Agriculture, Education February 01, 2022
High School Student Apprentices Receive On-the-job Training
Seventeen-year-old senior Saheed Pryce always knew he was interested in CNC (computer numerical control) machining but wasn’t sure how to get into the field.
But through a registered apprenticeship program at the Waterloo Career Center in Waterloo, Iowa, Pryce and other high school students are getting a chance to work at places like John Deere’s Drivetrain Operations to see if it’s the right fit.
“This apprenticeship has given me a career path and ideas about what I want to do with my career,” Pryce said of the experience. “This summer I have been able to put in quality work and I can say ‘I did that.’ Then I see that work being used for a higher purpose.”
The High School Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) uses an “earn and learn” model. Students graduate with a high school diploma, earn college credits and national industry credentials. They also start on a career path that continues after high school graduation.
As a business partner in these programs, John Deere currently hosts over 35 apprentices in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The company has participated since 2019 and has hired 13 apprentices as full-time employees upon graduation.
Pryce began taking classes at the Waterloo Career Center during the ‘20-‘21 school year and his teacher suggested he pursue a RAP position.
“The Registered Apprenticeship Program allows for training and employment in an environment accurately representing the industry of interest for the student,” said Karianne Kristensen, the coordinator in Component Manufacturing who schedules the RAP students. “It provides students insight into our business and operations prior to making the decision to sign on as a full-time employee after graduation. Saheed has been able to experience multiple machining processes throughout both the Drivetrain and Engine Works Operations while still completing qualifications for his high school education.” ‡
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