Wiregrass Georgia Technical College and Wild Adventures are partnering to provide an apprenticeship opportunity for Wild Adventures employees receiving training through Wiregrass’ Economic Development. The apprenticeship program is a method of training individuals in a trade using a combination of on-the-job skills development and classroom/lab related instruction.
John Hall, Chris Longstreet, and Micheal Torres are part of the custom-designed maintenance technician apprenticeship program at Wiregrass and Wild Adventures is providing positions as Industrial Maintenance Mechanics. This custom program was possible thanks to an American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) Grant that allows technical colleges like Wiregrass to train workers in field. These funds are being used for apprenticeship enhancement opportunities related to ten approved programs of study that are covered under the Georgia HOPE Career Grant. The AAI grant funding is being used to work with area businesses like Wild Adventures to train current employees who register as apprentices through Wiregrass. The Wild Adventures apprentices will receive training in Industrial Maintenance by way of a non-credit, contract training agreement between Wiregrass Economic Development and Wild Adventures.
The apprenticeship program has proven to benefit business and industry in recruiting, training, and retaining highly skilled workers. Partnering with the college in hiring students through the apprenticeship program has also shown a reduction in turnover costs, higher productivity, and a more diverse workforce.
Wiregrass and Wild Adventures signed apprenticeship with three Wild Adventures employees. Pictured l-r Wiregrass Director of Economic Development Bill Tillman, Wiregrass President Dr. Tina K. Anderson, Wiregrass Executive Director of Departmental Affairs Nicole West, Wild Adventures Apprentice Micheal Torres, Wild Adventures Apprentice Chris Longstreet, Wild Adventures Apprentice John Hall Wild Adventures Assistant General Manager Jon Vigue, Wild Adventures Senior Director of Maintenance and Zoological Operations Barrett Byers.