Goodwill launches new aerospace and advanced manufacturing career program

Quality Inspection Engineer Rob Ingham and Production Manager Jared Taylor from General Plastics demonstrate the Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM), which measures a part to a customer-supplied model. Students (l to r) are Hilda Mossmayer, Brandie Hensley, Rod Levy and Russell Etienne.
Jared Taylor, production manager at General Plastics, demonstrates how a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine shapes foam parts in the foreground. Students (l to r) are Hilda Mossmayer, Russell Etienne, Beau Friesen and Brandie Hensley.

Tacoma, Longview and Yakima
Goodwill is helping to launch high paying aerospace, and other advanced manufacturing careers thanks to their new free course in Advanced Manufacturing and Warehouse.

The nonprofit created the Tacoma, Longview and Yakima program to meet increasing industry needs for a skilled workforce.

“We see that industry trends and the high demand for a skilled labor force is painting a rosy picture for those considering a career in advanced manufacturing,” said Denis Asay, HR Director for General Plastics in Tacoma. “As an example, a production operator can enter the field at $20 an hour, and with promotions or improved skill level reach a $35 salary level in as early as four years,” said Asay.

Goodwill and their training partner AJAC (Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee) debuted the new 12-week program at their high-tech distance learning theater in Tacoma. Thanks to distance learning technology at their Tacoma education campus, Goodwill and AJAC are able to simulcast to mirror training sites at Longview and Yakima education centers with each classroom also having their own work stations and instructor support.

The program is made free to adults 18 and older thanks to support from Goodwill thrift store revenue and help from Tacoma industry giants such as General Plastic and Milgard Windows and Doors.

The course covers advanced manufacturing and warehouse basics, including logistics, production and assembly. Included are multiple certifications and training for entry-level positions.

The program emphasizes applied shop math, industry terminology, precision measuring, blueprints, G&M coding and an introduction to the manufacturing process and work flow. The program also prepares graduates with job search and employment skills and helps with entry-level job or apprenticeship placement.

In addition to education support in the form of manufacturing and warehouse tours, area industry leaders also consider program graduates for employment.

And at the late July course debut, Milgard Windows and Doors also surprised the audience with a $10,000 check for future support of the new program.

The next program begins on Sept. 20 and runs through Dec. 13. Instruction is Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

A one-day (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) mandatory orientation helps applicants better understand the industry, education paths and their best courses of action. Three orientations take place Aug. 28, Sept. 4 and Sept. 11.

Interested adults can find more information at, along with details on other free career programs such as construction, culinary skills, barista skills, and computers.

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