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RALEIGH, N.C. – Seven apprentices and sponsoring organizations from across North Carolina were honored recently by the state’s apprenticeship agency.
ApprenticeshipNC, which is part of the North Carolina Community College System, presented the awards March 5 during its annual conference in Durham.
The following apprentices and sponsors received awards based on nominations from across the state:
- Levi Murphy, HVAC technician apprentice with Guilford Apprenticeship Partners, was named Outstanding High School Apprentice. Murphy attends Southwest Guilford High School and apprentices at Brady Services. Nominators described Murphy as being wise beyond his years and a very valuable asset to the team at Brady Services.
- Katie Keller was awarded Outstanding Registered Apprentice for her work as an automotive diesel technician at Cummins Inc. She earned an associate degree in applied science with a focus in diesel technology and heavy equipment from Central Piedmont Community College. She views her apprenticeship experience as an opportunity to build an expansive tool kit that includes benefits and career opportunities within a growing company.
- MB Haynes Corp. in Asheville received the Outstanding Registered Apprenticeship Program award. An employee-owned company, MB Haynes started an electrical apprenticeship program in 1951, making it the longest-running and largest program in western North Carolina. Several hundred apprentices have participated and received training over the past seven decades. The company has expanded its apprenticeship program to a variety of construction trades, including plumber, HVAC technician, lineworker and pipe fitter.
- Herson Garcia of Forsyth Technical Community College was named the Outstanding Registered Pre-Apprentice. Garcia’s interest was sparked by the Learn & Earn Apprenticeship Program presentation for the Production Technician Program. He applied immediately for the pre-apprenticeship at Forsyth Tech and successfully completed the three-week program. After interviewing with several apprenticeship sponsors, Garcia was offered two opportunities and accepted an apprentice position with Hayward Industries. He is now enrolled in Forsyth Tech’s Mechanical Engineering Technology Program and training as an industrial maintenance technician.
- The Veterans In Piping Program at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune received the Outstanding Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Program award. The program trains transitioning service members in the fundamental skill sets of pipe fitting and welding to set them on a career path in the piping trades. Graduates of the VIP program, sponsored by Mechanical Trades Carolina, are guaranteed entry into a nationwide apprenticeship program. This provides immediate access into a career after transitioning from being an active-duty service member to veteran. The pre-apprentices are trained by skilled pipe trades journeyworkers in their facility, on par with the best technical schools in the country. In addition, all tools, equipment, welding gear and textbooks are provided at no cost to the students. Veterans can draw GI benefits as well as their apprenticeship wages in this program. As of December 2019, the Camp Lejeune Veterans In Piping Program had graduated 196 pre-apprentices.
- Caterpillar Clayton received the Outstanding Apprenticeship Partner award. The company is an active member of the Johnston County Apprenticeship Program consortium that partners with Johnston Community College and ApprenticeshipNC. Caterpillar has a robust pre-apprenticeship program that serves Johnston County Schools and has received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Workforce Development. The top pre-apprentices move into their registered apprenticeship where they train part time (32 hours) at Caterpillar while working on their associate degree in applied engineering at Johnston Community College.
- Kim Toler, training manager with Nutrien in Aurora, received the Special Recognition Award for her ongoing dedication to registered apprenticeship. She serves on the ApprenticeshipNC Advisory Council, the River East Workforce Development Board and the NCWorks Commission, as well as the Journey to Hope board, which works with cancer patients and their care givers. Toler is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree.
“These individual apprentices, leaders, companies and organizations have demonstrated dependability, dedication and leadership qualities,” said Kathryn Castelloes, director of ApprenticeshipNC. “They have helped ensure the future of apprenticeship in North Carolina.”