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Columbia Business Monthly

Michelin’s Youth Apprenticeship Program Certified By U.S. Department of Labor

May 24, 2019 09:38AM

Michelin was recently honored by the U.S. Department of Labor for its Youth Apprenticeship program that exposes high school students to advanced manufacturing careers. Now in its second year, the program achieved national certification during a signing event hosted in Washington, D.C. by Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.

As a sustainable mobility company, Michelin’s Youth Apprenticeship program supports Michelin’s purpose to give people everywhere a better way forward— including younger workers who are exploring career options. To qualify for national certification, Michelin committed to expanding its industry-leading program throughout several states in which it operates plants. In addition to current apprenticeship programs in South Carolina, Michelin will introduce the program in Alabama and Georgia over the next year.

“We are living in the most competitive employment market in 50 years, so Michelin understands that young people have many career choices available today,” said David Stafford, chief human resources officer at Michelin North America. “At Michelin, we can help them explore careers in industry that lead to solid earning and global opportunities, not to mention financial support for college degrees in the future. This national certification provides access to students in more diverse communities to ensure that Michelin careers are within reach for everyone.”

Michelin’s Youth Apprenticeship program was launched in 2018 with five students with an interest in mechatronics. This hands-on learning experience provides a minimum of 2,000 paid hours of on-the-job training with a Michelin mentor in a Michelin manufacturing facility, in addition to 240 hours of customized instruction at a career center. Applicants are evaluated on leadership skills, math and mechanical aptitude, work experience, motivation, and team work.

“Each year, Michelin hires and trains approximately 150 highly skilled reliability technicians across the United States,” Stafford said. “These are the types of roles for which the students in the program are training. This program prepares students to hit the ground running if they choose to become reliability technicians with Michelin, where they will immediately earn an entry-level salary comparable to graduates with a four year college degree.”

Designed by Michelin’s maintenance training team in collaboration with Greenville County schools in South Carolina, the Youth Apprenticeship program provides a pathway for high school students to transition into Michelin’s Technical Scholars program. Michelin provides Technical Scholars with free tuition, fees, and books while they complete a skilled technical program at a community college; hourly pay for 20 hours of work per week in a Michelin facility; and eligibility for entry-level employment upon graduation, with starting salary projections around $56,000 or more.