Education

Apprentices get engine upkeep primer in Patterson; teens sit in

Apprentice Fortino Casteneda studies details of a piece of a small engine during the Stanislaus County Area Manufacturing Maintenance Joint Apprenticeship Program Workshop in Patterson on Saturday.
Apprentice Fortino Casteneda studies details of a piece of a small engine during the Stanislaus County Area Manufacturing Maintenance Joint Apprenticeship Program Workshop in Patterson on Saturday. naustin@modbee.com

Industry apprentices got some hands on how-to Friday and Saturday, and high school students got to sit in on the lessons.

The Stanislaus County Area Manufacturing Maintenance Joint Apprenticeship Program Workshop covered basic machinery maintenance, said volunteer organizer Doug Murdock. Conveyer belts, motors, gear boxes and vibration analysis were the top topics at the event.

It was held at the Stanislaus Industrial Technology Institute in Patterson, an alternative education program run by the Stanislaus County Office of Education.

On Friday, nine teens in the small engines course at the institute got to join in the workshops, said Cindy Young, director of career technical education for the county office. Many of the teens did not realize the working-while-learning alternative existed, Young said.

“You can talk to them (about training options), but then they actually see it,” she said.

“They are able to talk to people actually in it,” Murdock said. About 15 apprentices from manufacturing and food processing plants took part in the programs.

The apprentice program lines up entry-level jobs with a journeyman mentor. The paid apprentice works alongside the mentor, while also taking classes at Modesto Junior College or Delta College in Stockton. After four years, the apprentice graduates to journeyman status, he said.

“We call it the other four-year degree,” Murdock said with a grin.

For more information on apprenticeship programs, call the Career Technical Education Division at Modesto Junior College, (209) 575-6332. For more information on the Stanislaus Industrial Technology Institute, call the Educational Options Division of the Stanislaus County Office of Education at (209) 238-1500, or the school at (209) 238-8725.

Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at naustin@modbee.com or (209) 578-2339. Follow her on Twitter @NanAustin.

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