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Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee Newsletter
Summer 2011

Working with employers to develop the next generation of highly skilled advanced manufacturing workers for Washington State.

In This Issue
AJAC Machining Apprentices Graduated to Journey Level Status
AJAC is now on Flickr and Digg!
AJAC Expands its Apprenticeship Programs to the Tri-Cities
AJAC Travels Abroad to Build Awareness about Washington State's Aerospace Education and Training
AJAC Teams Up with Workforce Central Pierce County to Offer Manufacturing Academy
AJAC Partners with Spokane Educators and Industry Leaders to Create Aerospace Workshop for Students
AJAC is Looking for Machining and Manufacturing Instructors!
Events Calendar

AJAC Machining Apprentices Graduated to Journey Level Status

AJAC is excited to announce that four of its apprentices AJAC Graduating Apprentices - May 2011graduated on May 20, 2011 from AJAC's Machinist (aircraft-oriented) program!  Three work at Precision Machine Works and one works at Bradken. 


Bradken is proud to say that their apprentice has a great attitude, proven to be an asset and will turn out to be a top-notch journeyman. 


Precision Machine Works is pleased to say:


"Our Production Manager stated that this group of graduates has raised the bar.  The quality of these three graduating machinists is superior to what we've experienced in the past." 



AJAC is Currently looking to fill the following positions:


  • Office Assistant
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Marketing Intern


 If you are interested in joining the AJAC team, please visit our employment page to find out more about these positions. 

AJAC is now on Flickr and Digg!

AJAC is building its social network and now in addition to being on Facebook and YouTube, AJAC is also on Flickr and Digg.  Keep up to date on AJAC programs and news by following AJAC on:


  • Find us on Facebook Facebook- Find out about events AJAC is attending and other exciting information regarding AJAC's current programs.  Become a fan now!
  • View our videos on YouTube  YouTube - View several videos explaining the Fighting 147s - the Washington State Aviation Maintenance Technicians Schools (AMTS) Development Force led by Laura Hopkins, Executive Director of AJAC.  Become a fan now! 


AJAC Expands its Apprenticeship Programs to the Tri-Cities

AJAC will be launching another aircraft-oriented machining program in the fall, which will be at Columbia Basin CollegeThis will be AJAC's first program in the Tri-Cities area and sixth program overall. Other program locations include: Spokane, Tacoma, Everett and Seattle. In addition to machining, AJAC has designed and is developing training programs for nine other registered aerospace and advanced manufacturing occupations, such as composite manufacturing specialist, aircraft interiors assembly mechanic, aircraft mechanic airframe and maintenance machinist, etc.

"AJAC is excited to expand its apprenticeship program to the Tri-Cities area and work with CBC and employers to continue addressing Washington State's growing shortage of skilled aerospace and advanced manufacturing workers, said Laura Hopkins, Executive Director of AJAC. We are very appreciative of CBC's commitment to helping AJAC provide the next generation of tradespeople with the skills, knowledge and competencies needed to enable employers to produce the highest quality and most innovative products in the world."


AJAC's machining program at CBC will be taught to aircraft-oriented precision levels and give apprentices the opportunity to learn and/or enhance their knowledge of a variety of skills. These skills include: Math; CNC Technology; CAD/CAM; Inspection; Metallurgy and Advanced Materials; Cutting Tools; Conventional and Advanced Machining; and Print Reading. Apprentices are also introduced to other cutting edge technologies, such as Waterjet and Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM). Through this partnership with CBC, the college is offering AJAC utilization of its machine shop, classroom facilities and computer labs. In addition to aerospace, AJAC offers training for machining and its other occupations across a number of industries, including: advanced manufacturing, medical manufacturing, marine, automotive and agriculture.


Derek Brandes, Dean for Career & Technical Education at Columbia Basin College (CBC), said, "We are very excited to add the AJAC apprenticeship program to our offerings. It is a great opportunity to strengthen our technical programs and meet community needs."


AJAC will also be offering CBC use of its Advanced Inspection and Manufacturing Mobile Training Unit (AIM-MTU). This 53' classroom on wheels will provide apprenticeship training throughout the entire manufacturing process: product designing, programming, testing, setup, machining, inspection and reporting. It includes state-of-the-art manufacturing and inspection equipment, including: Computerized training stations - CAD, CAM and HAAS Simulators; Advanced Metrology Lab; 3-D Prototype Technology; Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) and more!


AJAC's industry-driven programs offer aerospace and advanced manufacturing employers the opportunity to build a well-qualified and experienced workforce by giving them a method to capture the knowledge and trade secrets of their master tradespeople. In the AJAC program, companies can either enroll current employees or identify new candidates to earn journey-level certification. These employees can be added to an existing AJAC program or if a company has 15 or more employees that need training, AJC can create a brand new program exclusively for that company.


To find out more information about how your company can participate in any of AJAC's apprenticeship programs, including the program at CBC or create a brand new one, please visit AJAC's website or contact AJAC at 509-533-8299 or info@ajactraining.org.




AJAC is Calling All Employers

in the Tri-Cities Area to


 Enroll Current or New Employees in AJAC's Fall Machining Apprenticeship Program 



AJAC's Machining program in the Tri-Cities will teach a variety of skills to aircraft-oriented precision levels:


  • CNC Technology
  • Cutting Tools
  • Inspection
  • Print Reading
  • Math
  • Conventional and Advanced Manufacturing
  • Metallurgy and Advanced Materials
  • Intro to Waterjet & Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)


To Find out  how your company can participate in AJAC's Machining Apprenticeship Program at CBC, contact us at 509-533-8299 or info@ajactrianing.org.


AJAC Travels Abroad to Build Awareness about Washington State's Aerospace Education and Training

In June, AJAC traveled across Europe with the Washington State aerospace delegation led by Gov. Chris Gregoire and State Commerce DireAJAC at Paris Air Show - Standing in Front of Boeing 747-800ctor, Rogers Weed.  The primary goal of the trip for AJAC was to encourage aerospace comp anies to expand or relocate their business to Washington State and share in the number one strength of Washington's aerospace industry: nearly 84,000 highly skilled workers. AJAC first arrived in Paris France for the 2011 Paris Air Show and proceeded to Hamburg, Germany; London, England; and Amsterdam, Netherlands to meet with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), aircraft manufacturers and EASA certified Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMT) schools/training centers.


AJAC traveled across Europe to accomplish the following:

  • Conduct negotiations, such as signing two memos of undAJAC Executive Director Signs MOUs with German Companieserstanding (MOU) to develop joint training initiatives to create new jobs for Washington's residents and generate new opportunities for the state's aerospace suppliers. Read more about these negotiations.
  • Strive towards the goal of recruiting aerospace and advanced manufacturing Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from around the nation and the world to relocate to or expand in Washington State.
  • Work towards bringing European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification to Washington State to equip Washington with the best AMTs in the nation. This will empower companies to compete internationally.
  • Bring Apprenticeship to the forefront of Washington State education
  • Perform research regarding the European apprenticeship models, their best practices and the key contacts for furthering partnerships
  • Take the lead to unite several Washington State aerospaceand manufacturing training and education organizations to prAmbassador's reception Paris Airshowesent the face of Air Washington, a newly forming and growing collaboration of these organizations that offer apprenticeship, certification training, contract training, degree programs, pre-apprenticeship and short-term training. Find out more about Air Washington. 
  • While in Europe, Air Washington:
    • Presented a united front to market Washington's aerospace education and training system for the purposes of:
      • Creating a presence in Europe across all levels of education Air Washington offers:
      • Working towards building more apprenticeship programs in Washington
    • Showcased how Washington's aerospace education and training capabilities will address the world's workforce shortage needs
    • Brought aerospace education and training to the forefront of recruiting efforts
    • Made European companies aware of Washington State as an option to find new suppliers or place to relocate for education and training needs

AJAC Achieved Every Goal Plus Several More Successes:

  • Formed a relationship with Safran, one of the largest aerospace manufacturers of aircraft, rocket engines and propulsion systems in the world. AJAC's goal for this partnership is to prAJAC Display at Paris Air Show - 2011ovide apprenticeship programs to all of Safran's subsidiaries in Washington State
  • Gained a better understanding of:
    • How EASA functions
    • What actions AJAC should take to bring EASA certification to Washington State
    • Who AJAC can communicate with at EASA on a regular basis
  • Discovered that AJAC's apprenticeship model is already emulating Europe's model that has been in practice for hundreds of years and is the training standard for 70% of their occupations
    • This will prove to be another selling point for European OEMs - AJAC's apprenticeship model will be similar to what they are accustomed to in their country
  • Generated awareness among a number of European organizations who invited AJAC to meetings during the trip
  • Strengthened relationships with the British American Chamber of Commerce and French American Chamber of Commerce
  • Developed strong relationships with the Washington State delegation to enhance economic development for the Washington aerospace industry. The delegation included government officials and representatives from education organizations and Washington State businesses.
  • Created a number of relationships that will further Washington State education, training and EASA efSchool Visit to the ROC in Tilburg, the Netherlandsforts:
    • Airbus - Learned how their training systems is set up and what best practices they use
    • Aviation Maintenance Technician schools (AMTS) - Learned how they operate under EASA within their country's civil aviation authority, how they structure their on-the-job training, incorporate apprenticeship and what best practices they use.


AJAC Teams Up with Workforce Central Pierce County to Offer Manufacturing Academy 


In April 2011, AJAC and Workforce Central Pierce County joined forces to offer unemployed and underemployed adults in the Pierce County area the opportunity to apply for a 10 week, 400 hour pre-employment training program called the Manufacturing Academy. In this program they gained the skills, knowledge, competencies and certifications in Green Manufacturing needed to secure employment in the advanced manufacturing field.   This program is similar to the GreenLight project, which was launched in October 2010 by AJAC, the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, South Seattle Community College, Manufacturing Industrial Council and several social service agencies and hiring companies.


Students qualified for the Manufacturing Academy if they:

  • graduated high school
  • were a displaced worker
  • demonstrated interest and aptitude in careers in manufacturing on a JobFit assessment exam
  • participated in soft skills training the first week of the program to learn about computer skills, time-management, leadership, employer expectations and team building
  • advanced to the interview stage conducted by a panel of local employers
  • selected by employers for the program

The first class of students, who were age, gender and ethnically diverse, started their 10 week pre-employment training on May 23 at Clover Park Technical College and graduated on August 5.   During the first week of the program, Workforce Central gave participants the ability to get their foot in an employer's door by teaching soft skills, including how to: effectively communicate, resolve conflicts, write a resume, search for a job and interview. During the remaining nine weeks at Bates Technical College, AJAC provided students with the hard skills and training needed to make them marketable in a competitive job market. Shannon Matson, AJAC Project Coordinator, managing the Manufacturing Academy program, says, "We [Workforce Central and AJAC] are allowing them [Manufacturing Academy   


The hard skills training AJAC provided included:

  • math - Basic, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry
  • applied physics and electrical
  • lean and Green training: Six Sigma and Lean English Essentials (LEE)
  • manufacturing related training and applied manufacturing principles, including introduction to common industry tools, safety training and math
  • sheet metal
  • soldering and welding
  • scissor lift
  • composites
  • blue print reading and technical drawing
  • certifications in First Aid/CPR, OSHA 10, MSDS, flagging, and forklifts

The resume writing portion of the program was two-fold. While Workforce Central helped participants build their resume with all of their past experience, AJAC showed them how to embed all of the learned industry relevant content (e.g., certifications) that is aligned with state standards for manufacturing competencies. AJAC taught students how all of the skills and abilities they learned can apply to an actual job site.  


Workforce Central's role did not stop after the first week. It continued to provide wrap around social service support, which included assistance with child care, transportation, negotiating unemployment insurance and any other social or economic barriers that would prevent students from participating in the program. In addition, Workforce Central also offered participants job placement assistance during and after the program. If a participant did not secure employment once the program ended, he/she was assigned a case worker who worked with their local industry partners that have shown program support. The goal is to reach 100% employment for the program.


While participating in the Manufacturing Academy, students were actively searching for a job and utilizing all of the resources both Workforce Central and AJAC provided. This proved to be quite successful, because after a year or more of receiving no call backs for job interviews, these students were finally called, only seven weeks into the program. Students were able to see a direct result of their participation. Together AJAC and Workforce Central helped to build each participant's confidence so they could prove to employers that they are dedicated and work ready.     Matson says "It's not about getting jobs, it's about starting a career with longevity. . . employers gain a well-qualified and motivated prospective applicant pool. We're building the workforce to support growth and innovation within the industry."


AJAC's Advanced Inspection and Manufacturing Mobile Training Unit (AIM-MTU)




Opportunities Available!


Sponsorship packages include a number of ways for your organization to gain exposure, such as:

  • Logo placement on:
    • both sides of the 53' AIM-MTU trailer
    • AIM-MTU marketing materials and web site
  • Invitation to events
  • Cross marketing opportunities 
  • Plus more!

Space is limited!  Only 2 of 8 Journey Level and 12 Apprentice Level sponsorships are remaining.


If you would like to begin marketing your organization through the AIM-MTU, check out our sponsorship packages or contact Megan Fiess at 206-388-9336 or  AIM-MTU@ajactraining.org



AJAC Partners with Spokane Educators and Industry Leaders to Create Aerospace Workshop for Students


Aerospace Workshop for Spokane Area High School StudentsAJAC and several other Spokane educators and industry leaders created a three-week aerospace workshop for Spokane area high school students to learn about careers in aviation maintenance, flight operations and air traffic control. The goal of this program is to increase awareness of careers in the aerospace industry and interest in pursuing those careers. This inaugural workshop took place June 20 to July 8 at Spokane Community College's Felts Field facility with side trips to the Spokane International Airport for flight simulation, weather and ground school instruction and some actual flight time. In addition to learning how an airplane flies, students were also taught how an airplane is built. Students participated in nine aviation maintenance classes where they learned how to rivet and drill sheet metal, work with composite materials, build airframes out of wood, construct boxes out of metal, etc.


This program was spearheaded by Trina Miller, MPA, Director of Workforce Development and Tech Prep at the Community Colleges of Spokane and Carol Weigand, Aerospace Coordinator at Spoke Community College.   


Kevin Quinn, AJAC's Lead Program DeveloperAJAC Booth at Aerospace Workshop for Spokane Area High School Students for Employer Outreach in Eastern Washington, participated in several monthly and weekly planning meetings in order to define the workshop's agenda and coordinate logistics. During the workshop, Quinn spoke to students about career opportunities available in the aerospace trades, such as machining and airframe mechanics, and how apprenticeship is a pathway to those careers. According to Quinn, several participants were very interested in what the trades and apprenticeship could offer them and were not even aware apprenticeship existed before this workshop.


Quinn believes the workshop's accomplishments were many. While it gave students hands-on, real-life experiences, it also made students aware of and excited about the variety of local aerospace career opportunities. In addition, it served as an avenue for AJAC to carry out its commitment to outreach to young people regarding the many career options apprenticeship can offer in the aerospace trades.


Quinn said, "This was a great opportunity for these young participants to explore career options in Aerospace. Some came to learn more about occupations they wanted to pursue. Some had no idea that these jobs even existed.  None of them knew we had an apprenticeship program for machinists, right here in Spokane.  All of them had a great time and it was a wonderful experience to spend time with them and tell them about apprenticeship opportunities. Of course, they loved the aero-props."

AJAC Outreaches to Veterans, Women and Students about the Value of Apprenticeship

In April, May, June and July, the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) hit the road to educate veterans, women and students about the many career opportunities available within the trades in the aerospace and manufacturing industries and how apprenticeship can help them realize those opportunities, leading to a very rewarding, long and lucrative career.


AJAC spoke to Veterans at the:

  • Soldiers and Family Job Fair at the Kent National Guard Armory in Kent. Approximately 275 National Guard, Veterans and family members attended this event.
  • 2011 Women Veterans Summit at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue that took place to provide veterans aWomen Veterans Summit - 2011n
    d current members of the armed forces comprehensive information regarding federal and state benefits and how to manage the challenges women veterans of all ages and services face today. Approximately 100 people attended. 

AJAC spoke to Women at the:

  • Washington Women in Trades Career Fair at FiWashington Women in Trades Career Fair - 2011sher Pavilion at Seattle Center in Seattle. In addition to speaking to students about the value of apprenticeship, AJAC also provided min-presentations on a Cessna cutaway prop engine and ran aero-prop races, challenging participants to launch their aero-prop the farthest to win an AJAC T-shirt.
  • Rat City Rollergirls' events and a Seattle Majestics' Football game. The Rat City Rollergirls (RCRG) is Seattle's premiere all-female, flat-track roller derby league. The Seattle Majestics is Washington State's only Women's tackle football team.  
  • Pizza, Pop and Powertools at ApprenticPizza, Pop and Powertools - 2011eship and Journeyman Training Center in Spokane, WA.  The purpose of this event was to give 8th grade girls the opportunity to explore, hands-on, the many career opportunities available in the trades.  Hands-on activities included heavy equipment, welding, sawing, operating a nail gun, and concrete shipper, painting and more!  AJAC invited Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) students from the Spokane Community College Aviation program to show attendees how to do a prop start and talked about the various methods of entering the trades. 

AJAC spoke to students at the:

  • Kent Phoenix Academy Apprenticeship Fair that was created for apprenticeship programs to make students aware of their career opportunities. Approximately 10 apprenticeship programs participated and 200 students attended. Kent Phoenix Academy is a non-traditional high school located within the Kent School District that utilizes a multi-level approach for engaging students that includes job shadows, internships, workshops, guest speakers, and field trips.
  • Alaska Airlines' Aviation Dayat the Alaska AirlineAlaska Airlines Aviation Day - 2011s Hangar in Seattle that was arranged to give Boy Scouts and middle school/high school students the opportunity to participate in aviation classes and activities to earn an aviation merit badge. In addition to hosting an informational booth, AJAC also brought a Cessna cutaway prop engine to give students a lesson on how it works.  Approximately 500 students attended.

Seattle Vocational Institute Career Fair

  • Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI) and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Construction and Professional Technical Career Fair in Seattle. Approximately 200 people, including SVI students and members of the community attended.
  • Washington Aerospace Scholars at theAJAC Presentation to Washington Aerospace Scholars at Museum of Flight Museum of Flight in Seattle. Laura Hopkins, Executive Director of AJAC engaged students by using a Cessna cutaway prop engine to demonstrate the types of occupations students could train for through AJAC's apprenticeship program. Hopkins also explained what type of airplane it powers and how it works.   These senior high school students from across Washington State are participating in a one week summer residency to design a human mission to Mars. To prepare for this summer residency, these students spent six months studying a NASA-designed distance learning curriculum.






Aug 15-Nov. 17  

2-5 p.m.


Puget Sound Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee Building


Find out More nformation

About ANEW: 


Apprenticeship & Non-Traditional Employment for Woment offers part-time, high quality training to help women enter non-traditional careers in construction trades and manufacturing.  ANEW's course is free for most attendees and funded by government grants and industry donations.


ANEW's 12 Week Core Training Includes:

  • OSHA 10 Industrial Safety
  • First Aid | CPR Certification
  • Basic Hand and Power Tool Operation and Safety
  • Trades Math
  • Blueprint Reading
  • Fitness & Strength Training
  • Flagger Certification
  • Forklift Certification
  • Community | Service Learning Projects, including Seattle-King County Habitat for Humanity sites.


  • 18 years old or older

  •  Reliable transportation (WA Driver's License Preferred)

  • Ability to Pass Drug Test
  • GED or High School Diploma


Teach Tech - Earn Your Bachelor's Degree in Technical Teaching

AJAC is Looking for Machining and Manufacturing Instructors!  

Share Your Knowldege and Skills with the Next Generation!


The Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) is currently recruiting:
  • Experienced MACHINISTS to teach Aircraft-Oriented Machining classes
  • Experienced people to teach Short-Term Manufacturing Basics classes

Teaching opportunities available in:
  • Seattle
  • Everett
  • Tacoma
  • Spokane
  • Pasco

  • Journey-level machinist or equivalent required
  • At least five years experience as a machinist or in advanced manufacturing preferred
  • Prior teaching or mentoring experience preferred 

Benefits include:

  • Competitive pay
  • Part-time/evening hours
  • Instructor training  
  • Opportunity to become an even more valuable resource to your industry


If you are interested in passing on your machining or manufacturing knowledge to the next generation while earning extra income or know someone who is, e-mail your resume and cover letter to instructors@ajactraining.org.


Events calendarAJAC Events Calendar


September 14-15, 2011

Governor's Aerospace Summit

Hosted by Aerospace Futures Alliance

ShoWare Sports Center
Kent, WA

More Information 


September 23, 2011

Washington Aerospace Job Opportunity and Career Expo 

Lynnwood Convention Center
Lynnwood, WA

More Information   


September 27, 2011 
Girls Learning about Manufacturing (GLAM)

Sponsored by AJAC 

AJAC Executive Director to attend mentoring luncheon

Columbia Basin College, Pasco, WA 


September 28, 2011

Camp Murray Job Fair for Veterans, National Guard, Reserve and Family Members

Camp Murray - Tacoma, WA

9 a.m.-2 p.m.

For more information, call: J9 Joint Service Support, Employment Transition Services at 253-512-8540

September 28-29, 2011 

9th Annual Smartmap Expo

Manufacturing Networking Event

Sponsored by AJAC

TRAC Center - Pasco, WA






















AJAC Mission

AJAC's Mission is to provide exceptional and responsive apprenticeships, innovative supporting signature training programs with cutting edge curriculum and highly effective trades trainers. 

AJAC offers a method for transferring the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills between generations of the workforce, thus promoting the value of contributing to the next generation. 

AJAC brings about a significant and lasting impact on the prosperity of Washington State, empowering its diverse population of residents to thrive as craftspeople and attain secure family wage jobs through: 

  • Dynamic career and educational pathways
  • Corresponding wrap around support services
  • Smooth pipelines connecting employers with the next generation of workers and  where preschool and K-12 students and their influencers see aerospace opportunities as viable career path options
  • Advocating for recognition and financial support of training in aerospace and manufacturing
  • Expanding the diversity of people entering the trades
  • Exploring opportunities for growth and collaborating with partners to form comprehensive solutions


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