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Grads choose trades training programs

Several 2021 graduates will be earning money as they attend college training programs for electrical apprenticeships and automotive technician training. Carson Heldman and Brennan Finnegan will enter the Associated Builders and Contractors Electrical Apprenticeship program, which will provide them with supervised, paid, hands-on learning at Prosser Career Education Center via Vincennes University.

Carson and Brennan have been students in the Prosser high school electrician program the last two years and said they look forward to continuing their education in the same state-of-art lab. After completing the four-year program, they should have the required 8,000 work hours and will take a test to become a fully licensed journeyman electrician.

Carson said he was originally attracted to taking classes at Prosser because he prefers hands-on learning “and trade jobs were in demand, so I knew I could get a job with good pay.” After he completes the program and becomes an electrician, he also looks forward to having a flexible schedule.

Brennan received the ABC Electrical Apprenticeship, which will cover tuition for the first year of the apprenticeship program. When he entered Prosser his junior year, he didn’t necessarily have an electrician’s career in mind, but he ended up liking the work, he said.

“I like not sitting at a desk and getting out and doing an activity,” Brennan said.

Michael Hamm will be completing an automotive technician program, but he is still deciding which program to enter. He can choose to enter the Automotive Apprenticeship Group program, which will assign him to an auto repair shop, where he will receive supervised, paid, hands-on learning for a little more the two years. Or he can enroll at Ivy Tech Community College and receive hands-on learning in the same state-of-the-art Prosser lab he has been attending during high school. Ivy Tech offers several options, including an associate’s degree or two certificate programs, both of which include grants to cover the tuition.

Michael said he is weighing the pros and cons of each option and will decide by the fall semester which program to choose. Whichever route he takes, he looks forward to a career working on cars, a lifelong hobby he learned from his dad. He enjoys the sense of satisfaction from fixing challenging problems in a car’s engine.

“When you figure out a problem and understand what it was, you feel good about it,” Michael said.

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