GF Machining Solutions in Lincolnshire launched its "learn and earn" apprenticeship program with the signing of its first official candidate during the company's Solutions Days manufacturing event. The two-day open house event was June 6-7 at its Lincolnshire, Illinois, headquarters and included live equipment demonstrations and technical presentations.
The program, scheduled to begin this fall, offers paths for application engineers and field-services engineers, and will accept up to five participants in its inaugural year. Under the guidance of experienced mentors, the application engineers will help analyze machine performance and provide technical support, while field-service engineers will assist in coordinating activities that relate to the installation and repair of machines and other manufacturing equipment.
During a presentation outlining the program, Jon Carlson, marketing specialist for GF Machining Solutions said the company plans to choose apprentices from local area high schools including Mundelein, Palatine, and others. He said the program is in partnership with Harper Community College and Chicago's Industrial Consortium for Advanced Technical Training.
Apprentices will alternate between class time and real-world, hands-on experience, while earning an associate's degree at Harper Community College, a DIHK certificate and a Department of Labor Certificate. GF Machining Solutions will pay apprentices' tuition, as well as provide them with an hourly wage plus benefits such as health insurance and paid time off.
"Student loans don't go away, so why start with one?" Carlson said.
The first apprentice chosen for the program is Corey Ocock.
"I am targeting the field-service engineer position after completing the advanced manufacturing program," Ocock said.
Ocock graduated from Palatine High School and gained experience operating a CNC 3-axis lathe and mill.
GF Machining Solutions plans to induct a minimum of four new apprentices to the program every year.