San Juan College (SJC) Apprenticeship Programs are providing students with a competitive advantage, paving the way to long-term careers.

Veronique Largo Automotive Technology Student

An apprenticeship is a structured and formalized training program that combines on-the-job learning with classroom instruction. It’s designed to provide individuals, aka apprentices, with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in a specific occupation or trade. Apprenticeships are a win-win for students and employers. Students earn while they learn, and employers secure skilled workers while reducing their recruitment costs.

SJC offers five apprenticeships, each with its own requirements: automotive technician, CDL, diesel mechanic, computer user support specialist and medical assistant. To become an approved program sponsor, SJC completed the application process required by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions State Apprentice Office. The CDL Apprenticeship was the first to receive approval, which was granted in December 2020. SJC received approval for the automotive, diesel mechanic and medical assistant apprenticeships in 2021 and the computer user support specialist last year. Completing a registered apprenticeship program is a nationally recognized credential, through the Department of Labor.

Veronique Largo is an apprentice at Andrew’s Automotive. She learned how to work on vehicles growing up and has enjoyed expanding on that knowledge. She explained that she chose the automotive profession because she enjoys a challenge and didn’t want a career where she had to sit behind a desk all day. Largo enjoys her apprenticeship and shared, “I like the variety; it’s not the same every day. I could be working on an engine one day and something else the next.” 

Stan Andrews, owner of Andrew’s Automotive, said that Veronique is the first apprentice they’ve had, and it’s been a beneficial partnership. “She’s a pleasure to work with, and we’re glad to have her here.”     

Students, 18 years of age and older who are interested in applying for an apprenticeship, can contact Tanda McCombe, Coordinator for the Center for Student Careers and Employment, at 505-566-3220 for more information.