VALDOSTA — Third-generation technical college student Garyson Scheller signed a registered apprenticeship agreement with Whidden Gunworks.
Scheller is a precision machining and manufacturing student on Wiregrass Georgia Technical School’s Valdosta campus, college officials said in a statement.
He began working at Whidden Gunworks as a Berrien High School work-based learning student.
“Work-based learning is a great pathway into the registered apprenticeship training model. We are a proud that Garyson chose Wiregrass Tech to continue his family’s technical college legacy,” said Nicole West, Wiregrass director of apprenticeships.
Scheller’s family legacy includes his grandmother, Susan Nelms, clerical/office assistant program graduate, his mother, Ashley Scheller, computer applications program graduate, and his father, Johnathan Scheller, industrial electrical program graduate.
Registered apprenticeship is a partnership between local industry and the technical college to offer real-world training alongside a technical education, college officials said. Scheller is apprenticing at Whidden Gunworks as a machine operator.
After his apprenticeship, Scheller will be awarded a national Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship from the U.S. Department of Labor as well as a precision machining and manufacturing diploma from Wiregrass.
John Whidden, owner of Whidden Gunworks, said, “Garyson began employment with us while he was in high school. It’s been a great pleasure to see him learn and mature in his abilities. The apprenticeship program at Wiregrass is a wonderful fit for all of us and we couldn’t be happier to be on a team with Garyson and Wiregrass. I encourage anyone who is looking to expand their skills to consider an apprenticeship like this.”
Whidden Gunworks manufactures some of the “most innovative and creative precision products for the world of competitive and recreational shooting,” college officials said. “Developed to satisfy the needs of repeated national champions and world record holders, all of their offerings are precision shooting products.”
Wiregrass partners with 32 local businesses to sponsor apprentices for open employment opportunities. The college has 32 active student apprentices. Additionally, 22 students have completed their registered apprenticeship program and received a national certificate of completion, college officials said. The program has proven to benefit businesses and industries in recruiting, training and retaining highly skilled workers.
Partnering with the college in hiring students through the apprenticeship program has also shown a reduction in turnover costs, a higher productivity rate and a more diverse workforce.
If a business would like to learn more about the apprenticeship program, contact Nicole West at [email protected] or by calling (229) 333-2100, ext. 4837. To learn more about Wiregrass Tech, visit any campus or online at Wiregrass.edu.