ZF Transmissions (ZF) held their signing ceremony at Piedmont Technical College’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing for nine students accepted into their apprenticeship program.
Robbie Ellis, apprenticeship supervisor at ZF Transmissions, welcomed the students and their families. Ellis will lead the students through the 3-year process that includes classes at Piedmont Technical College (PTC) and hands-on work experience at ZF.
“Piedmont Technical College does a lot of things for us for our current workforce and our future workforce,” said Ellis.
Ten apprentices will be a part of the program this year. Nine were able to be in attendance for the signing ceremony.
ZF had over 90 applicants for the apprenticeship program and it was an eight-month process to select the 10 finalists. Six finalists are 2017 graduates of Clinton High School and four finalists are 2017 graduates of Laurens District High School.
Clinton High School graduates are Landon Banks Adams, Elvis Fitz, Austin Francis, Jose Hernandez, Bryson Patterson and Bryson Vaughn. Laurens District High School graduates are Antwan Clark, Jertavious Miller, Mathew Sullivan and Christian Vess.
“It’s very competitive,” said Ellis. “We had tons of great candidates. We feel that it is a great opportunity.”
Currently, there are seven apprentices in the program that are anywhere from one year to 18 months into the program.
For this new group of apprentices, the experience begins on August 14 when they report to ZF for the beginning of their training process. The other side of their curriculum begins on August 21 with the first day of classes at PTC.
Apprentices will work approximately 20 hours a week at ZF during the program. Ellis said they will use the first few weeks to get them used to the environment along with safety and equipment training. Then the first few months will be used to work on projects.
“We want to give them a sense of accomplishment,” said Ellis.
The apprentices will move to job rotations on the floor to give them a feel for each department. Then they will move over to maintenance and rotate through all of the jobs in that area.
Once the apprentices complete the 3-year program, they will all be certified maintenance technicians, earning approximately $60,000 annually at ZF.
“This is a life-changing experience,” said Jim Shelton, training manager at ZF. “We believe in each one of you.”