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Brandon Hill in the Mechatronics Lab at Randolph Community College.
(Paul Church/The Courier-Tribune)

Apprenticeship Randolph provides unique opportunity
By Megan Crotty
RCC Writer/Editor

What do you do when your county is heavily industrialized, the unemployment rate is at an all-time low and a large section of the workforce is retiring in the next 10 years?

You reach out to local industries, schools and community leaders to devise a plan and create your own pipeline of skilled workers. That’s just what several industry leaders, the Asheboro City Schools, Randolph Community College (RCC), the Randolph County School System and the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce formed in 2016 — Apprenticeship Randolph, a youth apprenticeship program model.

Apprenticeship Randolph offers high school juniors and seniors a promising career and a college degree — all with zero debt.

This unique opportunity allows students to work, get paid, take classes at RCC and graduate with an associate degree in Manufacturing Technology, and most recently, Automotive Systems Technology.

Students also receive a Journeyworker certificate issued by the Department of Labor and the N.C. Community College System. With tuition funded through Career and College Promise and the N.C. Youth Apprenticeship Tuition Waiver Program and books paid for by the school systems and the participating companies, Apprenticeship Randolph produces an educated, skilled, debt-free workforce.

“The best part about the apprenticeship program is that I am getting a college education for free,” said Brandon Hill, a 2018 graduate of Randleman High School and a Junior Technician Apprentice with Hubbell Industrial Controls in Archdale. “If it wasn’t for the program, I don’t know how I would be able to afford college and I would not be on the path to success I am on now. This program has allowed me to find my career, not just a job. It has allowed me and my family to become financially stable.”

Students need options. Some are ready for a four-year university, some go to the military, some go straight to work and many more are unsure of their future. Apprenticeship Randolph offers students a chance to get an associate degree and have a viable career in either Machining or Mechatronics, filling a need right here in Randolph County. “The main benefit for our participation in Apprenticeship Randolph is in developing our future technician workforce,” said Terence Franklin, Maintenance Reliability manager for Post Consumer Brands. “The existing workforce is nearing retirement and the pool of available skilled workers is limited. The apprenticeship program allows us to develop the needed talent to replace the retiring workers.”

The 2019 Industry Partners in Advanced Manufacturing Technology are:

  • Accuchrome
  • Allen Machine & Fabrication
  • Covanta Environmental Solutions
  • DS Smith
  • Energizer
  • EG Industries
  • Elastic Therapy Inc.
  • Hubbell Industrial Controls
  • Jaeco Precision Inc.
  • Jowat Adhesives
  • MAS Acme
  • Mohawk Industries
  • PEMMCO Manufacturing Inc.
  • Phoenix Precision Machining
  • Post Consumer Brands
  • Sapona Plastics
  • Technimark
  • Unique Tool and Manufacturing
  • United Brass Works

Automotive Systems Technology The Automotive Systems Technology youth apprenticeship, announced in February 2019, follows the same schedule as the current Manufacturing Technology program. Thomas Tire locations throughout Randolph County are serving as the industry partners. Apprenticeship Randolph is open to adding new industries. For more information, contact Stacey Miller at Apprenticeship- or call 336-318-4958. Students who are interested should go to the website, Apprenticeshiprandolph. com and talk with their high school Career Development Coordinator, School Counselor or RCC Career Coach.

The current 28 Apprentices in the Advanced Manufacturing Technology program are:

  • Allen Machine & Fabrication: Apprentice, Brycen Walker
  • Covanta Environmental Solutions: Apprentice, Joshua Cox
  • DS Smith: Apprentices, Justin Williams and Ethan Earls
  • Energizer: Apprentice, Ben Cable
  • EG Industries: Apprentices, Joshua Baker and Tanner Loggains
  • Elastic Therapy Inc.: Apprentices, Brayan Guerrero, Rocky Lewis and Jorge Martinez
  • Hubbell Industrial Controls: Apprentices, Brandon Hill and Jesse Osborne
  • Jaeco Precision Inc.: Apprentice, Jonathan Mroczkowski
  • Mohawk Industries: Apprentices, Nic Pless and Monroe Presnell
  • PEMMCO Manufacturing Inc.: Apprentice, Dakota Wolford
  • Phoenix Precision Machining: Apprentice, Ryan Woods
  • Post Consumer Brands: Apprentices, Keshon Coleman and Joshua DeFreece
  • Sapona Plastics: Apprentices, Nik Gumbas and Colby Edwards
  • Technimark: Apprentices, Austin Atkins, Dustin Hill, Zachary Ratchford, Toby Russell, Zachary Tucker, Joseph Warren and Luke Wood