The Manufacturers’ Association will expand its manufacturing pre-apprenticeship program with the hiring of a pre-apprenticeship coordinator.
Miranda Martz, a recent graduate for the York-based association’s state certified apprenticeship machinist program, took the lead in growing the program in southcentral Pennsylvania earlier this month.
The Manufacturers’ Association’s pre-apprenticeship initiative is a two-year program for mostly high school juniors and seniors. It started in 2018 and has grown from a focus on York County schools to include Lancaster and Perry counties.
Students taking the program learn and practice the skills needed to enter full time registered apprenticeship programs sponsored by local manufacturing companies.
The program received a $189,147 grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to expand the program to meet a growing need for workers among Pennsylvania’s 2,500 manufacturing companies. Martz’s hiring coincides with those new dollars, said Tom Palisin, executive director of the Manufacturers’ Association.
“It gave us the push to really grow the program. We could have stuck with maybe Perry and York counties but with these resources we could expand into more counties,” said Palisin. “Someone needed to be the point person on that. This was way too important for the future workforce to not have someone on this.”
Martz is the first female machinist journeyman graduate from the association’s apprenticeship machinist program. She joins her new role after six years as a lead of the CNC milling machining department of a local manufacturing firm.
The new grant funding, couple with Martz’s hiring, will allow the program to have 60 students by the end of the year—compared to 15 in 2018.