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Window manufacturer hires first apprentice out of high school program


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  • | 3:45 p.m. September 19, 2023
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Andrew Clark, left, will work with Mike Edmunds, Journeyman Tool and Die maker at PGT Innovations, throughout the four-year program.
Andrew Clark, left, will work with Mike Edmunds, Journeyman Tool and Die maker at PGT Innovations, throughout the four-year program.
Courtesy photo
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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Window and door manufacturer PGT Innovations recently announced its first hire into the company’s apprenticeship program created to build interest and awareness in the manufacturing industry. 

Andrew Clark, a recent Venice High School graduate, first came to PGT Innovations in 2022 as a member of the Pathway to PGTI program while he was still a high school senior. He's the first apprentice to came from the Pathway to PGTI program, according to a release. 

During that program, students spend two hours of their school day at PGT Innovations, which is based in Venice. Those hours are dedicated to classroom training in the company’s training center and working alongside a mentor. 

“At my school, there was a sign-up period for the program, but I missed it,” Clark recalls in a press release. “Later, one of our assistant principals stopped me in the hallway because she knew I liked to weld. She asked me if I wanted to join, and I was ecstatic.” 

After completing that program, Clark was invited back for a full-time paid summer internship in the window, door and garage door manufacturer’s tool and die department. The internship included more hands-on experience with working on the mill and grinder, welding, and learning new skills.  

Following the end of the internship, Clark was then admitted into the apprenticeship program for that same department. The four-year program was launched in 2018 for the tool and die department and is sponsored by CareerSource Suncoast. There’s currently another program in development for line maintenance. The programs have to be approved by the Department of Education to be able to operate. 

“We are thrilled to see the results of this promising initiative,” Rachel Evans, vice president of human relations at PGT Innovations, says in the release. “The Pathway to PGTI program is a shining example of what we can achieve right here in our community.” 

PGT Innovations, a window, door and garage door manufacturer, reported $1.49 billion in revenue in 2022.

 

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