Looking to Start an Apprenticeship Program? Your Business May Qualify for Funding

Did you know that you can work full time and get paid to go to college?

Apprenticeship programs allow you to do just that. Participants in an apprenticeship program are hired by a company and take classes while employed. They’re able to learn specialized skills and get on-the-job training combined with classroom instruction, all while working towards a degree in a related field.  Apprentices often see an increase in pay as they learn new skills too.

And the employers of apprentices have a huge advantage because they’re able to develop a talented team with specialized training.  With the support of the College providing the training, it’s really a win-win.  Employers often see increased productivity, higher employee engagement, and lower recruitment costs.

In January 2021, Wilson Community College (WCC) started its first apprenticeship program with Bridgestone in Wilson, and those students were able to work on their applied engineering degree. Dennis Mancera, Bridgestone Maintenance Training and Fundamentals Lead, shared, “The program is designed to help give future techs an opportunity to accelerate their growth by learning and applying the skills they are learning in the classroom at our facility.  We view these apprentices as our future leaders and can’t wait to see them flourish in our environment.”

We’re still going strong with Bridgestone, and we’ve added more, including GlaxoSmithKline.  Some of those participants are working on a biotechnology degree right here at the College.

The NC General Assembly recently approved $12 million in funding to expand apprenticeship programs across the state.  The funds are for small businesses with high-demand careers in Tier 1 and 2 counties with no more than 500 employees who are interested in adding apprentices between the ages of 16-25.  Those employers can receive $2,000 a year to train apprentices, $2,500 a year for tuition, fees, and books, and a salary match up to a certain amount, just to name a few.  There is a timeline to hire and spend the funds.  More information on that can be found on the Apprenticeships page.

We’re always looking to add more apprenticeship programs, so let us know if your business or industry is interested.  To learn more about apprenticeship opportunities, contact Travis Flewelling at tflewelling@wilsoncc.edu or (252) 246-1210.  #WilsonCC We make Wilson work.


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