9/12/2018 – Local officials seeking to expand youth job skills training

Posted on: September 12th, 2018 by admin


September 12, 2018


By Guy Lucas
(Lenoir) News-Topic


Local education officials are exploring where they can add programs for workplace-related training, including for high school students.


A program launching early next year to allow high school students to gain skills needed for furniture upholstery jobs will be the first of its kind in the state, and a similar program may be coming to teach automotive maintenance skills, said Rick Shew, the director of customized training and work-based learning for Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute.


The programs for high school students are termed pre-apprenticeships and would take place in a training area at the college, but the college also is exploring partnerships with businesses to create actual apprenticeships with local employers for college students, Shew told the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission’s board of directors.


“We are looking at all our programs to find opportunities for youth apprenticeships,” he said.


The college’s electrical lineman program just received a level of approval to move toward an apprenticeship program, he said.


There is a need for training partnerships like this involving the Caldwell County Schools, the community college and local employers because of the low unemployment rate throughout the region, said Deborah Murray, the executive director of the EDC. Having local students graduate high school already on the path to gaining highly sought job skills helps those employers keep growing.


Superintendent Don Phipps of the Caldwell County Schools said the school system is developing a program that could take groups of eighth-graders on tours of local industries and the community college so they can learn more about local job opportunities and related training geared to those jobs.


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