Program leads to full-time jobs with livable wages
Sabastian Juarez and three classmates – Tanner Pratt, Jonathon Lizardi and Andres Gutierrez – have taken control of their futures and are ready for full-time careers with solid livable wages.
The four high school students recently completed a multi-year registered apprenticeship for machine operators that included 150 hours of early-morning classroom work and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.
Juarez is now 21 years old with a full-time job at High Desert Milk in Burley, making $25 an hour as an assistant shift supervisor.
“Sabastian, he’s phenomenal,” said Tory Bailey, human resources manager at High Desert Milk and classroom instructor for the machine operator apprenticeship. “He can run anything in the plant. He’s very driven and a quick-learner.”
The Idaho Department of Labor spent five years building the machine operator apprenticeship from scratch at the request of local manufacturing companies like McCain Foods, High Desert Milk and Fabri-Kal.