For Sampson Community College, providing highly skilled students that become productive members of the workforce is nothing new. Thanks to a program adopted by the college, more connection opportunities between students and future employers will be expanding.
The college will be participating in the ApprenticeshipNC program for its building and construction program. The program is designed to ensure North Carolina has an innovative, relevant, effective, and efficient workforce development system that develops adaptable, work ready, skilled talent to meet the current and future needs of workers and businesses to achieve and sustain economic prosperity.”
“It’s a workforce benefit tool that offers substantial benefits to both students and businesses or industry partners,” says Jennifer Wiley, Division Chair of Business and Occupational Technologies Programs at the college. “The student will be able to obtain a paid work experience as they are learning materials and skills in the program of study and it is also a way to address critical or expected shortages of skilled labor. We look forward to beginning our new apprenticeship program here at Sampson Community College in the Building and Construction program.”
Apprenticeships in building trades are among the oldest in North Carolina, consisting of construction and utility services. Those interested in working with industrial tools to improve infrastructure are well suited for the building trades.
“It’s no secret we believe in hands-on training here at the college,” adds Barney Grady, who serves as the Department Chair for the Building and Construction Trades program at SCC. “Needless to say, we are huge fans of the apprenticeship program. Anything that can make the connection between an employee and an employer in need, I am certainly all for it.”
Through ApprenticeshipNC, there are many types of apprenticeships programs of various duration, level of required technical education, and level of employer investment. Depending on their design, these programs may be more attractive to specific demographics, including an employer’s existing workforce, veterans, high school, or college students. In the United States, nearly 40,000 employers offer apprenticeship training to approximately 325,000 apprentices including minorities, women, youth, and dislocated workers. Sampson Community College will be collaborating locally with J.E. Sinclair and Hogslat.
Lisa Turlington, Executive Assistant to the President for Advancement at SCC, says local participation is vital.
“The partnership with J.E. Sinclair and Hog Slat will allow our students to learn valuable skills from accomplished veterans,” she says. “The construction industry is critical to economic growth in Sampson County, and the apprenticeship program will establish a pipeline for well qualified workers.”
Dr. Bill Starling, President of SCC, admits he is excited to see the apprenticeship program at the college.
“Apprenticeships are a time-honored tradition in the development of skilled labor,” says Starling. “Everyone recognizes the national shortage in skilled labor. North Carolina’s emphasis on developing and expanding the apprenticeship program is one effort to try to increase the supply of skilled labor while providing young people a structured and supported pathway to higher paying, self-sustaining, jobs.”
Originally a part of the Department of Labor, the Apprenticeship Program was transitioned to the North Carolina Community College System Office recognizing the training emphasis of these experiences.
“We greatly appreciate the local industry and business partners who have stepped up to be a part of this joint effort,” Starling adds.
The program will allow students to earn money while they learn a highly skilled trade. Students will also graduate with a professional certification or two-year college degree debt free. In addition to free training and work experience, apprentices get progressively increasing wages through the course of their apprenticeship. The average starting salary after graduation from an apprenticeship is $50,000. For more information about becoming an apprentice, contact Grady at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-900-4118.
By Dan Grubb
Sampson Community College