Onondaga Community College Offers Machinist Apprenticeship Program to Fill Skills Gaps

Dec 3, 2019

Onondaga Community College is partnering with two local machining and toolmaking businesses for an on-the-job apprenticeship training program.
Credit Onondaga Community College

An on-the-job apprenticeship training program is about to launch to fill the gaps for a lack of qualified talent in Central New York for machinists and toolmakers.  Onondaga Community College is partnering with two local companies to offer the free on the job training. 


Associate Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development, Mike Metzgar says it’s especially for people who are dealing with multiple family situations and jobs.

“If you are doing retail in the morning, taking movie tix in the afternoon, and driving Uber in the evening just to keep things going.  You need some more skills, you need a better job and you ought to consider us.”

The pay starts out at $12 an hour with built-in increases up to $18 an hour based on how long an employee works and their level of work performance.

“PPC manufactures a lot of the parts that ultimately go to support the broadband industry.  So that includes things like coax cable, drop connectors, amplifiers, those sorts of things.”

Metzgar adds the moment that people are selected they instantly become a student, an apprentice and an employee with a four year commitment.  Stickley is the other participating company.

Onondaga Community College Associate VP of Economic and Workforce Development Mike Metzgar is founding the apprenticeship program alongside two Syracuse-area companies; PPC and Stickley.
Credit John Smith / WAER News

“Increasingly now more and more is done by robots than people, so they use a lot of machines known as C&C machines which automate a lot of the processes people use to do by hand.  So they use that equipment to build the machines; they need folks who can operate and design on that equipment.”

Applicants must complete a basic math and reading test and a skills test and must have a high school diploma or a GED.  An information session happens for the apprenticeships on Monday, December 16th from 6 to 9 PM in OCC’s Storer Auditorium.