WBL/YAP Student Success Stories

April 01, 2018
Contributed By: Linda Minor, Chatham County, Southeast Region

Stephanie Zerby

Stephanie Zerby

Stephanie Zerby – Woodville Tompkins Technical & Career High School

Stephanie Zerby joined the Flight Operations Pathway at Woodville Tompkins Technical & Career High School(Savannah) her junior year. She was working nightly past mid-night at a fast food restaurant and coming into school exhausted. She was desperate for a different working environment. She did not have the self-confidence to write a strong essay selling herself as a Gulfstream YAP applicant despite her excellent writing skills. She worked with her WBL coordinator, Linda Minor, redoing her essay many times and she practiced her job interview skills.

She was admitted as a Gulfstream YAP student. It was her dream job to work at Gulfstream. As her confidence grew, she became the student face of Gulfstream in the news during their 50th anniversary celebration. She also was awarded a place after graduation to continue working at Gulfstream.

In the fall, she will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She will continue to pursue her internship at Gulfstream as a college student and her dream job as a Gulfstream lifetime employee where her current success has put her in position to make this happen.

    March 01, 2018

    Baylon Mitchell

    Baylon Mitchell at IMS:Gear Training Center

    Baylon Mitchell – North Hall High School, Class of 2017

    Baylon participated in Honor’s level courses and also completed the STEM pathway at NHHS. At the end of his Junior year, Baylon applied for an internship with IMS Gear in Gainesville, Georgia.

    The IMS Gear internship during his Senior year, provided valuable experience and direction for his future. Baylon is now a part of the Apprenticeship program at IMS Gear. He continues to work and learn on-the-job, while pursuing a post-secondary degree that is being paid for by his employer.

      February 01, 2018

      Eric Ramey

      Eric Ramey, a 2013-2014 graduate of Jackson County Comprehensive High School and Work Based Learning participant and Youth Apprenticeship completer, began his pathway to success with Kubota Industrial Equipment as a junior in high school. Eric has completed the Agriculture Mechanics Pathway and Construction Pathways. As a junior, he was hired as a Work Based Learning/Youth Apprenticeship intern and worked on the assembly lines at Kubota, but also worked in the following departments: Backhoe Assembly, Receiving Warehouse, Chassis Assembly, Tractor Assembly, Research and Development, and the Kaizen Shop. Based on his outstanding work ethic, KIE saw the potential for Eric to advance within the company.

      Eric took advantage of Kubota's tuition reimbursement program and enrolled in the Industrial Systems Technology Course at Lanier Technical College and recently completed his coursework. He is now a maintenance technician at Kubota Industrial Equipment, Jefferson, GA and he is responsible for servicing and maintaining all equipment (processing work orders and preventative maintenance), trouble shooting and diagnosing electrical problems, installing new hardware on equipment to improve performance and trouble shooting and repairing hydraulic systems and pneumatic systems. He also trouble shoots basic PLC programs and writes basic PLC ladder programs.

      He is married and welcomed a baby boy in December.



      When I first met Eric he was Undecided / Unclear / and Unsure about his future after graduation. Through WBL and our mentoring opportunities we discovered a young man who was Able / Willing / and Successful in his secondary education at Lanier Technical College and now he has a clear career pathway at Kubota...Thanks again for the opportunity to work with such a fine young man, and he was a very good recruiter in bringing his brother on board as well.

      Greg Worley
      Kubota Manufacturing of America

        January 01, 2018

        Brandon Owens

        Brandon Owens– was a graduate of Hardaway High School in 2012. He was in the third cohort of students placed at Pratt Whitney Engine Center in Columbus, GA. Pratt Whitney, a United Technologies global company builds and services engines for commercial and military aircraft. The job placement involved working on the floor under supervision of as mentor on Monday through Thursday. On Friday Brandon would come back to the school wearing his uniform and assisted students in other Career and Technical classes while motivating them about their future career plans. He was practicing what his mentor did with him and emulated the model with his peers at school and preached the importance of employability skills and the importance of their technical skills.

        Brandon has now been hired full time and has earned his FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license. All of his post-secondary training was paid for by Pratt Whitney. Brandon has moved up several ranks and has lately been moved to the team for the new Geared Turbo Fan (GTF) which is Pratt and Whitney’s latest innovation and most modern engine to date. He is now a trainer and mentor for new students coming into the program.

        Brandon states, “Along with completing the work-based learning experience and becoming a full-time employee for a very successful company, I have been given a truly humbling opportunity, to go out and inspire students to join internships while they are still in school. I have been in several Georgia Work Based Learning seminars and meetings with school superintendents, Work Based Learning coordinators, and other educators. It has been a great eye-opening experience speaking to state legislators and stakeholders all over Georgia. With Work Based Learning and Pratt & Whitney I have been given much more than a job, but a career and a lifelong success.”