“Every minute you’re here, you’re getting trained.”
That’s the real-world perspective of Tyler G. Smith, a maintenance technician at West Pharmaceutical Services Inc., who is three-quarters into a four-year registered apprenticeship program administered by Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Workforce Development department.
“Every minute” is part of the 144 hours of annual classroom theory – four hours, once a week – designed to help employees and employers alike plug the gap between skilled positions and the workers who fill them. This instruction supplements the 2,000 hours that Smith and his classmates each spend training on-the-job.
Smith, a 2012 graduate of Jersey Shore Area High School, grew up on a farm, accustomed to watching machinery in action and letting curiosity chart his course. He ventured into construction for a bit, ultimately gravitating toward manufacturing. Then, he embraced the rigorous and career-making commitment to the apprenticeship program.
Curiosity is Smith’s trademark, the reason why he thrives in such an immersive environment.
“He’s the kind of student any instructor would love to have,” said Workforce Development’s Thomas W. Fry, an industrial technology specialist who is the mechatronics subject expert consulting with West on its technical skills needs, and has been Smith’s primary instructor in all three of the modules so far: industrial/mechanical, industrial/electrical and fluid power (hydraulics).
To read the complete article on the Pennsylvania College of Technology's website, please visit https://pctoday.pct.edu/west-pharmaceut