BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tennessee High School and Seaman Corporation signed the first students in their newly formed pre-apprenticeship program with Northeast State Community College and the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM).

This is the first pre-apprenticeship program that Seaman Corporation has with a local high school.

“It’s just a great opportunity for the students to come on-site and learn technical skills and workplace operations,” said Donna Tate, senior human resources manager at Seaman Corporation in Bristol. “And, I think it’s great for them to see that and hopefully grow into a four-year apprenticeship that we will do later on with RCAM.”

Mica Hall, Brantley Henard, and Faith Thacker all signed as the first students in this pre-apprenticeship program. They have already started working on-site at Seaman Corporation in Bristol.

“We have one that’s working alongside our maintenance department on general maintenance repair, just various walkthroughs through the buildings, some minor machine repairs using tooling,” said Tate.

Brantley Henard is a senior in the pre-apprenticeship program. He’s been working in the textile plant and working with technicians on maintenance as well.

“I’ve learned how to start splicing yarn and just kind of hands-on things, working with the machines, helping them start one up and pulling yarn and just good hands-on techniques,” said Henard.

Students have to undergo safety training before entering the pre-apprenticeship.

“It’s between 16 and 18-year-old students,” said Tate. “Preferably they’re in the machinery class with Mr. Anderson here at Tennessee High School, which I know they go through a 10-hour OSHA safety training.”

Henard encourages other students to apply for this program.

“Just try it out, because I had no clue if I would like it or anything,” said Henard. “And I joined and I’m loving it. So, I don’t think there’s a bad thing about it.”

He believes the skills he’s learning in this pre-apprenticeship will help him in his future career.

“I think it’ll definitely help me out with communication skills and hands-on skills, if I’m doing hands-on skills in the future,” said Henard. “And, I think it’ll help in pretty much every aspect of any business.”

Tennessee High School also has pre-apprenticeship program partnerships with J.A. Street and The Robinette Company.

Seaman Corporation officials say they hope to expand their pre-apprenticeship program to other high schools in the region.