Advanced Manufacturing students Darise Andrews and Jack Crowley will be the first Drake State students to be employed by Mazda Toyota under a new apprenticeship program.
“To begin my career as a part of this first group to represent Drake State is a great opportunity,” said Crowley.
Drake State and Mazda Toyota Manufacturing developed the apprenticeship program to support workforce needs at the automotive production plant. The program is aligned with national standards for work-based learning in advanced manufacturing.
“Our students receive hands-on training in their classes and labs,” said Bob Grissim, Workforce Development Director at Drake State. “but to be able to give them on-the-job experience through this program is truly exciting.”
“Mazda Toyota Manufacturing is pleased to partner with Drake State University on the manufacturing apprenticeship program. This innovative partnership will enrich the student experience through work-based learning and provide a streamlined pathway to career opportunities within manufacturing,” said Scott Russo, Manager of Training and Development at Mazda Toyota Manufacturing. “We welcome Darise and Jack to the MTM team and look forward to fostering their growth and preparing them to begin a rewarding, sustainable career in manufacturing at graduation.”
To meet the requirements of the two-year program, both Andrews and Crowley will work part-time for Mazda Toyota while attending classes at Drake State. Once they complete the program they will have earned associate degrees in Applied Science in Industrial Maintenance and will be strong candidates for full-time employment opportunities in advanced manufacturing.
Drake State is working with other area employers to establish similar programs for other academic and career technical programs.