The Ahaus Apprenticeship Program From the Perspective of a Student

Good employees are the backbone of any successful company. But finding dedicated workers who are ethical, well trained and efficient can be a challenge. There’s a growing myth that an employer should wait for potential employees with the right education and experience to come along, as opposed to training and developing the right individuals to meet the needs of the company.

That’s why we have the Ahaus Apprenticeship program, which we’ve been offering for more than 30 years. Our apprenticeship program is a nationally accredited education program for toolmakers and CNC machinists. Our goal is to hire several individuals each year specifically to be trained in these professions. Our apprentices receive on-the-job training as well as formal education; we partner with Purdue University College of Technology and Ivy Tech Community College.

Nick Lewis, a current apprentice about two years into the typically four-year program, was recruited while he was a senior in high school. He was able to co-op out of his school to work at Ahaus part-time, and became a full-time employee right after graduation. It’s not the easiest life for a college student — on average, Lewis works about 45 hours a week and takes night classes at Purdue, usually – two to three per semester. But Lewis loves the pace of the program.

“You learn so much just by being surrounded by it,” said Lewis. “It’s not only helping me become a well-rounded skilled worker, but a better Ahaus employee.”
When Lewis completes the program, he will have an associate’s degree from Purdue, a CNC Machinist certificate, and four to five years of relevant industry experience in a number of fields.

Ahaus ultimately gets a trained, skilled employee, and the employee gets free education and training in a high-demand industry. Not only is the apprenticeship a mutually beneficial relationship between employer and employee, the employer can also begin to harvest a passionate work culture, resulting in loyalty and ultimately, better products and services.