Stecker Machine Blog

Youth Machinist Apprenticeship Programs: Great Opportunity & Benefits

04/06/2022 | Matt Oswald


20 years. That’s the average amount of time it takes for a college student who borrows money to pay off their student loan debt.1

That 20 years is likely longer than you’ve been a parent of your high schooler. Imagine your child taking that much time just to pay off student loans. It’s scary!

Now, imagine a better way for many young people. How about a paid, part-time apprenticeship that kick-starts a career without additional formal education?

Youth machinist apprenticeship programs are available now in Manitowoc County that:

  • Pay well while training happens
  • Introduce students to high-tech equipment and computer-driven tasks
  • Fit a young person’s schedule
  • Emphasize safety in the workplace
  • Encourage career advancement

Great Opportunities For High School-Aged Youth

Manitowoc County high school students have a chance to join CNC machinist youth apprenticeships. CNC (computer numerical control) machines use computer technology to produce highly precise machined parts. “Computer controlled” means that this high-tech work is far more clean and safe than you might think when you hear the word “machinist.”

In a previous article, we explained how a CNC machinist may be the perfect career for high school students and recent graduates. And, if you’re not sure what working in a CNC machine shop is like, read this article by a brand new CNC machine operator.

There are other opportunities, too! Stecker Machine Company helps youth throughout Manitowoc County get familiar with CNC machining through:

Youth Machinist Apprenticeships — These 1- or 2-year programs invite high school juniors and seniors to earn credit and wages while gaining valuable CNC machining industry experience — machining, programming, auditing, and logging data — under the watchful eye of Stecker’s mentors.

Job Shadows — This 2- to 4-hour, on-site experience helps up to two students learn the technology, daily routines, and responsibilities of a CNC machinist and allows them to ask questions about available career opportunities and advancement.

Career Experiences — Stecker’s Marketing & Management Team explains how their roles play an important part in the successful operation of a CNC machine shop. This experience is available to two students per day.

Student Tours — More than a walkthrough of Stecker’s two facilities, a tour with up to five students includes connecting with machining professionals who have varied roles and have advanced their careers at Stecker.

About Stecker Machine Company

A family-owned and managed company, Stecker serves OEM customers with leading-edge production of CNC machined parts for trucks, tractors, and other equipment.

A company that values lifelong learning, Stecker’s leaders and managers have worked their way up from CNC machinist positions, combining their high school educations with on-the-job learning for long-term career success.

Our commitment to our customers and our 250+ non-union employees is shown in our reinvestment in new technology and constant focus on quality. A leader in the industry, Stecker is certified by DQS Inc. to ISO 9001:2015 and IATF 16949:2016.

Stecker, located at 5107 County C, created this video to show the incredible CNC machining happening just south of Manitowoc:

Stecker is part of the Inspire WI network, which connects students and educators to industry partners for WI youth apprenticeship programs.

When you’re ready to learn more about how young people can explore CNC machining, contact Stecker.


SOURCE, Average Time to Repay Student Loans, December 16, 2021

Matt Oswald

About the Author

Matt leads SMC's Human Resources and Marketing Team. He has worked for Stecker Machine for over 7 years on projects spanning CNC manufacturing, robotics, inbound marketing, and leadership. He enjoys applying his engineering background to any business challenge.

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