WCC Marks National Apprenticeship Week With New Agreements

WCC Marks National Apprenticeship Week With New Agreements

It is National Apprenticeship Week.

Wayne Community College is marking this week by celebrating the vital role apprenticeships play in creating a qualified and highly-skilled workforce.

WCC’s Apprenticeship Coordinator Kristie Norton says there were only a few apprentice programs scattered across Wayne County prior to 2018.

Now, WCC has over 35 registered apprentices representing various industries from automotive to maintenance technician.

For students reluctant to take on student loans, Norton says apprenticeships can provide an immediate paycheck and while the employees learn new skills.

Luis Bartolon, an engineer supervisor at Franklin Baking Company, was the first to go through WCC’s apprenticeship program with FBC.

Bartolon says the apprenticeship allowed him time to study and apply what he had learned at his workplace.

Charles Brogden, the HR Director for Franklin Baking Company, says FBC has been developing their apprenticeship program around Bartolon’s experience.

Monday, WCC announced two new apprenticeship agreements.

The first is with Smithfield Foods for a Swine Management apprenticeship program.

The second is the creation of an Industrial Maintenance apprenticeship consortium made up of Mount Olive Pickle, Franklin Baking Company, SPX Transformer Solutions, and Bridgestone America’s Wilson Tire Plant.

Left to right: Kristie Norton, WCC Apprenticeship Coordinator; Melinda Boyd, Franklin Baking Human Resources Assistant; Charles Brogden, Franklin Baking Regional Human Resources Business Partner; Jamie Humphrey, SPX Transformer Solutions Training Program and Curriculum Coordinator; Dennis Mancera, Bridgestone Americas Inc. Maintenance Training and Fundamentals Lead; John Morone, Bridgestone Americas Inc. Human Resources Representative; Larry Beckman, Mt. Olive Pickle Vice President of Manufacturing; Adina Burkette, Mt. Olive Pickle Human Resources Director; and Danny Boykin, ApprenticeshipNC Southeast Region Consultant.