Sentinel staff report–
Eighty applicants from Citrus Heights and the Sacramento region are being sought for a new three-month apprenticeship program targeted at training machinist welders and fabricators.
The program is offered by the newly formed Sacramento Valley Manufacturing Initiative (SVMI) and is being spearheaded by Citrus Heights resident Tim Schaefer, who will serve as a program instructor and currently serves on the organization’s leadership and education committees.
The apprenticeship is a tuition-free program, slated to begin the first week in October and conclude with a graduation in early January. Following successful completion of the program, Schaefer said SVMI member employers have “committed to hire every graduate.”
Schaefer said a total of 20 apprentices will be selected from pool of 80 applicants, following a drug screen and formal interview. While there are no minimum qualifications, Schaefer said applicants need to have “some mechanical aptitude and basic math skills.”
Applications can be obtained by emailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Apprenticeship opportunities may also include paid internships.
“Manufacturing has been a consistently booming industry across time and has seen a recent increase in demand for US made products,” said Schaefer in a statement sent to The Sentinel on Thursday. “We have made huge strides in automation technologies, yet we lack a local skilled workforce to meet the manufacturing demand. Local experts are expecting a substantial and sustained manufacturing economy for the foreseeable future.”
Schaefer said SVMI was formed earlier this year in February as an effort to help train a skilled labor force, with the help of available state and federal funding. The organization is made up of an alliance of various manufacturers, including Siemens, Tri Tool, Stewart Tool, and Ceratizit, which was originally founded in 1967 as California Tool Grinding in Citrus Heights.
“By creating an alliance of manufacturers, educators and industry partners with the experience and knowledge to bring career technical education programs and training opportunities into the region, we can begin to fulfill the requirement for a skilled manufacturing workforce,” Schaefer said.
Schaefer, who also serves as a Citrus Heights Planning Commissioner, previously announced his intent to run for the San Juan Unified school board this year to focus on workforce preparedness in the district, but later announced in July that he would shift his attention to work with SVMI on helping develop “a strong, skilled and diversified workforce” in the area, with a focus on Citrus Heights.