Video courtesy of Kohler Co.

Alumni Story: Zach Albers

Posted November 7, 2016

Kohler Co. has created a video featuring Zach Albers, a 2016 Plymouth High School graduate who served a machinist Youth Apprenticeship at Kohler.

In the video, Zach notes he went into his Youth Apprenticeship with a love of welding and carpentry, but had not had experience with machining. “I liked seeing this raw block, this raw material all of a sudden turn into something,” he said. “I swear every day I learned something different, something new.”

Much of what he learned couldn’t be obtained in a classroom, such as interacting with the other workers, Zach said. “I wanted the skills and the knowledge – and the foot in the door for companies later in life,” he said.

The video was filmed shortly before Zach left in August for UW-Stout, where he’s planning to study technical education and become a high school tech ed teacher like his mentors at PHS.

Youth Apprenticeship, which is coordinated by Lakeshore Technical College, integrates school-based and work-based learning to provide academic and occupational skills for high school students. Participants work for an area employer in their chosen field while earning high school and college credits. Apprenticeships are available in health care, assembly and manufacturing, drafting, industrial maintenance, automotive, hospitality and culinary arts.

Sophomores and juniors apply for the program in March. Those selected will interview with a company, which makes the choice about who to hire. Students can start working as early as June, and must work at least 450 hours over the next 12 months, for which they are paid. Students also must take a class relevant to the job each semester; grants are available for students to attend a LTC class for free.

Kohler is interested in hosting more Youth Apprentices, and currently has 40 open jobs for skilled trade positions, such as welders and mechanics.