New manufacturing pre-apprenticeship program to begin in Crawford County

by Aric Mitchell ([email protected]) 646 views 

The Crawford County Adult Education Center in Van Buren has announced a new industrial manufacturing technician pre-apprenticeship program authorized by the National Apprenticeship Training Foundation (NATF).

The program will roll out on March 27. Upon successful completion of the eight-week course, students will be guaranteed an interview with an area employer – most being industrial manufacturers, said Justin Goins, one of the program’s instructors and history teacher at Van Buren High School.

Goins told Talk Business & Politics on Wednesday (Feb. 21) the interviews will be for actual positions at participating companies, noting that confidentiality agreements would not allow disclosure of company names, but “most industrial employers in the area have shown interest in participating with us.”

“These jobs are not just a way to a quick buck either, but a viable path to continue your education and enjoy a career,” Goins said, adding that completion of a typical NATF apprenticeship results in a position that pays between $25 and $40 an hour.

“The jobs are going to differ across the board,” he continued. “You could have people working on mills, cutting metal and drilling plates for things, or working maintenance – an if-anything-breaks-down-they-go-and-fix-it sort of deal.”

The Center also is looking to add a pre-apprenticeship for electricians, but nothing has been finalized on that yet, Goins said.

The industrial manufacturing technician pre-apprenticeship will focus on OSHA 10 and CPR requirements, and it will deal with safety training, basic job skills, interviewing skills, team building activities, and troubleshooting techniques as well. Students will not need to have a high school diploma or GED, but they should be able to display mechanical aptitude, Goins said, adding that top students in the Center’s construction craft skills course will be particularly attractive candidates.

“However, the program is open to all applicants who display mechanical aptitude and score highly enough on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE).”

Students also must be able to pass a drug test.

Goins said student enrollment will cap at 30 students, and it will be open to individuals between the ages of 19 and 65. Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from the Center’s location at 605 Alma Boulevard Circle, and they will run from 5 to 8 p.m., with a strict on-time attendance policy.

The NATF is a training corporation that specializes in customizing training programs for employers and individuals throughout the United States, and many of the organization’s programs registered and certified through the U.S. Department of Labor. In June of 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the department to expand apprenticeship programs throughout the country.

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