Tech Center student accepted into first-of-its-kind Student Learner Program

The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation (SMART) Local 7’s Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC), in partnership with the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center (CTC), recently signed their first participant, Asa Poulin (North Muskegon), to their new Student Learner Program. Asa, a Welding Technology student at the CTC, will receive 40 hours of industry-related education and on the job training towards the goal of registering with Local 7’s Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Program. According to Local 7’s Training Coordinator, Darek Scarlavai, this program is the first with the association in Michigan, and possibly the nation.

Scarlavai, JATC Chairman Gary Bird, Business Representative Dave Rutz, MACTC Principal Kyle Fiebig, Welding Instructor Rod Bulthouse, and North Muskegon High School Principal Ken Byard, along with Asa’s parents, Marty and Rachel Poulin, were present as he signed the Student Learner Program agreement.

“I was one of three students Mr. Bulthouse recommended for the program,” shared Asa. “All three of us were then interviewed by the committee members. I was surprised and happy when I found out I was selected.”

To qualify, applicants had to be at least 16 years of age, have attended a minimum of 95% of scheduled classes their freshman and sophomore years of high school, have maintained 3.0 grade point average in classes related to the trade, submit a written recommendation from at least one teacher in a class related to the trade, be able to perform the essential functions of the trade, and complete a substance abuse screening profile.

Poulin will begin the training program this December. Since he is a senior, he will only be in the Student Learner Program for one year and then advance to Local 7’s apprenticeship program after graduation.