Governor Cooper celebrates apprenticeship week and highlights Sanford’s apprenticeship program

View pictures from the governor’s tour here.

Today Governor Roy Cooper celebrated apprenticeship week by attending the Caterpillar Pre-Apprenticeship Training in Welding Program at Central Carolina Community College. He has also designated November 13-19 as Apprentice Week to recognize how apprenticeship programs strengthen North Carolina’s economy and benefit students across the state.

“It’s great to see so many talented young students learning the skills they need to be successful while still in high school,” said Gov. Cooper. “This program is a wonderful example of how our community colleges, local businesses and schools are working together to strengthen our workforce for years to come.”

“Central Carolina Community College is a premier opportunity and a premier partner for the workforce. Two keywords in this sentence are community and partner. We serve a community with exceptional partners, and our Caterpillar Youth Apprenticeship is an example of that and has been for 10 years,” said Dr. Lisa Chapman, President of Central Carolina Community College. “Partnering with Lee County Schools, Caterpillar and ApprenticeshipNC has resulted in an effective response to a workforce issue where we consistently nurture our local talent. National Apprenticeship Week was created to showcase achievements and I can think of no better recognition than our youth apprenticeship at Caterpillar.”

“Thank you, Governor Cooper. It’s my honor to be here with you today, Governor, to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week and to highlight our longstanding partnership with Caterpillar, Central Carolina Community College and ApprenticeshipNC,” said Dr. Andy Bryan, Superintendent of Lee County Schools. “What better way to celebrate education than to highlight this Caterpillar apprenticeship program — a nationally recognized example of what local and statewide partnerships can do to provide life-changing opportunities for our students and develop the workforce our communities need to thrive to be.”

Last year, over 13,000 North Carolinans participated in a training program with over 1,600 employers across the state. Of the participants, nearly 1,000 were considered youth trainees who took part in programs in various industries, including advanced manufacturing, clean energy, construction, healthcare, IT and logistics.

During his visit, Governor Cooper saw the Registered Junior Welder Apprenticeship Program, a partnership between Caterpillar, Lee County Schools, Central Carolina Community College and ApprenticeshipNC. Lee County high school students who progress through this program take college-level welding classes and Caterpillar-specific training. In the spring of their senior year, they work part-time at Caterpillar. Apprentices are paid for the time they work at Caterpillar or attend Caterpillar-specific training, and their training costs are covered.

Central Carolina Community College serves three counties, Chatham, Harnett and Lee. Central Carolina Community College offers a variety of programs including one- and two-year degree programs, transfer programs, college and career prep courses, GED programs, and technical, professional, and general education.

Caterpillar Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, off-highway diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. Caterpillar is a member of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE). Caterpillar’s Clayton facility participates in NCBCE’s LiNC-IT program, an internship for those starting out with autism.

Read the proclamation.