hago Automotive in Iuka, Mississippi, offers a youth apprenticeship program in partnership with Northeast Mississippi Community College that provides free education and a pathway to a rewarding career.
To meet their demand for a highly-skilled workforce, hago partnered with the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program and Northeast Mississippi Community College (NEMCC) to launch a youth apprenticeship program.
"The program is designed for high school students and young adults ages 16 to 23", according to Cheri Hemlinger, executive assistant at hago and program administrator for the youth apprenticeship program. According to Hemlinger, young people spend the first two to three months of the program shadowing an employee in one of three areas, including industrial maintenance, tool and die, or quality engineering. After the shadowing portion of the program is complete, students enroll in courses at NEMCC to continue their four-year apprenticeship training.
Students’ curriculum is split in two days at college and another three days working alongside skilled employees at hago where they receive the support of a mentor and other department trainers. “Department trainers work specifically with students and NEMCC to tailor their learning to ensure they get on-the-job training that supports what they learn in the classroom,” said Hemlinger.
The company’s financial commitment, in combination with funding from a variety of local, state, and federal sources, allows students to attend NEMCC at no cost.
The students also earn wages while working for hago and learning first-hand what it takes to be successful in a job with the company.
After completing the program, they will graduate with a registered apprenticeship and a minimum of an associate degree. “Simple manufacturing jobs are going away and being replaced with jobs that require a higher qualification that cannot be taught at universities,” said Geiger. “You have to have hands-on training that brings mechanical and college knowledge together.”
More details at msapprenticeship.works