There are many ways to learn new skills and knowledge. Some learn best from watching, but many retain the most skill and knowledge from hands-on learning and experience. If that’s the case, National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect opportunity to learn more about industries and gain valuable insight into what makes things happen. Matt Poischbeg, Vice President and General Manager at SEA-LECT Plastics in Everett, Washington values the ability to share knowledge and give education to the next generations. For him it’s a daily goal, and he looks forward to celebrating National Apprenticeship Week every year.
What is National Apprenticeship Week?
National Apprenticeship Week is a nationwide celebration that encourages industry and government leaders to open their doors and offer opportunities for discussions on labor, equity, and workforce education to the next generations. In 2022, we celebrate the 8th annual event the week of November 14th – 20th. NAW is an opportunity to showcase the successes and value of Registered Apprenticeship for re-building our economy, advancing racial and gender equity, and supporting underserved communities.
America’s workforce is continually aging, and as the baby boomer generation continues to retire, they are taking with them a lifetime of skills and expertise, leaving potential gaps in the labor force and a demand for younger, skilled workers. To compete in a global economy, employers need employees with increasingly specialized skills, and these employees are becoming hard to find and even harder to keep. NAW is an excellent opportunity to highlight how Registered Apprenticeship, a proven and industry-driven training model, provides a critical talent pipeline that can help to address some of our nation’s pressing workforce challenges such as rebuilding our country’s infrastructure, addressing critical supply chain demands, supporting a clean energy workforce, modernizing our cybersecurity response, and responding to economic issues.
During National Apprenticeship Week 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor will highlight the following key themes:
- Monday, Nov. 14: Registered Apprenticeship in New and Emerging Industries
- Tuesday, Nov. 15: Pre-Apprenticeship and Youth Apprenticeship
- Wednesday, Nov. 16: Expanding Registered Apprenticeship to Underserved Populations
- Thursday, Nov. 17: Women in Apprenticeship
- Friday, Nov. 18: Public Service Apprenticeship and Veterans in Apprenticeship
How Does SEA-LECT Plastics Offer Apprenticeships?
A growing shortage of skilled workers, coupled with increased demand, means that industry and the trades will need to work hard to attract and retain qualified candidates. Registered apprenticeships, where employees train under the direction of seasoned journey workers, is an excellent opportunity for SEA-LECT Plastics to prepare for the shifting demographics of the workforce. SEA-LECT Plastics joined the Washington State Apprenticeship Program (abbreviated AJAC) in 2013, due to the shortage of Mold Makers.
AJAC’s Production Technician (Youth) Apprenticeship is a 2,000 hour program designed for high school juniors and seniors to develop career-ready skills in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries. This apprenticeship program combines paid on-the-job training at an AJAC employer and college-level classroom instruction which can lead to a high school diploma, journey-level card and short-term college certificate.
Youth Apprentices will work 10-20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during the summer. Pay will vary by employer and number of hours worked.
To launch your career as a Production Technician, you will need to meet the minimum qualifications:
- You must be a high school junior or senior enrolled in a school district AJAC has partnered with
- A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
- Recommended by a teacher from a school AJAC has partnered with
- Completed and passed Algebra Level 1
- Must have transportation to and from worksite
If you have met the minimum qualifications, you can apply via the online application at the AJAC website.
In an era of online training, one could question if hands-on training is still a valid course to gain experience and knowledge. SEA-LECT Plastics works to promote hands-on learning while developing a new generation of employees. Offering apprenticeships has helped to foster loyalty within our employees, provide a pathway to family wage jobs, and provide us with a significant return on investment.
SEA-LECT Plastics, beyond offering apprenticeships, also offers mentoring and support through Sno-Isle TECH. Sno-Isle TECH is a local technical school that offers classes to area high school students in many industries that allows them to gain initial experience in a future career. The school offers supplemental vocational education in hard-to-find industries, and career education from tenured teachers that bring decades of real-world experience. On November 17th between 4pm and 7pm, the Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center will be holding an event to highlight Apprenticeship Week and offer local business and students a chance to discuss the future of every supported industry. An industry panel will be offering information on what you can expect to gain from an apprenticeship, and you can meet with businesses currently offering apprenticeships while participating in hands-on activities.
Anyone currently looking for more information about SEA-LECT Plastics apprenticeship opportunities should call Matt Poischbeg at (425)-339-0288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthias Poischbeg was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. Matt moved to Everett, Wash., after finishing his bachelor’s degree in business in 1995 to work for Sea-Dog Corporation, a manufacturer, and distributor of marine and rigging hardware established in 1923.
In 1999, Matt took over the reins at Sea-Lect Plastics Corporation, a sister company of Sea-Dog and a manufacturer of plastic injection molded products with an in-house tool & die shop. Matthias Poischbeg is also a contributor to Grit Daily.