The Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA) invited AJAC and Tool Gauge to their Factory Friday Tour event to discuss workforce training solutions including registered apprenticeship programs for advanced manufacturing. The discussion included three AJAC apprentices from Tool Gauge, who expanded on their experience in the program, how it has fast-tracked their career, and the benefits for becoming a registered apprentice.
A special thank you to PNAA for inviting AJAC to this event and Tool Gauge for their continued partnership with our apprenticeship programs.
Tracey Turcotte, AJAC’s Youth Apprenticeship Manager held an information session for prospective Youth Apprentices interested in joining our programs for the 2021-2022 school year.
AJAC currently operates two registered Youth Apprenticeship programs for youth. Both the Production Technician (Youth) and Automation Technician (Youth) are 2,000 hour programs designed for high school juniors and seniors to develop career-ready skills in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries. These apprenticeship programs combine paid on-the-job training at an AJAC employer and college-level classroom instruction which can lead to a high school diploma, journey-level card and short-term college certificate.
AJAC has restructured our Youth Apprenticeship program due to the COVID-19 global pandemic to ensure our students and apprentices can maximize the opportunity to participate while maintaining safety guidelines and taking any necessary precautions.
AJAC has developed 3 pathways for prospective students interested in participating in the 2021 school year. These pathways provide flexibility to our school districts, students, and employers for different levels of engagement.
To learn more about AJAC’s Youth Apprenticeship program including how you can enroll for this coming year, please visit: https://www.ajactraining.org/youth/
Meet Connor Snell, a Production Technician (Youth Apprentice) through the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC).
Connor launched his career in manufacturing after receiving an offer from WEMCO, Inc., a Spokane-based manufacturer that specializes in the design, engineering, and manufacturing of overhead cranes for material handling, automated aerospace tooling, precision fabrication, and complex CNC machining.
Connor attended Shadle Park High School in Spokane, where was inspired by his shop teacher to pursue a career in the region’s advanced manufacturing industries.
Now in his first full year, Connor has been given the opportunity to train with WEMCO’s top machinist and fabricators, while learning the theory behind his work during AJAC’s apprenticeship classes.
Connor is expected to graduate from his apprenticeship in 2022, with goals of enrolling in AJAC’s four-year machinist apprenticeship program upon completion of his Youth Apprenticeship.
To learn more about AJAC’s Youth Apprenticeship program, please visit: https://www.ajactraining.org/youth/
Hector Martinez enrolled in AJAC’s two-year Automation Technician (Youth) Apprenticeship program in 2019 after receiving an offer from Yakima Chief Hops. Hector went to Toppenish High School and was also enrolled in Yakima Valley Tech’s automation program where he learned about AJAC’s apprenticeship.
The South Central Washington STEM Network featured Hector in their 2021 February Newsletter as their “Apprenticeship Spotlight”.
You can read the entire newsletter here.
About the South Central Washington STEM Network:
The South Central Washington STEM Network is comprised of leaders from the worlds of education, business, and industry in Yakima and Kittitas counties and portions of Grant and Klickitat counties who are dedicated to developing the learning and career opportunities within our region in the expanding areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
America’s youngest workers, particularly young adults of color, are facing the most dire employment prospects since the Great Depression. As our nation looks toward recovery, and policymakers and investors seek strategies to build stronger connections to economic opportunity for young workers of color, let’s highlight the promise of work-based learning (WBL) opportunities.
In a new research report by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program, “Unpacking the Work of Work-Based Learning,” authors Ranita Jain and Vivian Vázquez describe how four organizations involved with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Generation Work initiative—Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee in Seattle, District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund in Philadelphia, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana in Indianapolis, and PowerCorpsPHL in Philadelphia—engage with young adults and employers to design and manage WBL opportunities.
WBL can help young adults of color get the experience, education, credentials, and relationships necessary to succeed in the workforce, now and in the future. And it can provide them an entry point into jobs in industries where they have been historically underrepresented.
Read/Download Report Here.
Meet Noah Retallic, a 17 year-old Automation Technician Youth Apprentice through the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC).
Noah enrolled in the Youth Apprenticeship in Spring 2020 and immediately began his on-the-job training (OJT) at Ephrata Machinery in Ephrata, Washington—a rural community in Eastern Washington.
This fall, Noah will begin his apprenticeship classes through Columbia Basin Tech (credited via Big Bend Community College) while continuing his 2,000 hours of OJT.
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.
AJAC hosted two Youth Apprenticeship Webinars to better connect students, parents, and counselors with our next cohorts kicking off Summer 2020.
During the webinars we discuss the following: program benefits, on-the-job training, related supplemental instruction, updated timelines, expectations, the hiring process, and how to apply.
Below you will find our Automation Technician and Production Technician webinars. If you have any questions you can visit our Youth Apprenticeship web page or contact us directly.
Automation Technician Webinar
Recorded on May 12, 2020
Production Technician Webinar
Recorded on May 14, 2020
Meet LaDante Weems—a formerly incarcerated youth and now graduate of the AJAC Juvenile Rehabilitation Manufacturing Academy program—tells his story on becoming a full-time employee at Tech Marine. We at AJAC are so proud of how far LaDante has come since his incarnation and wish him nothing but continued success in his future.
On June 28, 2019, nearly 100 newly registered Youth Apprentices from across Washington State celebrated the beginning of their apprenticeship at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington. Signing Day brought together Washington State’s newest Youth Apprentices, their hiring employers and elected officials to celebrate a new opportunity for students to develop technical skills and valuable work experience for the state’s most robust industries.
Students signed their letters of intent along with new employers—signifying their commitment to start and complete a registered apprenticeship before they graduate high school. The 100 Youth Apprentices represented 12 school districts to work in a variety of industries including aerospace, advanced manufacturing, automotive, and culinary.
All Youth Apprentices during their program will receive 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training totaling up to $28,000, tuition free college classes, and valuable work experience—fast-tracking their careers in high-demand industries at the age of 16.
Related: View Photos from the 2019 Washington Youth Apprenticeship Signing Day Ceremony
About Youth Apprenticeship: Youth Apprenticeship transforms how education systems prepare young people to enter careers and launch into adulthood through mutually beneficial partnerships across schools, industry, and communities. These partnerships create opportunities for young people to finish high school, start their post-secondary education at little-to-no cost, complete paid work experience alongside a mentor, and start along a path that broadens their options for the future.