Herbruck’s Team Members Complete DOL Registered Apprenticeship program

January 10, 2024

SARANAC, Mich. – Three hard-working herbruck’s team members  – Dennis Jankowiak, Austin Kelley, and Tyler Miller – recently completed their DOL Registered Apprenticeship program and are officially now Journey Workers!

Herbruck’s maintenance technician registered apprenticeship program was first launched in 2017 to develop the skills of our maintenance teams for the growing complexity and automation of our production and processing systems. While trades like Construction, Manufacturing, and Electricians have used the registered apprenticeship pathway for years, Herbruck’s was one of the first agribusiness companies to launch the program 6 years ago. 

The registered apprenticeship pathway is one that requires work and dedication.  Each of these journey workers has registered over 6,000 “On the Job Training” hours in areas ranging from preventative maintenance and machine troubleshooting and repair to machine assembly, installation, and wiring…and the cost accounting and documentation to support their activities. 

In addition to the 6,000 hours of On-the-Job Training, apprentices take over 30 credit hours of coursework at Montcalm Community College, in courses ranging from applied math and industrial safety to pneumatics, controls, quality control, and welding. They complete coursework, classwork, and lab experiences while working full time, putting in over 500 contact hours with MCC. 

Dennis Jankowiak  

Dennis rejoined Herbruck’s in 2015 as a crew member at Main Farm Production.  In 2018, Dennis was promoted to supervisor, and he now oversees the production manure employees at Main Farm.  Dennis began the DOL Apprenticeship Program in January of 2021 and started working with Neil as his Manager in July of that year. Dennis’ wife Ruth joined Herbruck’s in 2019 and she worked at the Main Farm Guard Shack. Fun fact—Ruth was the September 2022 Good Egg of the Month, 1 month before Dennis became Good Egg of the Month. 

Austin Kelley 

Austin rejoined Herbruck’s in 2015 like Dennis, as a crew member at Main Farm Production. Austin moved into the maintenance group in 2016 and helped during our transition to Cage Free. He became a supervisor in 2020 and now oversees the production maintenance team at the Main Farm (including Kyle Benjamin and Aaron Glenn, who are now maintenance apprentices who will continue to benefit from Austin’s official journey worker supervision.) Austin, too, joined the DOL Apprenticeship Program in January of 2021 and inherited Neil as a new Manager right when Dennis did. 

Tyler Miller 

Tyler joined Herbruck’s in 2010, joining many members of the Miller family who have worked with Herbruck’s.  He started at the Hennery and became a supervisor in 2015.  Tyler joined the DOL apprenticeship program in January of 2021, and in Fall 2021 he transferred to Green Meadow Organics, where Tyler now helps Keaton with their production and maintenance employees, including Robert Grinstern who joined the apprenticeship program one year after Tyler. Tyler has completed the program as a distinguished academic member, achieving an overall GPA of 3.91. Congratulations to all members on completing this program, and we thank you for your service and continued effort.