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Ten to Graduate from JMTC Machinist Apprentice Program

Michelle O'Neill
JMTC employees work on an ambulance kit production line (file)

Tomorrow, ten workers will graduate from the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center's Machinist Apprenticeship Program.

Chris Largent is the Director of Home Base Operations for the factory on Arsenal Island. He says applicants to the four-year program have to take an aptitude test. And it's competitive.

Participants take academic classes at local community colleges, and get hands on training in the factory.

Currently, the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center is working with Eastern Iowa Community Colleges.

Colonel Shari Bennett is the commander of the center. She says the graduation ceremony will continue a 112-year tradition. Around 1,200 apprentices have completed the program.

The JMTC apprentices get paid for learning to become machinists. They earn 65% of journeyman wages the first year, and that increases each of the four years. After graduation, they're offered permanent, full time jobs at the factory.

Journeymen have the potential to double their earnings after obtaining their certification card.

Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor. She does everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever may be needed around the radio station.
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