Keith Davis, Director, Lebanon Career and Technology Center

The Lebanon Career and Technology Center was the first in Missouri to participate fully in the Registered Youth Apprenticeship program. Director Keith Davis says the program provides a step up for students who are getting ready to enter the workforce in a year or two.

“This apprenticeship program allows students who are 16 or 17 years old to learn the expectations of the workforce,” Keith said. “They work during the summer, and then come back to the career center for more training. They’re excited; they’re motivated.”

The program is a benefit for students and businesses, but it has to be a good fit for both. Keith said the businesses interview the students just as they would for a regular job, giving students the opportunity to build their interviewing skills. Businesses get the benefit of a homegrown labor force.

“It’s an opportunity for businesses to build a workforce within the community,” Keith said.

Kevin Keagy, MetalTec Products

Kevin is marketing and human resource manager at MetalTec Products, a metal fabrication shop in Lebanon, Mo. MetalTec partners with the Lebanon Career and Technology Center for the Registered Youth Apprenticeship program and employs a student from the career center as an apprentice welder.

Kevin said the business is proud to provide a career path for students who aren’t planning to attend college, but instead want to go directly into the workforce.

“As an employer, we are looking for good people constantly,” Kevin said. “The Registered Youth Apprenticeship program is one avenue that we have to identify potential candidates.”

Michael Arwardt, Cambarloc Engineering and Manufacturing

Cambarloc makes specialized automated machinery and refurbishes car-hauling trailers from its facility in Lebanon, Mo. Owner Michael Arwardt has hired two students from the Lebanon Career and Technology Center as part of the Registered Youth Apprenticeship program.

“There is a limited workforce in technical fields,” Michael said. “The Registered Youth Apprenticeship program helps us find quality employees that we can feel good about.”

Michael is a strong believer in the Career and Technology Center. He said the students who work for him are able to use the skills they learned in vocational training at the center. They continue their training at Cambarloc through what Michael called a “three-month interview.” The students will go to work full-time at Cambarloc once they graduate.

“Everyone wants to work in computers, but they don’t realize that somebody had to make the parts that are in computers,” Michael said. “The Registered Youth Apprenticeships program helps companies overcome shortages and find workers to make the parts.”