An apprenticeship program that started last year at Engel North America for prospective hires ages 25 and up has a waiting list with 1,275 applicants interested in becoming injection molding machine technicians.
The four-year program offers a starting pay of $22.80 an hour with educational costs covered and corporate housing provided when training is conducted at the York, Pa.-based subsidiary of Austria-based Engel Holding GmbH.
Graduates earn a nationally recognized journeyman's certificate and receive a full-time job offer from Engel upon completion.
Founded in 1945 by Ludwig Engel, the company builds hydraulic, all-electric and hybrid injection molding machines with 28-5,500 tons of clamping force for manufacturers of caps and closures, automotive components, household appliances, toys, medical syringes, electronic products and more.
Engel sold about $1.46 billion of machinery in the 2021-22 year.
The company has an apprenticeship program in Austria for high school students ages 15 and up. After at least three years of training, if the young adults pass an exam, they receive a certificate acknowledged there nationwide.
However, the U.S. program was set up differently. Engel North America seeks applicants ages 25 and up for the program offered in partnership with the Manufacturers' Association of South Central Pennsylvania. The machine builder isn't targeting younger adults because U.S. apprentices travel and rent vehicles. Previous job experiences are desired, according to Terri Fanz-Falzone, Engel North America's vice president of human resources.
"We found this to be a great marketing tool," Fanz-Falzone said in a phone interview. "People are coming in with real-life experience. They want a career but might not have had money for college. They just need some schooling and a little bit of help finding the right direction."
The program is drawing applicants from all over the United States and Canada following advertisements on job search websites such as LinkedIn, Monster.com and Indeed.