Apprenticeship Catawba program was recently selected as the recipient for the 2016 Governor’s NCWorks Awards of Distinction – Outstanding Innovative Partnership.
The presentation took place at a banquet at the Greensboro Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel, as part of the 2016 NCWorks Partnership Conference.
Apprenticeship Catawba was launched in 2013 as a partnership between local advanced manufacturers, Catawba and Alexander County Schools, and Catawba Valley Community College. It offers high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to earn a college education in a high-tech field with no college tuition debt and guaranteed employment.
Apprenticeship Catawba was selected from many deserving organizations from across the state because it embodies the true spirit of NCWorks and serves as a positive role model for all organizations of North Carolina.
Apprenticeship Catawba was developed in partnership by local industry, Catawba and Alexander County Schools, and CVCC. It was developed at the request of local industry when manufacturing was experiencing a shortage of skilled workers needed to implement automation. Technibilt, Tenowo, Sarstedt, and ZF Chassis Components launched the project in 2013 and were joined by Aptar, Continental, and GKN Driveline one year later.
In its third year of implementation, the program has 31 apprentices enrolled with more likely to be added.
Earlier this year, Apprenticeship Catawba graduated its first two apprentices who earned an Associate Degree in Applied Science with a concentration in Mechatronics Engineering Technology from CVCC. They also earned a Journeyman’s Certificate. They will earn a minimum average annual salary of $34,000.
“Apprenticeship Catawba has created a talent pipeline of young adults to sustain the largest industry and economic driver in the Hickory Metro Area: manufacturing,” said Wendy Johnson, director of Western Piedmont Workforce Development. “These are the type of Innovative Partnerships we look forward to building upon and increasing as we move forward. Apprenticeship has proven that it’s a model to be followed.”