MOSES LAKE — Four Grant County high school students are going to be starting apprenticeships at SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers in Moses Lake this summer.
According to Shannon Matson, deputy director of the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) based in Seattle, the four apprenticeship positions are some of the newest in Washington’s registered apprenticeship program, which was launched by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2017.
The four high school students — one from Moses Lake High School, one from Ephrata High School, one from Soap Lake High School and one from Moses Lake SkillSource — will take college level courses on business and industry as well as on-the-job training, all of which will count toward their graduation.
The names of the four students have not been released yet, and some program details are still being worked out, Matson said.
“Students attended an informational meeting about apprenticeships in February of this year at Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center. Applicants for the program were interviewed by SGL and four were subsequently offered positions as entry-level automation technicians,” reads a press release from the Apple STEM Network.
The apprenticeships at SGL are the result of a great deal of work and coordination between the North Central Educational Services District, which oversees and supports schools districts in the region, as well as the Port of Moses Lake, Grant County Economic Development and the Washington Department of Labor, which has certified the program.
According to Matson, over 100 high school juniors and seniors across the state are currently serving in apprenticeships with 35 employers.
SGL produces carbon fiber at its facility in Moses Lake to create fabric panels for the automotive and aerospace industries. The plant, founded in 2009, was originally a joint venture between SGL and German automaker BMW, and currently provides carbon fiber for BMW’s electric cars. However, in early 2019, SGL announced it had inked a deal with Airbus to provide carbon fiber for the company’s helicopter subsidiary, which is also based in Germany.
Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at email@example.com.