First graduates complete Apprenticeship Cleveland

First graduates complete Apprenticeship Cleveland

Friday, July 31, 2020

SHELBY, N.C. – Cleveland Community College and its industry partner Hanwha Advanced Materials America announced the first graduation of students from the Apprenticeship Cleveland program.

Approved in 2018, Apprenticeship Cleveland is a work-based learning program for individuals who wish to pursue careers in advanced manufacturing or construction trades while obtaining a college credential and a nationally recognized industry credential. Apprentices receive job-specific training and tuition-free education while employed by local manufacturers or companies who sponsor the apprentice. Current apprenticeship occupations include industrial maintenance, weaving operator, millwright, mechatronics, heating and air condition, building maintenance, CNC machine maintenance and machinist.

“Many of our programs at Cleveland Community College are built around providing hands-on training for students,” said Dr. Bruce Mack, vice president of economic and workforce development. “Apprenticeship Cleveland provides the knowledge and on-the-job training that students need to be successful.”

Among the first group of graduates, Kevin Benton, William Marquez Diaz and Kelvin Vinson each received a General Occupational Technology diploma from CCC and the journeyworker’s credential in industrial maintenance technician from the NC Community College System and the U.S. Department of Labor. All three are employed by Hanwha Advanced Materials America as shift maintenance technicians.

“The NC Apprenticeship Program provided to our associates through Cleveland Community College has proven to be a successful program for all involved,” said Chuck Benton, engineering and maintenance manager at Hanwha Advanced Materials America. “Hanwha Advanced Materials America hopes that more local businesses can see the value of programs such as this and utilize them in the future.”

Benton believes the apprenticeship program is a winning partnership for all involved. “The state of North Carolina gets citizens earning higher wages and the additional tax revenue that comes with that. Cleveland Community College serves great students eager to learn. Hanwha Advanced Materials America gets much-needed maintenance associates.”

Hanwha Advanced Materials America chooses Apprenticeship Cleveland participants from current, full-time production associates who have a proven record of reliability, are knowledgeable and have a desire to work in the maintenance field. These associates must pass a maintenance aptitude test. Once in the Maintenance Department, the new employees are required to work 40 hours per week and take six to eight hours per semester at Cleveland Community College.

Upon successful completion of a registered apprenticeship, the individual will receive a postsecondary credential in a technical field and a journeyworker’s credential from the NC Community College System and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Local companies currently participating in Apprenticeship Cleveland include Hanwha Advanced Materials America, KSM Castings, Kings Plush (STI), Greenheck, Eaton Corp., CSI Mechanical, Settle Heating and Air, Condrey Heating and Air, and Pioneer Motor Bearing.

For more information about Apprenticeship Cleveland, contact Amy Dulin, dean of workforce development at Cleveland Community College, 704-669-4420.


Apprenticeship Cleveland graduates

Apprenticeship Cleveland graduates William Marquez Diaz, Kevin Benton and Kelvin Vinson work at Hanwha Advanced Materials America.