JCB welcomes 14 new apprentices to manufacturing and craft skills apprenticeship programs
JCB North America has welcomed its newest group of apprentices. This year JCB has added nine manufacturing skills apprentices and five craft skills apprentices to a program which began in 2011. Currently, the apprentice program has a total of 31 apprentices working in the manufacturing business.
JCB North America currently manufactures skid steer loaders, compact track loaders, telescopic handlers, and equipment for commercial and defence customers. The company markets a range of more than 300 JCB machines through 120 dealers across North America. JCB's apprenticeship program was introduced as, what JCB says is, the region's first manufacturing apprenticeship program designed to increase the skilled labour workforce at the company's headquarters in Pooler.
"When we began, we focused on the Manufacturing Skills Apprenticeship program and the first class had five apprentices," says Tonya Poole, vice president of human resources for JCB North America. "The success of the program has been greater than we could have imagined which led us to look for more ways to incorporate apprentices into the business. In 2019 we added the craft apprenticeship track offering an opportunity for graduating seniors to join JCB directly out of high school and explore different areas of the manufacturing process before deciding on a career. Both the manufacturing skills and craft skills programs have resulted in providing JCB with a highly qualified, internal pipeline of future employees and leaders and we look forward to seeing what the new class of Apprentices add to the JCB business."
JCB's Manufacturing Skills Apprentice Program is a five-year apprenticeship program that accepts graduating high school seniors who are interested in obtaining a manufacturing-related two-year associate degree at Savannah Technical College. The JCB curriculum includes business awareness training, manufacturing foundations and on-the-job training. Apprentices rotate through several areas of manufacturing operations including fabrication, purchasing, product control, and assembly.
The Craft Skills Apprentice Program is a two-year program that allows high school seniors to rotate through departments on the manufacturing floor including assembly, fabrication, paint, and materials. Once the craft skills apprentices complete their four-month rotations, they have the opportunity to join JCB's manufacturing team in an open position or join the Manufacturing Skills Apprenticeship Program and earn their associate degree at Savannah Tech.
All apprentices are considered full-time JCB employees and receive compensation and benefits such as health, dental, and eye insurance; retirement benefits; and paid time off. Apprentices in the manufacturing skills program also receive free tuition and all school tools and materials paid for by JCB.