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National Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program Certifies First Apprentices in IN

Jessica Schafer, a recent Industrial Manufacturing Technician graduate, uses a CNC machine at Amatrol

National Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program Certifies First Apprentices in Indiana

Amatrol became the first company in Indiana to graduate workers from Industrial Manufacturing Technician apprenticeships. In fact, three Amatrol employees – Beverly Garvin, Alyssa Wheatley, and Jessica Schafer – completed the apprenticeship program in March 2018. Three additional Amatrol employees are currently enrolled in the program with Amatrol looking to add even more apprentices.

The manufacturing skills covered by this US Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship allow Amatrol to build a flexible workforce that can move to wherever the greatest manufacturing need exists. Skills in this program include soldering, sheet metal fabrication, quality inspection, inventory control, CNC machining, and more. Amatrol manufactures products from a wide range of technical areas so a flexible, highly-skilled workforce is vital to the company’s success.

This apprenticeship, which graduates referred to as a “wonderful, life-changing experience” where someone can learn “all of the aspects of manufacturing,” produces certified Journeyworkers after completing 3,000 hours of specified, supervised work and instruction. At Amatrol, this was divided into 260+ classroom hours and 2700+ hours of hands-on, on-the-job training. Current and future apprentices will also receive MSSC Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification after completing the apprenticeship and passing required MSSC testing. The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council’s (MSSC) CPT certification, “addresses the core technical competencies of higher skilled production workers in all sectors of manufacturing.” The CPT certification is divided into four key areas: Safety, Quality Practices and Measurement, Manufacturing Processes and Production, and Maintenance Awareness.

These apprenticeships are beneficial to both companies and employees. Employees gain the recognition of a nationally-approved certification that verifies their skills and manufacturing acumen to potential employers. Employees are also paid for their work during the apprenticeship, which means they do not incur any debt for the training.  In turn, companies gain more flexible and skilled workers that can step into any gap in the manufacturing process and complete the work.

In his article “Solving the Skills Gap” that appeared in the National Governor’s Association newsletter, Amatrol President Paul Perkins said of the program, “(It) has enabled us to hire workers without prior manufacturing experience and quickly skill them up to productive status. It has been very motivational to the apprentices. Other companies in our area have now implemented the program and it is now starting in seven different high schools. This program fits well with both high school students and adults.”

Amatrol became involved in Industrial Manufacturing Technician program through its participation with LIFT. LIFT (Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow) is a public-private partnership to, “develop and deploy advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies, and implement education and training programs to prepare the workforce.” Amatrol is a participant in LIFT’s Operation Next, which equips future veterans for civilian careers by providing skills and credentials for the most in-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing.

Written by Karl Prinz

Karl Prinz is currently a Marketing Content Developer for Amatrol, Inc. Learn more about Amatrol and its technical training solutions, including eLearning, here and connect with Karl on Amatrol’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages.

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