Congratulations are in order! Six Lighthouse employees graduated from Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) manufacturing training program in June. Andriy Matsyuk, Philip Blackmer, Lucas Holster, John Koigi and Jon Ott completed the Industrial Manufacturing Technician course (3,000 Hours | 1.5-Years). Jesse Trim graduated from the 4-year journey level Industrial Maintenance program (8,000 Hours | 4-Years).

Lighthouse President & CEO Cindy Watson, along with members of the leadership team, honored the AJAC program graduates at a celebration. The graduation event also celebrated AJAC instructors, Nick Zemanek and Karlee Ikebara.

The Lighthouse has been working with the AJAC training program for 12 years . The Washington State Legislature sponsors the program. It provides funding and resources for training Washington residents for the aerospace industry and other advanced manufacturing.

Through the program, blind employees are provided this additional development opportunity to advance their skills and careers. The Lighthouse has worked closely with AJAC program staff to meet apprentices’ needs for accessible learning and accommodations.

Learn more about how employees who are blind and DeafBlind successfully work in our manufacturing facilities >>

How The AJAC Program Works

Program participants complete their AJAC program in addition to their regular jobs. Because of this, the Lighthouse works to accommodate their participation in the program. For example, support by employees’ supervisors and designated journey-level mentors helps them to accommodate both.

Program participation includes hands-on learning at the Renton Technical College machine shop. In addition, it includes classroom work in subjects like geometry, trigonometry, metallurgy, and the latest manufacturing technologies. Participants attend evening classes two days per week, which are held off-site. Apprentices also accumulate community college credits toward an Associates of Arts (AA) Degree, as the course is affiliated with South Seattle Community College.