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Students compete for apprenticeship, training at Croman helicopter company

Croman says it pays apprentices while also training them on the job.

Posted: May 23, 2019 2:38 PM

WHITE CITY, Ore. -- Students across the country are graduating, and starting their next chapters.

For Levi Strong, a senior at Eagle Point High School, college wasn't the right fit. He and three other high school students toured Croman Corporation today, a helicopter company. They are hoping to receive apprenticeships, which will provide them with training and certifications.

"The program is based on everything that we do here in the facility," Kristopher Kaufman, director of maintenance, said. That includes maintaining the helicopters, working in the truck shop, or running the computer production equipment.

Students dropped off their resumes today, hoping to be called back for an interview. Strong hopes he can get this apprenticeship opportunity.

"An internship opportunity where they teach you, they train you, and then they get you your certifications and everything you need to be qualified to go elsewhere -- it just seemed too good to be true," Strong said. 

Kaufman says they pay their apprentices while also training them on the job. The company also pays for their certifications, hoping to train the younger generation of mechanics the ropes while the Baby Boomer generation is still in the workforce.

"A lot of the older mechanics are retiring now," Kaufman said. 

For Strong, this is what he hopes to do for the rest of his life.

"I've just always had an aptitude for it," Strong said. "I built my own motors for my truck. It's always something that's appealing -- it gives me energy." 

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