Local Manufacturer Seeks Apprenticeship Applicants

Friday, June 26, 2020

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It may sound too good to be true – a full-ride scholarship along with a job that pays students when they are working and when they are attending class.

But, it is true. BD Holdrege is offering students a chance to earn a degree with no debt plus get paid to work at BD at the same time with its Mechanic Apprentice Program. 

This is the second year the apprenticeship has been offered. It allows students to earn a degree while receiving on-the-job training in a variety of manufacturing areas at BD.

“Our whole goal with the program is to provide youth in the area with opportunities to find good work right here,” said Brian Deakin, BD’s human resources manager. “Great careers and great jobs are available right here.”

The three-year program is registered as an official apprenticeship through the Nebraska Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Apprentices attend classes at Central Community College in Kearney. Tuition and books are paid by BD, plus the apprentices are paid while attending class and while working at BD to learn various aspects of manufacturing.  A full benefits package is also included.

“Students actually work for us, and we send them to school,” Deakin said. “When they finish the program, they have a credential in mechanical technology.”

Deakin said the pay for the apprenticeship jobs is competitive – around $18 an hour for someone just graduating from high school or a few years out.

“Our goal is to help students who live in this area to start their career and get going,” Deakin said. “It’s a great job. It puts someone in a great position to move forward.”

Deakin said manufacturing jobs are in high demand across the state and country, and students with this training have abundant opportunities.

The courses are structured to support the skills needed to maintain, diagnose, and repair automated manufacturing equipment and build successful team members. Apprentices will learn these following skills and more:

  • Mechanical Systems
  • Fluid Power Systems
  • Control Systems
  • Concepts of Electronics
  • Leadership

 “A lot of folks don’t realize what these two-year degree technical jobs really are and how well they pay and the opportunities that exist,” Deakin said. “We’ve got those opportunities here, and I know those opportunities exist across the state.”

In addition to the apprenticeship program, BD also offers a $16,000 scholarship each year for a student studying electronics programming, electro-mechanical technology, tool and die or molding processes. Any graduating senior of a Phelps County high school or any high school adjoining Phelps County is eligible to apply. The scholarships started in 2017.

Deakin said the scholarships and apprenticeship programs are targeted to students who have some mechanical aptitude and like to work with their hands and can learn and understand the technical aspects of modern automation.

Students interested in applying for the apprenticeships can do so by visiting the BD website HERE.

Apprenticeship positions begin before the fall semester of classes begin, so applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

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