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Mechanic Apprenticeship Program takes shape

Fri, Jun 14, 2024

mechanic_close_upThe Alaska West Express team includes approximately 32 mechanics to keep equipment maintained and operating at its multiple locations. But there is always a need for more qualified skilled mechanics at Knik Construction, Alaska Marine Trucking and other Lynden companies. To meet the growing need, Director of HSSE Tyler Bones is working on a mechanic apprenticeship program to provide educational opportunities to potential employees who would then become full-time mechanics within Lynden.

HSSE Specialist Mark Pliska joined the Alaska West team to assist with the apprentice program and to gain approval of the program from the Department of Labor. "Mark is gathering information to create the program by working with our maintenance team, Department of Labor, University of Alaska maintenance programs and local high schools," Tyler says. "The idea is to provide wages and training so candidates can move right into a paid position with us." Lynden already has an established training program called Dock to Driver.

Mark’s experience at the Pogo Mine and working on the North Slope gives him a unique background to shepherd the project. He helped establish the Pogo apprenticeship program which is a two-year model where candidates attend classes and work in the Pogo shop. "We are planning something similar, but our program will be registered through the Department of Labor. Our apprentice mechanics will attend a multiple-week class registered through the Department of Labor and then come into our shops to work. The apprenticeship will continue to switch back and forth to gain both classroom and on-the-job experience." Over the course of two years, candidates will complete a certificate of completion from the Department of Labor and University of Alaska Fairbanks heavy diesel program, plus exposure to Lynden companies where they may continue a career.

"Many of our long-term employees started their careers pushing brooms in the shop," Tyler explains. "Getting new employees in the door early and introducing them to what we’re all about is the first step. Our relationship with the local school districts and the universities is another important piece to see if we can start recruiting high school seniors as they are transitioning out of high school and introduce them to Lynden’s rewarding career opportunities. We want candidates to know this program is a starting point, not an end point. Most Lynden companies employ mechanics in their operations. Trained mechanics can choose their career path." Tyler serves on the University of Alaska Advisory Committee for the Diesel Tech Programs.

Topics from this blog: Lynden Alaska Marine Trucking Alaska West Express Lynden Employees Alaska Knik Construction Featured

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