Our apprentice Dylan Pechiney successfully graduated from his two-year apprenticeship program.
We welcome him as a full-time employee and are excited to see him grow into his new role at LOGOMAT. Many students who want to start a career in trade, business, craft or manufacturing get their first experience and education on the job through their time as an apprentice.
Due to the German background of LOGOMAT we naturally were very interested when we learned about Festo Didactic’s efforts to establish such a program for students here in the United States. It is always a challenge to find employees that are not only qualified in the field of mechanics but have also skills in the sectors of electrical installations and controls integration. This more and more important interdisciplinary skill set is also an area that our business is heading towards and something we want our employees to become increasingly familiar with.
The MAP2 program tries to accomplish exactly that:
Providing a mechatronics education for interested young professionals!
In the US, we never participated in any apprenticeship program before. So, it was new to our company, and we were glad to find a partner in Festo Didactic, who could help with the organizational challenges that come with it. Once we made the decision to be part of MAP2, we presented the program and our company to a class of high school students. Dylan, who later turned out to be our apprentice for the next two years, showed immediate interest and convinced us to give him the chance to pursue this journey together with LOGOMAT.
After Dylan’s high school graduation, he started an internship with us for several months before his cohort was officially kicked off. During that time, he could get used to the transition from being a high school student to the life of an employee.
This transition is a major milestone and challenges you in many ways.
Being the youngest around a group of established mechanics, getting used to a very early morning work start and realizing that the parts you are producing must fulfill high quality standards in order to work properly at the customer’s site for many years. All of that has to sink in at first.
But the chance to follow your passion in the field of mechatronics and having the support of your co-workers did definitely outweigh these challenges for Dylan.
A program like that comes with a gradual learning curve. That is of course true for the apprentices themselves. They have to attend all classes, do their homework, study for upcoming tests and do their daily tasks expected by their respective employers.
This makes leisure time a luxury for the next two years.
But it is also true for employers, who are new to this program, such as ourselves. The work is not complete once you have signed a contract and hired an apprentice. You have to create a work schedule that supports the subjects learned at school. You have to check off the accomplished tasks and give the apprentice a chance to grow into higher skilled routines over time. You have to constantly reflect on the past working days together with the apprentice and line up expectations with reality.
In this sense, all parties involved went through the mentioned learning curve. We all grew over time, improved the daily tasks, the communication and thereby the program itself.
The AHK midterm and final were and are great additions to the program. This is the only time where all previously learned material has to come together. From time management to troubleshooting. From problem-solving strategies to the implementation of all the technical skills learned over the past two years.
And that you are capable to apply all of that must be proven under the pressure of a test environment. Passing these AHK tests is a great accomplishment for Dylan. And it confirms that all the studying and all the hard work over the course of the program enabled him to solve a problem that would have seemed to be an impossible task just two years ago.
If Dylan takes one thing out of this program, it might be this:
  • There is no problem you cannot solve.
  • The question is only if you are willing to invest the time and work in it.
Dylan proved to us just now, that with the right motivation you can achieve the goals you set for yourself.
Congratulations to Dylan and all of the graduates of the MAP2 program!