Landscape image of the Yakima Valley in Yakima, Washington

Yakima Apprenticeships

Aerospace | Food Processing | Equipment Manufacturing | Fabrication | Plastics

Where Potential Meets Opportunity

Makeba, an AJAC Apprentice working at Thermoforming Systems in Union Gap, Washington

Helping Manufacturers Develop a Skilled Workforce

AJAC is Washington State’s largest non-profit training organization developed in 2008 to help manufacturing companies skill-up their workforce through registered apprenticeships. 

Since 2011, AJAC has worked closely with Yakima companies to develop adult and youth apprenticeship programs tailored to the needs of their workforce. 

As a state-funded organization, AJAC provides structured apprenticeships (a combination of on-the-job training and college-level classes) at no-cost to employers looking to find new talent, grow the skills of their employees, and retain the individuals who help create the products developed in the Yakima Valley. 

Meet Our 300+ Partnering Employers
Felix Garcia working in Thermoforming Systems

I am very proud of what I completed in this course. I haven’t been in a school setting for a long time, so when starting AJAC I was a bit hesitant I wouldn’t be up with the others. Once going and starting it, I started to feel like I was finally achieving something again. I also would like to give a shoutout to the first instructor we had. He was very inspiring to me because of his background and being open about anything we would need help with. He showed me that no matter what part of life your in or what you’ve been through, we can always turn for better and become something special.

Thermoforming Systems company logo

Felix Garcia

Industrial Manufacturing Technician

Thermoforming Systems

How Apprenticeship Works

AJAC works as your partner in moving the following steps to adoption. From consulting on OJT design, mentorship training, to hiring qualified adults and local youth—AJAC staff will guide you through this process at no-cost to you.

Get buy-in from leadership and supervisors to launch an AJAC apprenticeship at your company.
Sign a Training Agent agreement and become an official apprenticeship training provider.
Identify an apprenticeship coordinator to be the main point-of-contact for all apprenticeship-related activities
With AJAC's guidance, develop internal policies to recruit, train, and support your apprentices.
Identify the journey-level workers who will train the apprentices on-the-job.
Recruit your employees who want to advance their careers and skill up through apprenticeship.

Our Impact in Yakima Since 2011

OJT Hours Logged
Classroom Hours Attended

Programs Tailored to Yakima's Manufacturers

An AJAC apprentice operates a forklift at TSL (Thermoforming Systems) in Union Gap, Washington.

Industrial Manufacturing Technician

Industrial Manufacturing Technician is an 18-month, short-term apprenticeship designed for employers to skill-up their entry-level workers on the shop floor. 

On-the-Job Competencies:

  • Setting-Up and Operating Production Equipment
  • Quality Assurance, Inspection, and Measurement
  • Interpret Technical Information
  • Routine Machine Maintenance
  • Inventory Materials

Theory-Based Learning:

Industrial Manufacturing Technician apprentices receive 6 college-level classes designed to enhance their on-the-job training while delivering theory-based learning from industry professionals. Apprentices will learn:

  • Safety
  • Industrial Manufacturing Basics
  • Production Processes
  • Machine Maintenance
  • Shop Math
  • and Communications 
Learn More
Industrial Maintenance Technician apprentice

Industrial Maintenance Technician

Industrial Maintenance Technician is a robust, 4-year apprenticeship designed for employers to fast-track their maintenance technicians and mechanics while out in the field or inside their facility.

On-the-Job Competencies:

  • Machine Operations
  • Installation, Repair, and Maintenance of Machinery and Equipment

Theory-Based Learning: 

Industrial Maintenance Technician apprentices receive 12 college-level classes designed to enhance their on-the-job training while delivering theory-based learning from industry professionals. Apprentices will learn:

  • Engineering Drawings
  • Lifting & Rigging
  • Precision and Maintenance Machining
  • Machine Automation Theory
  • Materials, Processes and References
  • Maintenance Welding
  • Math for Industrial Maintenance
  • Electrical, Mechanical, Hydraulic, and Pneumatic System
Learn More

Additional Yakima Training Programs

In addition to our Industrial Manufacturing Technician and Industrial Maintenance Technician programs, AJAC also offers a Logistics Specialist, Operations Specialist, Industrial Machine Operator, and Plastic Injection Molding apprenticeship program for Yakima employers.

Partnership Benefits

Hands Shaking employer Benefits Icon

Employer Benefits

  • Programs available to all employers regardless of company size, sub-sector, or union affiliation.
  • Training customized to your needs, on your equipment, using your work processes.
  • College-accredited classes for your apprentices.
  • Hiring pipelines to fill entry-level positions including high school students and veterans.
  • Grant funding available to employers and apprentices.
  • Subject Matter Expert consultations.
Value of Apprenticeship
Financial Aid For Apprentices

Financial Aid for Yakima Apprentices

Distributed for Yakima Apprentices

Starting in 2021, AJAC partnered with the Washington College Grant for Apprentices to offer financial aid for individuals facing obstacles during their time in our program.

Financial Aid may be available to assist active apprentices with the costs associated with their apprenticeship program including:

  • Tuition
  • Supplies
  • Food & Housing
  • Transportation to and from their college-level classes.
Financial Aid for Apprentices

Companies We're Proud to Partner With

Food processing apprentice employer
Agri Beef Food processing apprentice employer
Food processing apprentice employer
Magic Metals: Precision Metal Fabrication
TSL: Thermoforming Systems LLC
Triumph company logo
Pexco Aerospace
Van Doren Sales logo
Rankin Equipment company logo
IPL Macro
Heather Collins from AJAC and Andrew Norman from Pexco Aerospace discuss training programs at Pexco Aerospace

We're Ready to Help

Heather began working at AJAC in 2020 as a Regional Program Manager—focusing her efforts on educating local employers on the advantages of apprenticeship programs and ensuring companies and their employees are well-prepared for success.

If you’re interested in learning more about programs available in Yakima please connect with Heather and she can guide your company through the entire process from identifying apprentices and OJT consultation to financial aid opportunities and our theory-based learning.