CAIRO — Three Cairo High School seniors have signed contracts to serve apprenticeships at JTEKT/Koyo Bearings.
A ceremony took place Tuesday morning at Dark Horse Java as Diaz Farlin Jr., Jackson Law and Joel Moore signed agreements that could potentially give them the opportunity to earn a college degree and return to work at Koyo.
"We are wanting to entice our young people to come back to Grady County and Cairo to brighten our community's future and our students' future," said Michelle Ausley, work-based learning coordinator and career counselor at CHS.
"It's making our young people aware that there are opportunities here in Cairo, Georgia to make a tremendous living."
The internships will expire in May, and if they impress, the students may be signed on for another internship over the summer. Ausley said she believes at least one of the students is already being looked at to return for a summer position.
If all works out well, Koyo is offering to pay for the students' secondary education as long as they maintain a high grade point average. The students would then be offered a permanent position at Koyo upon their graduation from college.
To qualify for the internships, applicants had to maintain a 3.0 GPA and good attendance and not have any behavioral issues. Ausley interviewed a total of eight students.
Moore will be coming on board in January to take a position as an electric technician apprentice, but Farlin and Law already have been interning with Koyo since September and Ausley said both have been impressive so far.
Farlin works an early shift as a tool and die shop apprentice, coming into work at 6 a.m. every morning before going to school. During that time he's never been late, and he's done everything that's ever been asked of him, Ausley said. Law isn't afraid to get dirty as he earns his experience as a maintenance department electric technician apprentice, said one Koyo representative. The same representative noted a picture in the company's recent newsletter in which Law can been seen covered in filth.
Ausley said the College and Career Academy has worked hard over the past seven years to build a positive relationship with Koyo as part of an overall effort to cultivate a home-grown workforce. Tuesday morning's signings represented the first steps of the two entities' new partnership.
"Economic development 101 is to take care of your existing industry," said Trey Gainous, executive director of the Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce. "Partnering with Koyo Bearings and the CHS College and Career Academy to help celebrate the newest members of our workforce is a privilege. Educating our students about the industry right here in Grady County and then celebrating their commitment to those industries is an honor and something to be commended."