ASHEBORO (August 13, 2018)
Apprenticeship Randolph welcomed 17 high school students as new apprentices for 2018 and signed an 18th student who joined the program mid-year last year during its 2018 Signing Ceremony held Aug. 9 in the R. Alton Cox Learning Resources Center auditorium at Randolph Community College.
TOP: Representatives from industry partner Hubbell Industrial Controls — (left to right) Christopher Bradley, group leader test technician; Greg Minns, test manager; Ramonica Emerson, human resources business partner; and Diane James, director of operations — watch as student Jesse Osborne signs his Apprenticeship Randolph contract with Hubbell.
BOTTOM: Welcoming Technimark’s new apprentices, (sitting from left to right) Luke Wood, Zackary Tucker, and Austin Atkins, were Tony McKnight (standing from left), N.C. Community Colleges apprenticeship NC consultant; Al Fogleman, Technimark maintenance manager; and Tim Wallace, technical manager.
Apprenticeship Randolph is an opportunity for students to get a jump start on a professional career in Randolph County’s booming local industries. Students have the opportunity to maximize earning potential, gain valuable skills and experience through on-the-job training, and earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Manufacturing Technology from Randolph Community College at no cost to the student.
According to Jeff Callicutt of Jaeco Precision Inc. and Chris Harrington of Elastic Therapy Inc., co-chairs of the Apprenticeship Randolph organization who gave the welcome and opening remarks, each of these students have the potential to earn $120,000 by the end of the program, will have earned a two-year associate degree, and will have no college debt. “It is compelling,” said Harrington of the program. He noted that one of the additional benefits is that he has seen mentors and other workers who are involved with the apprentices show additional engagement at work.
Rick Powell, president of PEMMCO Manufacturing, was the keynote speaker for the event. Powell told the students, “You have demonstrated what a lot of your peers have not…you have taken a path that is less crowded and more difficult. It’s a big deal for our community.” Powell talked about how manufacturing has evolved and changed over the years, leaving a skills gap that is expected to result in 2 million jobs going unfilled in the next seven years.
Powell told the group that the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that workers who take part in apprentice programs have a $300,000 lifetime advantage over non-apprentices. “Plus, you are doing something you are passionate about. You will be more successful and happier.” He also noted the benefits for the industry partners. “In my industry, we are targeting about 20% growth every year,” he said. “I can get equipment. I can build buildings. But the most critical part – the people – I don’t have that answer. You are part of that answer.”
Powell continued, “Last year’s apprenticeships have been a resounding success, and we expect the same this year.”
During closing remarks, Dr. Robert S. Shackelford, RCC president, praised the success of Apprenticeship Randolph and said there are counties all over the state who want but don’t have apprenticeship programs and counties who have programs, but not at this level. “When you take young people who have the grit, employers who have the vision, and school systems who have the passion, this county is moving in the right direction,” he said.
Eleven industry partners committed to one or more apprentices for 2018. After an application process and orientation in February and March, selected students were invited to interview. On Draft Day in early spring, pre-apprenticeship offers were given to selected students. Pre-apprentices attended classes at RCC during the summer session and worked at their chosen industries. At the end of July, apprenticeship offers were given to selected students.
This year’s apprentices and industry partners are as follows:
Allen Machine & Fabrication – Brycen Walker.
DS Smith – Ethan Earls and Justin Williams.
Energizer – Ben Cable.
EG Industries – Tanner Loggains.
Elastic Therapy Inc. – Xzandria Bell, Brayan Guerrero, and Jorge Martinez.
Hubbell Incorporated – Jesse Osborne.
MAS Acme – Luke Greer.
PEMMCO Manufacturing Inc. – Dakota Wolford.
Post Consumer Brands – Keshon Coleman and Joshua DeFreece.
Sapona Plastics - David Edwards.
Technimark – Austin Atkins, Zackary Tucker, and Luke Wood.
The 2017 cohort apprenticeship signed with this group was Ryan Woods for Phoenix Precision.