The hugely successful partnership between Columbus Technical College, Pratt & Whitney and the Muscogee County School District earned high praise at a recent Muscogee School Board meeting. The director for the county’s CTAE (Career and Technical Adult Education) program Allyson Moyer spoke to a packed house on September 16, focusing on the job placement opportunities and successes in this venture.
The recognition read in part: “The apprenticeship opportunity focuses on high school students who are part of the Certified Manufacturing Specialist (CMS) dual enrollment program at Columbus Technical College. This program consists of 11 semester hours of coursework at the College while giving the student one high school elective credit at the same time. Students who complete this dual enrollment opportunity are invited to competitively interview for six paid internship positions at Pratt & Whitney.”
The students selected for this internship program rotate through six cells on the Pratt & Whitney manufacturing floor, all under the direct supervision of a Pratt & Whitney mentor, working 19 hours per week at $11.32 per hour. The interns’ performance is evaluated throughout the internship experience and students who successfully complete the internship are eligible to apply for any open positions at Pratt & Whitney. Once hired full time, the now-employees will start at about $14.70 per hour.Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator for the Muscogee School district Tim Vinson says this working relationship has been one that proudly sets the bar high for future projects. Vinson said, “Since the partnership started in 2009, 21 students have been hired at Pratt & Whitney and 42 students have interned.”
This partnership was recognized as a finalist in the 2012 STEM Education Awards in the category of Public-Private Partnership by the Technology Association of Georgia and in July 2013, it was recognized as a Georgia Youth Apprenticeship Unique Private-Public Partnership of the Year.
Interns and apprentices at Pratt & Whitney have earned a total of $1,235,800 for the five-year period of this program.