Connecting Aerospace Interests

Inspire Award: Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee

PNAA’s Inspire Award honors businesses and individuals in the aerospace community that have shown exceptional creativity in working with schools to share the activities of manufacturing in an overall effort to cultivate interest and skills leading to aerospace careers. This year, PNAA’s Board of Directors awarded Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) the Inspire Award for its dedication to ensuring a pool of well-trained and knowledgeable workers that will help companies throughout the Northwest continue our great tradition of aerospace excellence.

AJAC 1AJAC launched in August 2008 after receiving funding from Washington State to skill-up the local aerospace and advanced manufacturers incumbent workforce. In the following years AJAC developed and implemented several high-growth, high-demand occupations including machinist, precision metal fabricator, industrial maintenance technician, tool & die maker, plastic process technician, aircraft maintenance technician and production technician. In April 2011, AJAC spearheaded the pre-apprenticeship program, the Manufacturing Academy, to serve unemployed and underemployed adults through 10 weeks of pre-employment training. Since its inception, the Manufacturing Academy has served six cities, five counties and hundreds of individuals across western Washington.

In June 2014, AJAC graduated its first group of homegrown apprentices, 21 machinists from 10 different companies. Since then AJAC has graduated 80 apprentices from 51 different companies.
In 2015, AJAC launched Washington State’s first youth aerospace and advanced manufacturing apprenticeship program offered to high school juniors and seniors. This Youth Apprenticeship Program is designed to offer students two high school credits, 15 tuition-free college credits and 2,000 paid on-the-job training hours from industry mentors. Starting in January 2017, the youth apprentices will begin their 2,000-hour Production Technician apprenticeship which, upon successful completion, directly articulates into three of AJAC’s in-demand apprenticeship programs.

AJAC2Most Notable Accomplishments

• Working with more than 200 Washington aerospace and advanced manufacturing companies
• Developing the state’s first youth apprenticeship program in partnership with Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, employers, school districts and technical colleges
• Expanding pre-apprenticeship training to six cities, five counties and graduating over 400 individuals with job-ready skills
• Developing and implementing 7 registered apprenticeship programs for employers:
     o Machinist
     o Tool & Die Maker
     o Precision Metal Fabricator
     o Industrial Maintenance Technician
     o Plastic Process Technician
     o Aircraft Maintenance Technician
     o Production Technician
• Offering training in 12 locations covering 10 counties in Washington State
• Supporting participating employers in 45 different cities throughout Washington State