Here is my update:
The example that I’ve chosen is called the Thyssenkrupp Youth Apprenticeship program. This program is offered by ThyssenKrupp Presta and ThyssenKrupp Crankshaft, and works in connection with the High Schools in Vermilion County, Illinois (where I live). It is a two year apprenticeship program, and offers the following benefits:
- College Credit at Danville Area Community College
- Opportunity to earn NIMS (National Institute for Metal Working Skills) Certification
- Opportunity to learn skills in an advanced manufacturing setting
- Interaction with several departments within the company
- Earn money as a high school Youth Apprentice with the opportunity to continue on as a full time employee upon successful completion of the program!
Here is some local news coverage on the program:
The perspective that I have with this program involves students who have worked in this program (or are going to work in this program). The students who are chosen to participate, take this program very seriously. They enjoy talking about their experiences and are usually inspiring others to apply for the opportunity. Not all who go through the program will decide to stay and work there, but the experiences they have had, working in a modern manufacturing setting is invaluable.
This program is hugely valuable for our community, and I genuinely wish there were other programs like this. What always intrigues me about this program is the students that I have who really struggle in the classroom, simply doing the classroom sort of stuff, but they will excel in this program. They not only enjoy the hands on learning, but have walked away from their time there, feeling like they have some hope for their futures. I have even seen several who have “stepped up” their classroom efforts, simply because they know that they need to maintain their grades in order to stay in the program. The ones who have decided to stay in the program to get full time jobs after they graduate, have learned, from a completely different perspective, the importance of an education.