Lancaster, Calif. – Ray Dalke, a mechanical validation lead by BYD Coach & Bus in Lancaster, to looking to advance his career with the help of an apprenticeship program.

Dalke is part of the first cohort of an apprenticeship program created through a partnership between the company, SMART Local 105, and Antelope Valley College. The program started this fall.

Dalke, who started at BYD just over two years ago, said he joined the apprenticeship program because he wanted to acquire skills to do his job better.
“I’ve been able to get a place of my own,” Dalke said of working at BYD. “It’s opened a lot of doors. I’m renting now, but I’ll be looking to buy a home in a couple of months.”

BYD is proud to highlight its program during National Apprenticeship Week (NAW). NAW, now in its fifth year, is a nationwide celebration that gives businesses, communities, and educators the opportunity to showcase their apprenticeship programs and apprentices while providing valuable information to career seekers.

Called the Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship, the BYD program will total 16.5 units of college credit. Classroom work includes OSHA 10 safety training, blueprint reading, manufacturing concepts, machine trade mathematics, lean manufacturing techniques, technical memo writing skills, and emerging trends in manufacturing.

“I want more knowledge and more experience,” said Bartholomew Taylor, a welder and fabricator at BYD. “When I saw the apprenticeship program, I said I need that. The best investment is the investment in yourself.”

“The program is a win for the company and its employees,” said BYD North America President Stella Li. “The employee benefits by gaining skills that will help them advance their career. “The company benefits by having skilled workers who will help improve efficiency in production and the quality of our buses.”

“This is the best thing to happen to BYD,” Willy Solorzano of SMART Local 105, one of the program’s instructors. “We are giving guys the skills so that they can build the future of the Antelope Valley.”