RALEIGH, N.C. (August 6, 2015) - Nine local students will start their senior year of high school a step closer to a college degree and gainful employment. They signed on with the NC Triangle Apprenticeship Program (NC TAP) in a ceremony at Wake Tech’s Advanced Manufacturing Center in Raleigh tonight. The students were recruited to work as apprentices with area employers while they complete their last year of high school. The following year, they’ll enroll in the Mechanical Engineering program at Wake Tech while continuing to work as apprentices for an hourly wage. Their employers will also pay for their tuition. After three years, the students will have an associate’s degree and a guaranteed job with the employer they’ve apprenticed with.
“At the end of this program, students will be skilled, employed, and debt free – that’s a trifecta of success!” said Wake Tech President Dr. Stephen Scott. “This is a fantastic program, and we are very grateful to these companies for partnering with Wake Tech to make it possible.”
Wake Tech is working with NC TAP to help fill the so-called “skills gap,” meeting the need for skilled workers across a wide range of disciplines in the Triangle.
“There is a shortage of machinists, welders, and industrial and mechanical engineers, and the need is growing,” said Cecelia Holden, NC Commerce Chief of Staff. “Clearly, apprenticeships make sense.”
Seven students who entered the program last year will begin their studies at Wake Tech this fall. They will work four days each week and attend classes one day. New students in the program for this year are listed below with their sponsoring companies.
• Zack Eash, Southern Wake Academy (Allied Automation)
• Sophie Peck, Green Hope High School (Buhler Aeroglide)
• Brandy Babbitt, Bunn High School (CaptiveAire)
• Nathaniel Bettinghause, Rolesville High School (CaptiveAire)
• Peter Meehan, Holly Springs High School (Schunk)
• Krista Schultz, Holly Springs High School (Schunk)
• Zachary Stoll, Research Triangle High School (Superior Tooling)
• Jacob Van de Putte, Enloe High School (Superior Tooling)
• Ben Johnson, Sanderson High School (Superior Tooling)
These students have completed CAD I and Intro to Manufacturing Processing courses this summer at Wake Tech as well as pre-apprentice internships at their sponsor companies.
“NCTAP partner companies select the cream of the crop among area youth interested in a career in engineering and manufacturing,” says NCTAP Vice Chairman Kent Misegades. “Since the apprentices' first industrial work experience is made at these companies, they bring no bad habits acquired elsewhere. They are mature beyond their ages and prepared to make a long commitment to their employers, just as their employer has made to them.”
For more information, visit www.nctap.org.