As a senior at Washougal High School, Bobby Jacobs is ahead of the curve in knowing what type of career and education he’ll pursue after graduation.
He is one of 12 students in Clark County to be selected for Boeing’s TechPrep program, a paid summer internship with hands-on experience in machining and manufacturing, as well as job application skills and work experience.
This summer, he will work as part of a team to produce a rocket boat.
The TechPrep program’s goal is to, “bridge the gap between high school and college, to help students determine if they would like to pursue a career in manufacturing production and engineering.”
To be considered, students must complete a lengthy application process. Less than 5 percent of applicants across the state are accepted.
Jacobs was accepted to the program and completed the first part of the program last summer, where he spent four weeks, 40 hours per week, working with drills, mills and lathes.
He has learned how to read and create technical drawings as well as build tools such as a telescoping hammer, which was his pick for a class project.
“In four weeks I learned as much as I would have learned in a whole semester in high school,” said Jacobs. “This opportunity has really helped me get my foot in the door with Boeing.”
In addition to gaining hands-on skills, Jacobs learned the ins and outs of working in a high-security professional organization: How to abide by company procedures, work safely and deal with security and confidentiality.
Since Jacobs successfully completed his first summer session, he was invited back to participate in a second internship. After that, he’ll be eligible to participate in a seven-week program where he will job-shadow professionals, gain interview skills and create a resume. By the end of the program, he will be able to apply for a job with the company or pursue a college education in engineering, which Boeing may help pay for.
“He’s gaining a lot of experience that’s tough to come by anywhere else,” said Marsha Spencer, WHS career and technical education director.