The Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC), Skills Inc. and the City of Auburn hosted an open house on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at our Auburn South Facility. The event was to celebrate the launch of AJAC’s inaugural Precision Metal Fabrication (PMF) Apprenticeship Class taking place at Skills Inc. A Precision Metal Fabricator cuts, bends, forms and assembles metal parts, and creates specialized components for products such as aerospace parts, medical devices, etc.
This is AJAC’s first apprenticeship class hosted at an employer’s facility. AJAC and Skills Inc. are giving area aerospace and manufacturing apprentices the opportunity to take their evening class directly in a workplace environment and earn credit through South Seattle College (SSC). In January 2014, Skills Inc. opened its classroom doors one evening a week to its employees and area companies. Traditionally, these classes are hosted by a community/technical college or high school and taught by AJAC instructors. AJAC’s two year PMF apprenticeship program combines college-level classroom instruction with supervised on-the-job training (OJT) experience.
“AJAC is excited to partner with Skills Inc. to create new training opportunities. This results in additional career pathways and contributes to a more skilled workforce in the Precision Metal Fabrication industry,” said Demetria “Lynn” Strickland, AJAC Interim Executive Director. “Skills Inc. works with the community including persons with disabilities to grow and expand their talents. Developing new and innovative ways to host our apprenticeship classes enables AJAC to continue addressing the current and near future skills gap. This partnership with Skills Inc., South Seattle College and our employers allows us to provide the new workforce generation with the skills and knowledge necessary for Washington State to remain competitive in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries.”
“Skills Inc.’s new joint venture with the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) will provide training for aerospace sheet metal mechanics–a trade that is in short supply. The two-year apprenticeship is a proven method for skill development,” stated Todd Dunnington, Skills Inc. CEO. “Opening our facility to AJAC is an example of our commitment to developing future talent. When we work together and focus on creating jobs while meeting industry needs, we create economic development and a lasting impact in the community.”
“We are thrilled with our partnership. Auburn used to be known as rail town and now we are known as an aerospace town and this program is a perfect fit for our city.” – Nancy Backus, Mayor
The event included tours of Skills Inc.’s Auburn South Facility, cake and refreshments to celebrate the partnership, networking with area employers, apprentices, elected officials, workforce development representatives and the Skills Inc. team, and featured speakers: Skills Inc. CEO Todd Dunnington, AJAC Interim Executive Director Demetria “Lynn” Strickland, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, General Manager for Auburn Site, Boeing Fabrication Mark Ross and AJAC Apprentice and Orion Industries Sheet Metal Technician Miley Molstadand.