The Brookings Production Technology Apprenticeship program launched this school year, thanks to a partnership between industry leaders and educators in the community. This year’s partners include Daktronics, Counterpart, Inc., Falcon Plastics, Larson Manufacturing, the Brookings School District, and Lake Area Technical Institute.
The purpose of the apprenticeship program is to expose Brookings high school students to technical career pathways while being employed by a Brookings manufacturer. The program also hopes to educate the community on technical careers and the opportunities they offer.
“We want to show students that working in manufacturing is a great career opportunity. Brookings manufacturers provide careers that are highly technical, clean, efficient, and very competitive,” said Trisha Strohfus, Daktronics HR. “Students will work with great companies, gain experience in the manufacturing industry, and take career and technical education (CTE) courses while working through technical institutes for dual credit opportunities.”
The intention of the program is to accelerate students in vocations related to machine operation, machine programming, technical assembly, and engineering. As the city with the second-most manufacturing jobs in South Dakota, the program hopes to give students in the community hands-on experience right here in Brookings. The apprenticeship program also ties into a new government initiative that aims to promote apprenticeships and manufacturing careers. Participants will receive a federally-recognized certificate representing their experience in manufacturing environments, which they can use in future job searches.
Students at Brookings High School can get involved their junior and senior year. Students will take CTE courses at Brookings High School while gaining industry work experience. They will also have the opportunity for dual credit courses, taking classes in Brookings for credit at BHS and at Lake Area Technical Institute, while also gaining work experience in the industry.
“Lake Area Tech is excited to be sponsoring the registered apprenticeship opportunity for Brookings High School students,” said Mike Cartney, Lake Area Technical Institute president. “Companies like Daktronics, Larson Manufacturing, Counterpart, Inc., and Falcon Plastics are providing an incredible, forward-thinking opportunity for young students to explore manufacturing careers and obtain a nationally recognized certificate at the same time. It is a true win-win-win for the students, the businesses, and Brookings High School!”
Over 40 BHS students have shown interest in the program, and they will soon begin the application process.
This article is by Megan Teppo
in Employee Communications.