Wanted: Factory Workers, Degree Required

Apprentices at Siemens divide their time between Central Piedmont Community College and the factory, where “there’s a computer every 20 or 30 feet.”

Struggling to fill jobs in the Charlotte plant, Siemens in 2011 created an apprenticeship program for seniors at local high schools that combines four years of on-the-job training with an associate degree in mechatronics from nearby Central Piedmont Community College. When they finish, graduates have no student loans and earn more than $50,000 a year.