West Valley HS students placed in aerospace apprenticeships

WEST VALLEY, WA - For three hours a day, five times a week, students at West Valley High School put their skills to the test, working with industrial equipment in their machining class. One of those students is junior Trevor Mackey.

"I would say that it is a good class for anybody no matter what your background is, you are going to get something out of it," Mackey said.

The class is only one of two in the entire state of Washington. It teaches students more than just operating machinery.

"Being on time, keeping your areas clean, just the general stuff that every employee really needs," said Tim Sorenson, machine class teacher.

"It helps me every day in my job as a dishwasher and that's probably one of the biggest takeaways from this class, also business management," said Mackey.

It also gives them a head start in the working world.

"Students can graduate from high school, with a high school diploma, their registered apprenticeship, about 28,000 of earnings by the time they graduate and college credits," said John Aultman, executive policy adviser for the governor.

Today, three students were placed in apprenticeships through AJAC, the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee. They specialize in aerospace and the manufacturing industry. One of those students who got an apprenticeship is Mackey.

"They have it set up for us to succeed, because that is what they are trying to do, so I am really excited about it," said Mackey.

State government says this class is vital for students and Washington. Their goal is to create ten more in the state by September of next year.