Local students selected for Career Accelerator Program with area companies

Eastern Alamance High School graduate Wyatt Willard, along with three other local ABSS students, have been selected to participate in the 2020 Career Accelerator Program. Willard and the other three students - Nathan Huffines of Southern Alamance High School, Austin Weston of Southern Alamance High, and Ezekiel Peyton of Western Alamance High - will sign formal agreements on August 13 with ApprenticeshipNC and their respective companies as they begin four-year apprenticeships. The formal student apprenticeship program now includes a total of thirty-three apprentices at nine local companies. Willard will be working for Mebane’s GKN, as will Huffines. Peyton is working at ECI, while Wesson will be working for Indulor. 

Eastern Alamance High School graduate Wyatt Willard, along with three other local ABSS students, have been selected to participate in the 2020 Career Accelerator Program. Willard and the other three students - Nathan Huffines of Southern Alamance High School, Austin Weston of Southern Alamance High, and Ezekiel Peyton of Western Alamance High - will sign formal agreements on August 13 with ApprenticeshipNC and their respective companies as they begin four-year apprenticeships. 

The formal student apprenticeship program now includes a total of thirty-three apprentices at nine local companies. Willard will be working for Mebane’s GKN, as will Huffines. Peyton is working at ECI, while Wesson will be working for Indulor. 

Students, their parents, and company representatives will convene at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 13 at Alamance Community College in Graham to celebrate the new apprentices and business partners with the Career Accelerator Program. Due to the ongoing pandemic, guest speakers from ApprenticeshipNC, the Alamance-Burlington School System and Alamance Community College sent in video messages that will be shown at the ceremony. The ceremony will not be open to the public but a recording will be shared on social media after the ceremony.

The Career Accelerator Program saw an impressive class of 2020 applicants. This year’s virtual orientation has also taught CAP a lot about using social media, virtual learning, interviewing and testing. Some of these services will be considered for future orientations as well. CAP wants to thank all participants for their resilience and enthusiastic participation in all online activities necessary for the selection process. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected most of the CAP companies, which resulted in a lower number of offer made to this class. Rising high school seniors were encouraged to reapply in 2021.

Three students were selected after a thorough application and evaluation process. Students and their parents had the opportunity to tour each company during the initial application process as students determined their areas and companies of interest. In addition to meeting rigorous academic and attendance requirements, students were invited to participate in a virtual orientation with local business leaders, completed two classes at Alamance Community College (ACC) and a six-week summer pre-apprenticeship at one of the host companies.

One additional student completed his pre-apprenticeship in 2019 and was offered an apprenticeship earlier this year.

A CAP apprenticeship provides each selected individual the opportunity to earn while they learn. High school juniors and seniors can apply. The companies benefit by training and developing an employee to meet specific needs of their workforce. After the signing ceremony on August 13, apprentices will begin work at their company and attend classes at Alamance Community College.

Apprentices are paid for their time at work as well as their time spent in class at ACC. Tuition is waived by the state, and books are paid for by the company. At the end of the four years, an apprentice will have an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Mechatronics Engineering Technology, Computer-Integrated Machining Technology or Industrial Systems Technology; a Journeyman Certificate from the NC Department of Commerce; four years (6,400 hours) of on-the-job training; a guaranteed career with the company; no school debt, and other benefits as offered by their employer that may include 401K, vacation accrual and health insurance.

As soon as the signing ceremony is over, CAP members and partners will be planning for recruiting and sharing information for the 2021 class of apprentices. CAP will be hosting webinars and interactive presentations for parents and students. Students and parents can connect with the Career Development Coordinator at their high school, visit www.AlamanceCAP.com or CAP’s social media channels for dates and times of upcoming fall information sessions.

Career Accelerator Program partner companies include: AKG, Engineered Controls International, L.L.C., Fairystone Fabrics, GKN Driveline, Glen Raven, Indulor America LP, Sandvik Coromant, Shawmut and IntraPac (formerly known as Technical Precision Plastics).