Milton Hershey School Students Earn Pre-Apprenticeship Certifications
Fifteen Milton Hershey School students recently earned their earned state-recognized pre-apprenticeship certifications in manufacturing. The students completed a two-week training program that prepared them to enter the workforce after graduation.
MHS conducted the Pre-Apprenticeship Program in collaboration with the Manufacturers’ Association of South Central Pennsylvania (MASCP) and The Hershey Company. The opportunity exposed students to the different skill sets necessary to succeed in the field of manufacturing.
Students explored topics such as blueprint reading and shop math to learn manufacturing, food safety, and quality control. They also earned their Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10 certification. The program combined classroom and hands-on style learning both on and off campus to provide students with a realistic understanding of what manufacturing is and what career options are available to them in the field after graduation.
On the last day of the program, the students toured Reese’s plant. Senior Alan Snyder said he was impressed with the importance human relationships play in candy making, even though much of the work is done through automation.
“The employees told us that no two days are the same,” Snyder said. “It is important to have a good relationship with your coworkers because they work together to solve problems.”
Rachael Mann, MHS Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE), said the certificates the students earned will become an important component of their resume. The CTE program combines tailor-made instruction and hands-on learning with the ability to gain certifications and real-life experience through internships, co-ops, and pre-apprenticeships.
“This is such an incredible opportunity,” Mann said. “As I think about my years, I cannot even imagine having an opportunity like this.”
The MASCP—which has more than 400 member organizations including The Hershey Company—has been teaching this course since 2018. Besides providing pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities for students, the MASCP connects students and adults with a pipeline of career options.
The Hershey Company has worked with the MASCP for many years and continues to offer support and experiences for students and adults interested in manufacturing careers. Similarly, The Hershey Company has expanded its programming with MHS and continues to partner with the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program to offer real-world opportunities.