Industry Certified Apprenticeship
EJ Ajax offers new employees an 8,000 hour apprenticeship program with a curriculum certified by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS). We are listed in the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s Directory of Approved Apprenticeship Training Programs and Sponsors.
The initial apprenticeship is focused on one of three career ladders: Punch Press Operator, Sheet Metal Worker or Tool and Die Maker. Within each ladder, workers acquire a range of knowledge, skills and abilities from mathematics, reading engineering drawings, measurement, and safety to written and oral communications and interpersonal skills.
40 percent of EJ Ajax workers have achieved journey worker Level III status in at least one career ladder. Many workers have two or more Level III certifications. Journey-workers are re-certified to NIMS standards every two years.
I came to EJ Ajax as an apprentice in 1997. I was excited to be able to learn tool and die making. The apprenticeship included on the job training and four or five outside night classes. Everything is documented daily, to prove you've fulfilled all the required tasks. I finished the apprenticeship in two years because I'd had two years of schooling. Since then I've taken classes in Solidworks software, math and English. Now I have an opportunity to work toward a four-year Bachelor's degree offered through the University of Minnesota at Crookston. I'll just keep chipping away at the Bachelor's degree until I get it.