t understand, he will meet you until you get it,” said one youth.

Derek is a mentor, confidant, and friend to every young person that crosses his path. He is passionate about not only teaching youth vocational skills but also providing a safe space where they can truly flourish and grow. He talks with youth about his experiences with life after release, fatherhood, and responsibility while encouraging them to transform their lives for the better.

“He has had a huge impact on my life because he was always willing to help me when I needed guidance or when I needed someone to talk to,” said another youth.

Derek’s instruction and impact have been felt throughout the many Manufacturing Academy cohorts of young adults who he continues to mentor even after their release from Juvenile Rehabilitation.

You can read the entire article on DYCF’s blog here

The Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) is excited to offer a new CNC Programmer Apprenticeship this spring! This program combines on-the-job training (OJT) with evening classes one night a week. AJAC apprentices will take 1 class per quarter, 3 quarters per year, for 3 years (45 total credits). If you have not completed AJAC’s 4-year machinist apprenticeship program, this is a 3-year, 6,000 hour program. This program is accredited through a local community or technical college giving you the opportunity to earn college credits.

Become A Journey-Level Programmer

Students in the AJAC CNC Programmer Apprenticeship will learn to use CAD and CAM fundamentals to design for manufacturability (develop tooling). Students will gain a thorough understanding of the underlying manufacturing processes that are essential to developing a part program; they will know how to build a part and will understand the role of the CNC Programmer in a team and an organization. In Year 3, students will learn 2-axis, 3-axis, and 4-axis CAM tool paths for mill and lathe as well as advanced CNC Programming techniques.

Apprentice Eligibility

This program is designed as a training for journey level Machinists with two entry points. It has been structured as a 4,000 hour program for journey-level machinist graduates or those with a college certificate/degree.

For individuals with at least 5 years of proven machining experience, this is a 6,000 hour program to accommodate experienced Machinists achieving their journey level status through work experience but lacking formal academic preparation.

Based on subject matter experts and employer recommendations, the following is the candidate eligibility criteria:

  1. Industry Trained | 5+ Years of Proven Machining Experience. Eligible for participation includes requirement to take all 9 classes and complete 6,000 hours of OJT.
  2. College Certificate or Degree + Industry Trained | 5 Years of Experience/Certificate or Degree. Credit for up to 3 classes of the first year’s coursework and 2,000 OJT Hours.
  3. Apprenticeship Completion: Journey-Level Machinist. Automatically awarded first year course work (3 classes) and 2,000 OJT Hours.

CNC Programmer Entry Points

The following table is a breakdown of required (X) RSI Classes for each eligible participant category. View a PDF version of this table here.

Related Supplemental Instruction

CNC Programmer apprentices will take up to 9 college-level classes (450) hours designed by AJAC’s subject matter experts. Class is held one night a week for 4 hours during the fall, winter, and spring (summers off). Classes will vary between in-person and online learning. Each class is worth 5 college credits totaling up to 45 credits upon completion.

CNC Programmer Classes

This apprenticeship provides students the opportunity to learn critical programming skills covering the following subject areas:

  • Technical Drawings, GD&T, and Precision Fits
  • Shop Algebra, Applied Geometry and Trigonometry
  • CAD Fundamentals & Design for Manufacturability
  • Manufacturing Process Related to Project Management
  • Basic Tool Path for Mill & Lathe
  • Multi Axis/Indexing
  • Advanced CNC Programming Techniques

On-the-Job Training Competencies Learned

The graphic above is a guide of tasks and hours for the on-the-job training portion of the program. The 6,000 hours will be completed over the course of the apprenticeship.

We understand this may not be a full-time role for apprentices, as they will be splitting their time between shop and programming. Apprentices have flexibility over the course of the program to complete the guide of tasks and hours.  The apprentice shall be instructed and trained in all operations and methods customarily used on the various machines.

Cost & College Tuition

In Washington State, when you engage in apprenticeship, college tuition is reduced by 50%. In most cases that means classes cost around $275 per quarter, 9 classes total. Roughly $2,475 out-of-pocket cost per apprentice for the entirety of the program.

For AJAC machinist graduates, the cost will be around $1,650. 

Enroll Today!

To reserve your spot in AJAC’s first CNC Programmer Apprenticeship, please complete our online application. After you have submitted your information, an AJAC representative will contact you for next steps.

As a statewide, nonprofit 501(c)(3) aerospace and advanced manufacturing registered apprenticeship organization, AJAC raises public and private resources through grants and contracts on behalf of our mission to develop, implement and increase access to registered apprenticeships. AJAC is excited to announce the following new grants and partnerships which will expand apprenticeship and training opportunities to diverse populations  and underserved communities across Washington State.

Ballmer Group: AJAC was awarded a three year, $750,000 grant to support a new position at AJAC to engage directly with the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) and financial aid offices at community and technical colleges across Washington State to connect AJAC apprentices and pre-apprentices to new public financial aid resources such as the Washington College Grant and the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship.

Career Launch Endorsement: AJAC recently enhanced its Manufacturing Academy apprenticeship preparation program to include a 3-month paid On-the-Job Training experience for out-of-school and opportunity youth, ages 16-29. In June, the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges endorsed this enhanced Advanced Manufacturing Academy (AMA) as a new Career Launch program, which will increase AJAC’s ability to partner with schools, colleges and workforce development councils across Washington State to better connect youth people to aerospace and advanced manufacturing apprenticeship pathways.

Career Connect Washington Intermediary Round 4: AJAC was awarded a one year, $250,000 grant to support the statewide expansion of the AMA Career Launch program, specifically targeting King, Pierce, Spokane and Yakima counties. Grant resources will enhance AJAC’s ability to partner with Regional CCW Networks in each of those counties in order to expand access to manufacturing apprenticeship pathways for opportunity youth.

City of Kent – CARES Act & Port of Seattle: AJAC received two grants from the City of Kent to launch a new Manufacturing Employee Retention Program for Kent-based manufacturing companies who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The two grants, which include federal Department of Commerce CARES Act and local Port of Seattle resources, provides up to $2,200 in employee wage reimbursements to help ensure that eligible companies can remain competitive and employees receive training in safe work conditions while offering incentives to retain existing entry-level workers, hire new workers, and/or rehire those who were furloughed.

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation: AJAC entered into a new contract with the Department of Social and Human Services’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to serve youth between the ages of 16-21 with Individualized Education or 504 Plans, or other documented disabilities, in AJAC pre-apprenticeship and AMA Career Launch programs. Through this contract, AJAC plans to serve up to 125 DVR-eligible youth over a 2-year period in Work Readiness Training, Work-Based Learning, and paid Internships at partnering manufacturing companies.