North Carolina secures Federal grant of $500,000 to expand Apprenticeship Program

Raleigh : North Carolina will bolster its investments in business growth and the skills of young adults by expanding apprenticeship programs across the state.

North Carolina has secured an additional $500,000 for apprenticeships, as well as $110,000 in tuition waivers for youth apprentices enrolled in North Carolina’s community college system in 2016-17. The state has eliminated the fees for participating businesses and doubled the number of new apprentices in a two-year period.

North Carolina will also use $200,000 from the Apprenticeship USA State Accelerator Grant program to educate young adults at the high-school level on the benefits of apprenticeships. The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced the grants as part of its $90-million initiative to expand apprenticeships in the United States. “This grant will help us further expand the reach of our apprenticeship program to help students earn while they learn without incurring large amounts of student debt,” said Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III.

Apprenticeships train individuals through a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job learning, a model that is growing more popular among individuals trying to start or advance in their careers. Nearly 2,600 North Carolinian registered in apprenticeships in 2015, compared to 1,300 apprentices two years ago. Apprentices are employed by participating companies and earn wages while they learn.

Siemens, Duke Energy, and Time Warner Cable are among the employers that use these training models, while smaller businesses have sometimes formed apprenticeship consortiums to pool their resources and share the costs of training. Fort Bragg also established an apprenticeship program to help soldiers preparing to leave the military to find private-sector jobs.

Employers interested in starting an apprenticeship program can contact their local NCWorks Apprenticeship consultant for more information. A part of N.C. Commerce, NCWorks Apprenticeship helps businesses coordinate the program.

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