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Summit for employers explores federally funded apprenticeships

Apprenticeships have long been a staple of the European manufacturing sector, but the concept is less widespread among American companies. Beaufort County Community College has started working with local manufacturers to help fill essential roles in their companies. To help spread the word about this opportunity, BCCC is holding an Employer Apprenticeship Summit next Friday from 8 a.m. to noon in Building 10 on its campus.

A registered apprenticeship is a formalized program that combines on-the-job training with related classroom instruction through Beaufort County Community College. Apprenticeship is an “earn and learn” model. Apprentices are full-time employees who earn wages while they learn on the job.

Apprentices are provided a progressive wage scale from the employer and an opportunity to earn academic credentials from BCCC and a Journeyman Certificate from N.C. and U.S. departments of labor. The college offers apprenticeships for maintenance technicians, electrical linemen, production process technicians, welding technicians and injection molding technician.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our local industries,” said Stacey Gerard, vice president of continuing education. “Our employers who already utilize apprenticeships will share their successes. These companies find that they can more successfully on-board employees and fill skills gaps to meet their very specific needs.”

Many companies are facing a looming wave of retirements. While the college trains new employees regularly, apprenticeships can help fine-tune these skills to the needs of that company.

“Most students get an education and then find employment. Apprenticeships combine training and work so that there is no employment gap,” Gerard said. “Our students who want to work in these fields don’t have to choose between working or getting training.”

Employers can benefit from apprentices as they do not have to directly pay for their positions. These apprentices are funded through the U.S. Department of Labor.

Speakers at the summit will include BCCC president Dr. Dave Loope, regional ApprenticeshipNC consultant Danny Boykin, PAS CEO/General Manager Glenn Sparrow, River City Construction President Walter Manning and Nutrien training manager Kim Toler.

Registration is free. Attendees are asked to RSVP online at www.beaufortccc.edu/apprenticeship-summit by Monday.