Students offerred apprenticeship program

John Boeckmann of Plymouth is a Machinist 3 for Curt Joa, Inc. in Sheboygan Falls. Like most machinists, he performs tasks like cutting raw material for the machine shop and works on the manual lathes and mills while machining simple parts. Like most machinists, he will eventually improve his skills and work his way up to CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines to create more precise and complicated products.

Unlike most machinists, John is currently a high school student at Plymouth High School.

Through the Youth Apprenticeship program at Lakeshore Technical College, Boeckmann began working at Curt Joa last June. During the summer he works 40 hours a week at his own choice and in the school year he works about 15 hours a week depending on homework and other activities.

“My plan for high school is to continue like any other student here,” says Boeckmann, a junior. “Once I complete High school, I would like to get a job at Curt Joa and I may even get into the adult apprentice program with them.

John is not alone in Sheboygan County when it comes to Youth Apprenticeship. The Lakeshore Technical College Youth Apprenticeship program recently completed their annual Information Nights for high school students interested in the 2014-15 Youth Apprenticeship program. For the third consecutive year, the Sheboygan County Youth Apprenticeship program is seeing large increases in both student apprentices and employer participation.

Representatives from employers like PolyVinyl, Johnsonville Sausage, Curt Joa, Inc., Kohler Company Sunny Ridge, and Libby’s House met students while students and their parents heard from current youth apprentice students.

Youth apprenticeship offer students the opportunity to explore future careers while they are still in high school and get paid for their time working at area employers. Youth apprenticeship offers one- and two-year programs in fields like Health, Hotel and Hospitality, Culinary, Finance, Mechanical Design, Welding, and Manufacturing.

The Sheboygan YA program has grown rapidly in the past few years, from 11 students in 2010-11 to 32 students in 2011-12. The program swelled to 68 students in the 2013-14 school year. After the recent information sessions, that number will rise to 85 for next school year. Area businesses are acknowledging the need to recruit future employees to occupations that will be in demand in the near future. The commitment from local high schools, LTC and area businesses will ensure that opportunities are available to students in the career fields which are most sought after by industries in the Sheboygan area.

“Many students have solidified their choice of occupation based upon their full one or two year experience and with the help of their mentor as well as the relevant classwork,” says Sheboygan YA Coordinator Jill Preissner. “It’s this combination of work and extra career related education that makes the Youth Apprenticeship Program a unique experience for many students in the Sheboygan Area.”

Boeckmann couldn’t agree more.

“The best part of my YA experience is learning hands on in a real life setting, he says. “I found that you can only learn so much in the classroom, and once you actually go out and do it, it’s much more fun and exciting to see parts that you have made go out into the world. I also love working with the machines and people there. Everyone is very helpful and kind to me whenever I have a question. I guess the best part of the YA is that I get to go out and do what I love most every day.

Those wishing additonal information are asked to contact Jill Preissner at (920) 693-1261 or jill.preissner@gotoltc.edu.

Lakeshore Technical College is a leading provider of technical education offering more than 120 career programs including associate degrees, technical diplomas, technical certificates and apprenticeship programs. In addition, LTC offers distance learning, customized training to business and industry, and continuing education opportunities.

Serving a 200,500-resident population in east central Wisconsin, LTC operates a main campus in Cleveland and additional learning sites at LTC Manitowoc, LTC Sheboygan, LTC-Plymouth Science & Technology Center, and the Lakeshore Culinary Institute. The college also operates Community Education Centers at area high schools in Elkhart Lake, Cedar Grove-Belgium, Howards Grove, Kiel, Mishicot, Oostburg, Plymouth, Random Lake, Reedsville, and Two Rivers; and 27 distance learning sites. LTC’s mission is to enrich lives and strengthen the economy by preparing a workforce that is skilled, diverse and flexible. On average, 87% of LTC graduates work in the LTC District which includes Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties, and parts of Calumet and Ozaukee Counties. Visit LTC at: www.gotoltc.edu.


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