DENSO Celebrates Apprentice Graduates, Highlights Importance of Skilled Trades in Battle Creek, Michigan, Ceremony

5 graduates earn their journeyman cards, take the next step in their careers and in strengthening DENSO’s manufacturing operations

Feb. 5, 2024
  • Apprentices smiling

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (Feb. 5, 2024) ― DENSO, a leading mobility supplier, today hosted a graduation ceremony for its 2023 class of apprentice graduates at its thermal manufacturing facility in Battle Creek, Michigan, celebrating each individual for advancing to DENSO journeyman status. 

Five apprentices were honored and received their journeyman cards. The event also included remarks from DENSO leaders and graduates and Michigan State Rep. Jim Haadsma.  

While DENSO apprenticeships vary by site, the Battle Creek team established its program in 2003 and has since graduated over 60 apprentices to journeyman roles. 

"This is such a rewarding day, not just for our graduates, but for our entire DENSO team," said Todd Greer, director of Facilities and Production Maintenance at DENSO's Battle Creek thermal facility. "Throughout the program, we've seen these apprentices grow so much. Now they're journeymen, ready to take the next step in their careers and in helping DENSO carry on our legacy as an advanced manufacturer."  

Graduates recognized during the ceremony included: 
Chris Carlisle, Maintenance Machine Repair l 
Jamie Prentice, Maintenance Tool and Die Repair ll 
Thomas Vaughn, Maintenance Machine Repair l 
Joseph Malone, Maintenance Electrician l  
Ryan Vicol, Maintenance Electrician l  

To join the apprentice program, interested DENSO employees must complete assessment tests and apply. After a rigorous evaluation, DENSO identifies applicants each year to participate in the four-year apprenticeship. Selected employees then begin an intensive program that combines classroom learning at the Kellogg Community College (KCC) Regional Manufacturing Technology Center (RMTC) with extensive on-the-job training under the guidance of current DENSO skilled trades professionals. 

"Four years ago, becoming a journeyman felt so far away," said Chris Carlisle, who graduated today and is a maintenance machine repair associate. "Now that I've done all the work to get here, and had the support of the great people around me, I could not feel more ready. I look forward to continuing to grow my skills with my fellow apprentice graduates and with DENSO."

As journeymen, the graduates will use the skilled trades expertise they have built to maintain and optimize DENSO’s manufacturing operations. These activities are especially important as product and production technology continues to evolve and DENSO strives to support greener, safer mobility.

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About DENSO 
Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO is a $47.9 billion leading mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in around 200 facilities worldwide to produce cutting-edge electrification, powertrain, thermal and mobility electronics products, among others, that change how the world moves. In developing such solutions, the company’s 165,000 global employees pursue rewarding careers while paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents and preserves the environment. DENSO spent around 9.0 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. For more information about DENSO’s operations worldwide, visit
In North America, DENSO is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, and employs 27,000+ engineers, researchers, and skilled workers across nearly 50 sites in the U.S, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs 17,500+ employees across 14 states (and the District of Columbia) at 41 sites. In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, DENSO in North America generated $11.3 billion in consolidated sales. DENSO is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion inside the company and beyond – a principle that brings together unique perspectives, bolsters innovation and pushes DENSO forward. To learn more about DENSO operations in the region and to review current career opportunities, please visit