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Baudoin, ETI earn 2021 ApprenticeshipNC awards

ASHEBORO — Randolph Community College student and Apprenticeship Randolph apprentice Caleb Baudoin has always wanted to follow in his grandpa’s and dad’s footsteps. Both have been machinists since they were 19. And neither toots his own horn. But, Baudoin’s coworkers at Hubbell Industrial Controls (HIC) took notice of not only the apprentice’s work ethic, but also his teamwork, enthusiasm, patience, and willingness to learn. The result was Baudoin earning the Outstanding Registered Apprentice Award at the annual ApprenticeshipNC Conference, held virtually April 27-28. Asheboro’s Elastic Therapy Inc. (ETI) was named Outstanding Consortium Member.

Baudoin, who is in his second year as an apprentice with Hubbell — a company that creates products that control larger machinery — found out about Apprenticeship Randolph (AR) through his high school career counselor. The program, which is for high school juniors and seniors, begins with a six-week, pre-apprenticeship summer program that consists of 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 or Information Technology through RCC and a Journeyworker Certificate from the N.C. Community College System and U.S. Department of Labor.

“I was interested in Apprenticeship Randolph right away, especially when I heard about the no debt and getting a degree,” he said. “The biggest thing [with choosing Hubbell] is they actually offered me a quality technician position. It was something completely different. When people on the floor build the product, I verify that it is what it is and that it operates correctly, and that it meets certain specifications.”

Second Year Apprentice Emma Fahy speaks about her employer, Elastic Therapy Inc., which won the Outstanding Consortium Member Award.
Baudoin has been on his own since he graduated from Trinity High School, even taking custody of his 17-year-old sister, Rhian, for a year and providing for both of them while their mom, a traveling nurse, was across the country in California.

“When my mom asked me, ‘Can you do it?’ I didn’t hesitate,” he said. “That’s how I am. I take care of my family before anything else.”

“I believe Caleb was nominated because of his passion for the program, his passion for success, and his passion for his family,” HIC Quality Supervisor Christopher Bradley said. “We really hope that he’s going to be available to stay.”

Not only is the 20-year-old working 40 hours a week, but, as a part of AR, he is taking courses at RCC, looking to graduate in the summer of 2023. After that, Baudoin said he’d like to take night and online classes to get his bachelor’s degree in business and even a master’s degree — and definitely keep working for Hubbell.

“The people at Hubbell are great,” he said. “They’re very enthusiastic, very energized.”

The feeling is mutual.

“Caleb is so exceptional; he is very attentive to details,” HIC Senior Manager Todd Yarborough said. “He communicates very well with our seasoned and our new production associates. He’s always helping them learn — ‘Here’s how we can make our products better. Here’s how we can eliminate defects.’ ”

All of that hard work earned Baudoin recognition from not only the folks at Hubbell, but also at the state level, earning him the award from ApprenticeshipNC.

“I just feel like I’m a, as they say, normal Joe; I feel like I don’t do anything special,” he said. “I would like to thank Hubbell Industrial Controls for giving me the chance to show what I can do,” Baudoin said. “I’d like to thank ApprenticeshipNC for giving me my award. And I’d like to thank my fellow apprentices for standing behind me and giving me the extra push that I need to stay in the program.”

ETI was one of the founding members of Apprenticeship Randolph. The company was nominated not only because of its commitment to lively learning, work-based learning, and apprenticeship, but also its commitment to diversity. ETI was the first member company to sign a female apprentice and the make-up of their current youth apprentices is represented by more than 50 percent minority population.

“They’re dedicated to teaching us, to building us as people; they’re about cultivating the whole person, not just cultivating a person to do a job,” said Emma Fahy, a second-year apprentice at ETI.

“Seventy to 80 percent of apprentice candidates actually complete the program and, of those that complete the program, 90 percent are with the same company five years after they complete the program,” ETI Director of Operations and Apprenticeship Randolph Co-Chair Chris Harrington said. “That’s why we’re in the program. ... I want to thank Apprenticeship North Carolina for the great honor of this award. And, most importantly, I want to thank the team at Elastic Therapy, all of our mentors, all of our technicians, and all of the different people that have made this possible.”

ApprenticeshipNC received more than 40 nominations for this year’s awards. Other award winners include Gaston College Apprenticeship 321 for Outstanding Apprenticeship Partner, Perry Sharpe for Outstanding High School Apprentice, Cape Fear Community College Electrical Lineworker Pre-Apprenticeship Program for Outstanding Pre-Apprenticeship Program, and Smithfield Foods Inc. for Outstanding Registered Apprenticeship Employer.

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.
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