“It’s really great to mentor somebody, especially at a young age. They’re so impressionable. They’re so eager to learn. They really want to be here. We’ve also seen a great impact the Youth Apprentices have had on our older machinists and assembly technicians here. It’s invigorated the workforce. The older apprentices have now started to mentor and use their mentorship skills on the younger new apprentices. They’ve really brought some life into our facility.” – Amanda Young, Operations Lead at Umbra Cuscinetti, Inc.
AJAC’s Production Technician (Youth) and Automation Technician (Youth) Apprenticeships 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.
Production Technicians (PT) set up, test, and adjust manufacturing machinery or equipment, using any combination of electrical, electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, or computer technologies. They also calibrate or adjust equipment to ensure quality production, using tools such as calipers, micrometers, height gauges, protractors, or other specified equipment.
PTs operate and maintain machinery in the machine shop; cut and prepare work; maintain traceability from first to final cut with paperwork and job number; meet internal due dates and deadlines; and maintain a clean, neat and safe machine shop.
Lastly, PTs load materials into production equipment. Remove products or workpieces from production equipment. Operate machinery used in the production process, or assist machine operators. They will place products in equipment or on work surfaces for further processing, inspecting, or wrapping and examine products to verify conformance to quality standards.
Automation technicians repair and maintain the computer-controlled systems and robotic devices used within industrial and commercial facilities to reduce human intervention and maximize efficiency. Their duties require knowledge of electronics, mechanics, pneumatics and computers.
Apprenticeships are the ideal vehicle to teach young adults job-ready skills through mentorship while providing quality education and creating productive, lifelong learners.
Youth apprentices are allowed to work in prohibited occupations because they meet the criteria of “student learner”. A youth apprentice must meet all the following criteria:
- They are enrolled in a state approved youth apprenticeship program.
- They are enrolled in school and receiving school credit for program participation.
- They receive appropriate safety instruction at the school and at the workplace.
- The work performed is under direct supervision of a qualified and experienced employee.
- The work performed in any work process that is declared hazardous is incidental to their training AND is for intermittent and short periods of time.
- There is a schedule of work process to be performed on the job may vary by employer.
Additionally, should you choose to participate in the Youth Apprenticeship Program, the same provisions apply for workers’ compensation coverage for the youth apprentice.
Employers who have signed an AJAC Training Agent agreement or those who are interested in becoming an AJAC employer can participate.
If you are interested in starting AJAC’s Youth Apprenticeship Program at your company, please complete this online form.
Please note: AJAC is a Washington State funded organization. We only serve employers who are currently working in the state of Washington.
The Production Technician apprenticeship is a no-cost program for AJAC employers. Pay will vary by employer and number of hours worked.
Progress of apprentices will be tracked by the mentor on a monthly basis based on core competencies. This progress will be reviewed by program staff to ensure satisfactory performance on-the-job.
Apprentices will take class one day a week for four hours. It is up to the employer and the student to work out an appropriate work schedule that adheres to L&I guidelines and school district schedule.
During the school year, apprentices can work 10-20 hours per week. Summer hours can be expanded to full time.
Yes! AJAC’s Production Technician youth apprenticeship program develops skills and core-competencies for apprentices to move into machining, metal fabrication, industrial maintenance and plastic injection molding.
- Identify key mentors in your company willing to offer assistance and guidance to youth as they pursue this apprenticeship program.
- Employ youth in an entry-level position and allow them to work for 10 to 20 hours per week during the school year, and 40 hours a week during the summer.
- Pay the apprentices a minimum wage or higher.
- Ensure a safe work environment for the apprentice.
- Conduct training as needed on-the-job to aid in student exposure in the industry.
- Provide feedback on the youths’ performance on a quarterly basis, so we can support the youth and the employer as they progress in their training.