Four-year program offers salary, benefits, zero college debt upon graduation
FAIRFAX, Va. – The term “higher education” has been affiliated with two- and four-year colleges and universities for generations. “Apprenticeship” has been a buzz word this political season, but in truth, it’s the nation’s oldest form of higher education. One the unionized sheet metal, welding and air conditioning industry has used as a successful educational tool for 127 years.
Sheet Metal Workers Local No. 67 in Austin is currently seeking new students for its four-year program, which comes complete with classroom and on-the-job training, as well as an hourly wage, benefits, and zero college debt. With students staging classroom walk-outs and rallies across the nation to protest high tuition costs and debt and presidential hopefuls laying out plans for college tuition reform, “higher education” is taking on a much broader meaning.
Mike Kramm, training coordinator for Local No. 67, is seeking at least 60 students to begin their first year beginning in September.
While they’re learning, students will be needed for skill-appropriate tasks at projects such as the Dell Seton Medical Center and the Engineering, Education and Research Center (EERC) at the University of Texas as well as 60-story and 29-story high-rise buildings and fabrication contractors in the area.
“We want the same things college and universities want in a student – motivated, enthusiastic and a good work ethic,” Kramm said. “In this line of work, you also have to like working with your hands. You have to be the type of person who likes working outside and gets bored working in one place every day.”
Just like college, not every interested student is admitted into an apprenticeship. Applicants are required to pass an entrance exam and drug test and go through an interview process before admittance into the program. Depending on the project, students have to pass a background check to work on federal government projects.
Curriculum and support for Local 67 and more than 150 schools across the country and Canada is provided by the International Training Institute (ITI), the education arm of the unionized sheet metal, welding and air conditioning industry.
Those interested in the apprenticeship program should call the Austin training center at 512-389-2338 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Additional information also can be found at smw67.org.
Relevant social media tags and handles: @ShtmetalApp #sheetmetal #apprenticeship #AustinTX
Originally posted on Eye on Sheet Metal.