Congratulations to Seattle Lighthouse employees Mike Beeksma, Nathan Greenwood, and Dan Porter who recently received certification as Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machine Operators from the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) Program this past June.  All three completed their second full year of intensive machinist training in a spectrum of manufacturing subjects, concentrating on cutting-edge CNC equipment.

The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. has been working as a partner with the AJAC Machinist Training Program for over three years.  This program is sponsored by AJAC of the Washington State Legislature, which provides funding and resources to create new expertise and skilled personnel for the aerospace industry.

The goal of this statewide training program is for the apprentice to complete the journey-level (four year) curriculum to receive a certificate as a fully qualified journey-level aerospace machinist.  Mike, Nathan, and Dan all intend to continue participating in the program for the next two years to achieve their full certification.

The AJAC apprenticeship is in addition to the employees’ regular jobs, but the Lighthouse works to accommodate the program through support by their supervisor and designated journey-level mentors.

In addition to hands-on learning at the Renton Technical College machine shop, the program 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.  The class work is on the apprentice’s own time and demonstrates the commitment required of each participant.  Apprentices also accumulate community college credits toward an Associates of Arts (AA) Degree, as the course is affiliated with South Seattle Community College.