Stacie Vaughan from Vaughan Co talks at Elma High School during the apprentice appreciation banquet.

Elma School District Celebrates Success of First AJAC Cohort

Five Students Receive Certificate of Achievement

The first cohort of youth apprentices receive their certificate's of achievement from AJAC.

Elma Apprentices By the Numbers

OJT Hours Completed
Earned By Elma Apprentices
Classroom Hours Completed

Last night marked a momentous occasion for the Elma School District as they came together to celebrate the achievements of their first cohort of AJAC Youth Apprentices who earned their 2,000-hour journey-level card. The event was a testament to the district’s commitment to providing students with valuable skills and opportunities for successful futures.

The celebration honored five exceptional students, all graduates of Elma High School. Four of these students are continuing their careers with the companies where they accumulated their apprenticeship hours, showcasing the effective synergy between education and industry. The fifth student, however, has chosen a different path, as he has enlisted in the Marines with aspirations of becoming a pilot.

The companies represented at the event were Sierra Pacific Industries, Vaughan Co., A&R Aviation Services, and Pacific Ironworks. These industry partners played a pivotal role in shaping the journey of these students, providing them with the hands-on experience needed to excel in their respective fields.

Notably, all five celebrated students not only graduated from Elma High School but also earned 15 tuition-free college credits through the AJAC program. This dual educational approach, blending practical experience with academic knowledge, sets these students on a trajectory for success in the competitive job market.

The event boasted an impressive turnout with approximately 100 attendees. Among them were representatives from the industry, proud family members, the current cohort of AJAC students, and prospective candidates eager to join the program in the upcoming year. The diverse audience reflected the widespread support and interest in the AJAC initiative, highlighting its impact on both students and the community.

Elma High School Youth Apprentice Celebration

Image 1 of 16

The evening’s speakers, including Elma SD CTE Director Christi Kershaw, Elma HS AJAC instructor Tyler Renz, Elma SD Superintendent Chris Nesmith, and industry partner Stacey Vaughan from Vaughan Co., shared inspiring insights. Additionally, Elma AJAC students Brandon Orcutt and Misael Oliveros Farias spoke about their personal journeys and the invaluable experiences gained through the program.

As the celebration concluded, Elma CTE Director Christi Kershaw took the opportunity to present information to 14 students and their families who expressed interest in participating in next year’s AJAC program. Representatives from AJAC were on hand to address questions and provide insights, emphasizing the program’s ongoing commitment to nurturing the next generation of skilled professionals.

The Elma School District’s successful inaugural celebration not only highlighted the accomplishments of its AJAC students but also underscored the importance of collaborative efforts between education and industry in preparing students for fulfilling and prosperous careers. With the foundation laid by programs like AJAC, the district continues to pave the way for a brighter future for its students and the community at large. 

2023 Elma Signing Day Ceremony