Apprenticeships Work!

Apprenticeships Work!

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting and speaking with Brad Nycek at Clips & Clamps in Plymouth, Mich. General Manager Jeff Aznavorian provided a wonderful tour for a group of us, and when we arrived in the dimly lit Design Department, we were introduced to Nycek. He showed us, on his 3-D screen, a problem he was solving with a clip. I was amazed as he explained the situation in a way that even I could understand. I won’t attempt to explain the fix to you, but suffice it to say it was brilliant.

I couldn’t resist interviewing Nycek, a 2007 high school graduate, to find out his story, and I’m glad I did. While he was in high school, he said everyone encouraged him to go to college, but it just didn’t feel right. (By the way, no one suggested that he might want to consider going into the “trades.”) He did take some classes, including general studies, business and auto body at two community colleges, but his “Big Break” came through family friends — the Aznavorian family.

One day, Jeff Aznavorian called and told Nycek his business was booming, and he wondered if Nycek would be interested in coming to work at Clips & Clamps. Nycek started out in assembly and, after less than six months, Aznavorian offered the Clips & Clamps three-year apprenticeship program to Nycek, who quickly accepted.

Today, while still working at Clips & Clamps, Nycek has entered the University of Michigan’s mechanical engineering program — sponsored by, you guessed it, Clips & Clamps. Nycek told me, “The real world experience is making school easier, and more enjoyable.”

This is one of the best examples I’ve seen of “Building Your Own Dream Team.”

Congratulations to the Aznavorian family and Brad Nycek!