Thank you to IAM District 751 for sharing this information from the Aero Mechanic.

The Machinists Institute, which is the training arm of our Union, continues to expand opportunities to support education and training for our members and community residents for training in manufacturing and aerospace. 

On November 22nd, the Machinists Institute Youth Academy (MIYA) program held its first graduation celebration for students completing the pre-employment manufacturing training. Two classes of students ages 16-24 completed this 8 to 10-week training and the evening was an opportunity to celebrate their success.

District 751 President Jon Holden and Machinists Institute Executive Director Shana Peschek addressed the graduates – congratulating them on their accomplishments.

The Machinists Institute provided the training, in conjunction with Partner in Employment, to provide youth from the immigrant and refugee community skills to gain entry-level work and a pathway into the aerospace and manufacturing industry.

“The Machinists Institute Training Program is a great vehicle for young, motivated youth to learn valuable skills if they choose a career in either the aerospace or manufacturing sectors,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “Jon Holden, PDBR and the entire leadership are to be commended for their vision! The IAM has always emphasized training our current members and providing prospective Machinists with the tools to get their careers started. District 751 continues to establish innovative training programs that serve the aerospace, manufacturing, and automotive industries.”

The event took place at the MI Tukwila Training Center. These graduates had the honor of being in the two inaugural classes – where the program and equipment were literally being built around them as the program progressed. Before the formal ceremony, those attending had an opportunity to tour the facility, where students could demonstrate what they learned on the various equipment. Students recognized the opportunities this initial training provided and were excited to showcase their skills.

For the majority of the students, this program was the first time they had been exposed to potential careers in manufacturing. The program spurred several to pursue a career in manufacturing after getting hands-on experience and touring several nearby companies that are looking to hire individuals.

At least one of the graduates plans to pursue an internship they learned about during the program. Once the internship is completed, the company will place individuals on a hiring list – giving the student a clear pathway to a career in manufacturing.

One of the parents attending was nearly in tears as she noted that this program “opened doors for my daughter and got her interested in pursuing a manufacturing career. Before this hands-on program, she was in the house doing online training and feeling very isolated. Now, she is energized and excited at the possibilities for her future thanks to this training.”

During the 8 to 10-week program, students got hands-on experience in basic drilling, riveting, and deburring, as well as the chance to work on mini-lathes that cut steel and aluminum. In addition, students got to experience coding and work with benchtop mills. The curriculum also included six workstations for soldering – each teaching a different lesson in electronics. During the class, students assembled a Bluetooth stereo speaker they were allowed to keep. Students also assembled a 6-axis robotic arm, which they then had to program.

Another aspect of the training, introduced students to metrology, depth gauges and radius gauges to gain an understanding of measurement tools, as well as QA concepts. The class also had a segment on tool control so students would become acquainted with how to check tools in and out since this can be a big issue in a manufacturing environment.

Throughout the training, students learned the importance of precision work and paying attention to detail. Students also worked on a resumé.

Finally, the program also incorporated a segment on worker rights to educate students on the advantages of Union membership – something missing from most other training programs. 

The class gave the students great exposure to a variety of manufacturing processes, equipment, and principles. Batholomew Kimani, who taught the course, is very knowledgeable and has a great rapport with the students – getting them engaged, asking questions and understanding the relevance of each activity as it pertains to manufacturing and industry standards. His love of the topic is evident – making him a great fit to help encourage others on the pathway to manufacturing careers.

This is just one of the exciting programs the Machinists Institute is delivering to serve the aerospace, manufacturing and automotive machinists industries. Established by IAM District 751, the Machinists Institute proudly serves current and future workers to reach their career goals and provides cutting-edge education and training to build a highly skilled and diverse workforce to meet employer demand.

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