Elsner Hires First Graduate of Chamber Apprenticeship Program

The Hanover Chamber Apprenticeship Program has graduated its first pre-apprentice, Zach Neighoff. Neighoff worked with Elsner Engineering as a pre-apprentice throughout his senior year at South Western High School. Upon graduation, Neighoff was offered a paid apprenticeship with Elsner, making him the first full-time apprentice hired through the Hanover Chamber Apprenticeship program.

Current employers in the Hanover Chamber Apprenticeship Program include Abbottstown Industries; Elsner Engineering Works; KLK School of Welding; Precision Cut Industries; R.H. Sheppard, a WABCO Company; and Utz Quality Foods.

The Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce was the first chamber in Pennsylvania to submit a Chamber Apprenticeship Model that was approved by the PA Department of Labor and Industry. The current focus of the program is mechatronics, machining, and welding.

Through the apprenticeship program, high school students will have the opportunity to begin as a pre-apprentice in their junior year, with the program structured around their high school curriculum and work within one of the participating companies. Upon graduation, the student will have the opportunity to complete a paid apprenticeship within the company.

The apprenticeship program is part of a greater workforce development initiative by the Hanover Chamber, in collaboration with local partners in business and education.  Noting the need for a talented and competitive workforce, the chamber began implementing strategies to educate and develop the future workforce over 15 years ago.

Over the past 12 months, the apprenticeship program has received approximately $200,000 in grants from the state of Pennsylvania. Grant monies have been allocated to business partners and local school districts to pay for training and equipment purchases.

To get involved in the Hanover Chamber Apprenticeship Program, please contact Gary Laird at glaird@hanoverchamber.com.