Two Atlas apprentices--Austin McGee and Nick Webster--have achieved the nationally recognized Journeyman Machinist certification from the Kentucky Department of Labor. The achievement was accomplished through their participation in Atlas’ Apprenticeship Program. To receive the special Journeyman designation, Austin and Nick completed 576 hours of classroom work and 8,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. The achievement took four years to complete. The young men were formally presented their certificates at a special luncheon in their honor on July 26.
Austin, who is 22 years old, is a 2015 graduate of Grayson County High School. He works the weekend shift under Chuck Locke’s supervision. Nick Webster, who is also 22 years old, graduated in 2015 from Jeffersontown High School. Nick works day shift under John Hardin’s supervision.
Achieving Journeyman certification is often compared by industry to receiving a college degree. Both the Apprenticeship Program and college require about the same amount of time, but the big difference centers around the cost. College students often acquire thousands of dollars in school debt. Participants of the Atlas program, on the other hand, have no such debt. The company pays for the classroom instruction and for the participants’ employment while they work at Atlas and continue to learn on the job.
“We’re incredibly proud of Austin’s and Nick’s accomplishment in earning the Journeyman Machinist certification,” says Richie Gimmel, President of Atlas. “It represents a high level of skill and educational achievement and places them on a solid career path.”