SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio-based company is offering an apprenticeship program to train more skilled workers in the manufacturing industry.
Cox Manufacturing Company is behind this program that will pay up to $18 an hour.
"We make over a million parts every week. Little components that go in a broad range of industries. They go into defense products, automotive, trucking, firearms," said Bill Cox, president and CEO of the company.
The three-year program includes benefits where workers can earn up to an extra week of vacation after each year is completed. Cox said they are one of only three manufacturers in San Antonio that have an apprenticeship program that's approved by the Department of Labor.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, there's nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs in demand over the next decade but due to the skills gap, 2 million are predicted to not be filled. Cox said the program offers a huge opportunity for anyone interested in becoming a skilled technician.
"In my old career, we have been fighting jobs leaving the United States and they are coming back," said Cox. "In addition to the baby boomers retiring, there's new technology that's providing opportunities."
Seam Althaus entered the program when he was 22 years old. He's now the training coordinator of the company.
"I didn't have a strong desire to go to college. So this was a perfect opportunity. They said you could grow and learn at the same time," said Althaus. "They'll receive a Department of Labor certificate, that says they are a journeyman in CNC technology. You can take that to any company nationally."
Althaus said participants can also receive college credits through the program. For more information, click here.