“Youth Apprenticeships add more layers of opportunities to CTE courses which attract students who are looking for multiple post-secondary options, equivalent core academic credits, college credits, and paid employment experience with advancement.” – Maija Thiel, Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director for the Puyallup School District.

Is Your School Apprenticeship Ready?

The Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) has developed Youth Apprenticeship programs in the occupation of Production Technician and Automation Technician. These apprenticeships are 2,000 hours of paid on-the-Job (OJT) training and 3 college-level classes — leading to a high school diploma, journey-level certification and college certificate.

Below you will find information related to schools that would like to implement AJAC’s Youth Apprenticeship program for their community.

To be apprenticeship ready, please confirm that you meet the following requirements:

  • Do you have at least 3 aerospace or advanced manufacturing companies
    on your advisory board and in your community who are interested in
    youth apprenticeship?
  • Are you able to help convene local companies that will support youth
  • Do you currently have a manufacturing program and a machine shop or
    facility in your school district? This may include manual machining, CNC
    machining, robotics, production engineering, and fabrication.

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. Automation technicians perform routine diagnostic checks on automated systems, monitor automated systems, isolate problems and perform repairs. If a problem occurs, the technician needs to be able to troubleshoot the issue and determine if the problem is mechanical, electrical or from the computer systems controlling the process.

Automation technicians design and service control systems ranging from electromechanical devices and systems to high-speed robotics and PLCs.

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.

Youth Apprenticeship classes can be held at the high school, college, or local manufacturing shop—whichever space has the necessary equipment for the classroom learning. Classes are typically one or two days a week for four hours and taught by subject matter experts identified by AJAC and the school district.

Subject matter experts may include your own qualified instructors, college instructors, or industry experts.

In order for a student to be an eligible registered apprentice, he or she must be employed by a manufacturing company who has signed on with AJAC as a training agent. Depending on the agreement with the employer, students may work between 10-20 hours during the school week and potentially full-time during the summer. Employers commit to a base wage rate and subsequent raises based on
satisfactory performance on the job.

If your school is Apprenticeship Ready, contact Bri Durham to set up an initial meeting. This program requires a partnership between a school district, local community/technical college, and AJAC. AJAC will help coordinate all necessary partners and broker a process to ensure successful program launch.

AJAC currently offers the Production Technician (Youth) Apprenticeship Program at the following Washington State School Districts and/or High Schools:

  • West Valley School District
  • Tacoma School District
  • Snohomish School District
  • Everett School District
  • Sno-Isle Skills Center
  • Puyallup High School
  • Renton School District
  • Cascadia Skills Center
  • Spokane School District

AJAC currently offers the Automation Technician (Youth) Apprenticeship Program at the following Washington State School Districts and/or High Schools:

  • Yakima Valley Tech
  • Columbia Basin Tech
  • Emerald Ridge High School