Last month we reported that the Greater Oh-Penn Manufacturing Apprenticeship Network, of which MVMC is a part, reached its 5-year goal of enrolling 300 registered apprentices in the American Apprenticeship Initiative grant.
In fact, 18 MVMC members were among 70 manufacturers in the region to participate in this $2.9 million grant.
This month we tracked down the apprentice who pushed us over the top. He is 29-year-old Mark Kmecik of Girard, Pa., from Northwestern Manufacturing in Lake City, Pa. His backstory illustrates the rewarding, long-term career paths available in manufacturing and is worth sharing.
After serving in the U.S. Navy, Mark attended trade school for CNC machining.
He secured a job that offered an apprenticeship program so he could continue learning and earn additional certifications to advance his career.
He’s hoping to complete his current apprenticeship in 2 or 3 years, Mark said.
“I just started, but I am looking forward to branching out and growing my knowledge in more areas of machining.”
The program at NWM isn’t necessarily time-based, Clay Brocious, plant manager, said.
“Based on the framework provided by the Greater Oh-Penn Manufacturing Apprenticeship Network, our program is a knowledge and competency-based program.”
Apprenticeship programs help shape people’s work trajectory, Mark said.
“I think offering structured training is a good way for companies to attract and retain goal-oriented people by giving them clear objectives for growth,” Mark said.
When he’s not studying, Mark and his wife, Lydia, are kept busy with their 1-year-old daughter, Eve.