3-22-2021 – Program offers students job training

Posted on: March 22nd, 2021 by admin


March 22, 2021



By Carmen Boone cboone@newstopicnews.com

Mar 19, 2021


A new program at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute will give Caldwell County high school students a head start working in certain high-demand fields while taking college classes for free.


Apprenticeship Caldwell will allow students to explore an industry before deciding to join it, said Rick Shew, director for continuing education and workforce development at CCC&TI, who is heading the program.


The program offers students the opportunity to enter pre-apprenticeships or short training programs that provide on-the-job experience while they are still taking classes.


“A lot of our industries are struggling to find employees, especially those with the skill sets they need. This is a way of connecting students with those companies early on, so they can begin building those skill sets,” he said.


Shew said that students who start in a pre-apprenticeship in high school, then enroll in an apprenticeship program within 120 days after graduation qualify for the “youth apprenticeship tuition waiver” at any North Carolina community college. That means they can earn a two-year associate’s degree for free.


Some of the pre-apprenticeship programs that will be offered include biowork in a lab, CNA or nursing, advertising, construction, automotive and welding, among others.


“If we can help a student get on the right path early on, they tend to stay. That’s another advantage for an employer,” he said. “Three years after a student starts an apprenticeship, statistically speaking, across the state of North Carolina, companies have an 85% retention rate.”


Even though this program is just starting out, Shew is excited about it. He said it will help companies fill job vacancies and give students more opportunities for employment.


“This partnership we are building with companies will help them find employees more easily,” he said. “We just want to connect students to jobs and meet the education and job needs in our community.”


Reporter Carmen Boone can be reached at 828-610-8723

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