Spencer Thiel was still in high school when he got his first taste of apprenticeship. During his senior year at Plymouth, Thiel was a manufacturing youth apprentice for Curt G. Joa Inc., a custom machine builder in Sheboygan Falls.
When he graduated high school, the same company offered him an adult apprenticeship through Lakeshore Technical College, and for Thiel it was a no-brainer. He loved the work and the opportunity to get paid while learning his craft.
This time around, the apprenticeship was much more challenging. As a Maintenance Technician Apprentice for Curt G. Joa, “We custom built machines that we shipped all over the world,” Thiel explains. “I got to go on the road, travel and do machine installs. I also did a lot of electrical wiring for machine controls.”
Right before the last semester of my apprenticeship, Thiel switched jobs and went to work for Masters Gallery Foods, Inc. “They finished out my apprenticeship and sponsored me for the last semester.” Last May, Thiel completed his Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship and is now employed full-time at Masters Gallery Foods as a Maintenance Mechanic.
Reflecting back on his time as an apprentice, one thing Thiel says he would do differently is, “Try to learn a little more from older generations that are retiring,” he says. But overall, it’s an experience Thiel would highly recommend to other students, especially those who consider themselves hands-on learners. “The best part of apprenticeship is learning from others, instead of just out of a textbook,” he concludes.