RCC holds Apprenticeship Week Celebration

ASHEBORO (Nov. 15, 2019)

Randolph Community College held a celebration for National Apprenticeship Week on Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the JB & Claire Davis Corporate Training Center on the Asheboro Campus.

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The current Apprenticeship Randolph apprentices gathered Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the JB & Claire Davis Corporate Training Center on the Randolph Community College campus to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week.

Forty-two Apprenticeship Randolph apprentices were in attendance, along with RCC faculty and staff and local industry partners. The group enjoyed pizza and cake before hearing a motivational message from RCC President Dr. Robert S. Shackleford Jr., who spoke of growing up poor as the son of a boilermaker, working hard to make his high school basketball team, and encouraging others as a U.S. Army chaplain.

“I sat down one day with my mother and said, ‘Mom, when I grow up do I have to be a boilermaker?’ ” he said. “I was afraid to ask. I didn’t want her to think I was disrespecting my father’s work. He was a hero to me. She said something that changed my whole life: ‘Son, when you grow up you can be anything in the world you want to be if you get your education and work hard.’ I was blown away. For the first time in my life, I had permission to hope and dream.”

“You may get discouraged, you may say I can’t do this, you may get down, you may wonder if you’re going to make the team, things will get hard, but I’m telling you, you can be anything in the world you want to be if you get your education and work hard. I’m living my dream. I want you to live your dream. I’m very proud of every one of you, and I’m pulling for you.”

Apprenticeship Randolph began in June 2016 as a collaboration among Randolph Community College, the Randolph County School System, Asheboro City Schools, the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce, and local manufacturers. The goal was to bridge both the interest and skill gaps in modern manufacturing and provide a vehicle for expanding the workforce pool for advance manufacturing in the county. With tuition funded through Career and College Promise and the N.C. Youth Apprenticeship Tuition Waiver Program and books paid for by the school systems and the participating companies, Apprenticeship Randolph produces an educated, skilled, debt-free workforce.

The program, which is for high school juniors and seniors, begins with a six-week, pre-apprenticeship summer program that consists of two RCC classes and 40 hours per week of on-the-job training. Once a business selects its apprentice after this trial period, the program is spread over four years with students receiving paid, on-the-job training while earning an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Manufacturing Technology, Automotive Systems Technology, or Information Technology through RCC and a Journeyworker Certificate from the N.C. Community College System and U.S. Department of Labor.