Military Manufacturing Career Pathways

Transition with Confidence

WorkEx Logo
WorkEx Intern at Automatic Products

What is WorkEx Internship?

WorkEx is a strategic partnership between the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, Pacific Mountain WorkForce Development, AJAC, and partnering employers to offer structured internship opportunities for transitioning military members.

The WorkEx program acts as the approving authority for a customized, individual internship and is an approved Career Skills (CSP)/DoD SkillBridge program based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State.

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Machinist Training

WorkEx Internship Program Details

AJAC partners with the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce and dozens of manufacturing employers across Washington State to host internships supporting Military Service Members transitioning into Post-Service Careers.

AJAC Partner Employers understand the value in training, coaching, and mentoring service members within their organizations. Employers are already vetted, so the internship paperwork process is significantly expedited.

Completion of an internship, in most cases, leads to direct hire and post-service apprenticeship and education opportunities.

Our team can meet with you to help you better understand your internship options, set employment and training goals, and connect with an employer to start the internship planning process.

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Operation Next Advanced Manufacturing Certification Program logo
Student learns machining through Operation Next program at South Puget Sound Community College

What Is Operation Next?

Active duty transitioning service members can enroll at no-cost including tuition and fees which are paid for by the Department of Defense. Operation Next is a Department of Defense-funded and SkillBridge-approved program that provides military personnel, spouses, dependents, and veterans with free training in advanced manufacturing skills.

Upon completion of the program, students will have 7 weeks of hands-on machining experience plus an 8-week internship at a manufacturing host company that manufactures CNC parts. Service members attain NIMS certifications to begin their post-service-life as a CNC machinist.

For students who wish to become a registered apprentice, AJAC works with those individuals and connects them with our 300+ employers across Washington State.

South Puget Sound Community College Operation Next Student | AJAC

Operation Next Program Details

  • Work with computer numeric controlled (CNC) heavy machinery from set up to operation to produce parts and tools from metal, plastic, or other materials.
  • Perform proper set-up and calibration procedure for all equipment and make sure machines are well-maintained.
  • Adjust the machine to control speed, material feed and path of the cut, as well as make sure the machines are set-up properly, working well, and producing quality product.
  • Inspect the finished product to insure it is both manufactured to defined design geometry and tolerances and defect-free 
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