Build a skilled workforce with a registered apprenticeship program ... more
Caterpillar Inc.’s plant in Clayton, N.C., is developing its workforce through apprenticeship.
The company is an active member of the Johnston County Apprenticeship Program consortium, which partners with Johnston Community College and ApprenticeshipNC. Caterpillar also has a robust pre-apprenticeship program that serves Johnston County Schools.
The top pre-apprentices move into their registered apprenticeship where they train 32 hours a week at Caterpillar while working on their associate degree in applied engineering at Johnston Community College.
The plant has received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Workforce Development and ApprenticeshipNC’s 2020 Outstanding Registered Apprenticeship Partner award.
“Apprenticeship programs are good for businesses because it creates a pipeline of talent for the businesses,” said Vic Baluis, Caterpillar’s Clayton facility manager. “We get an opportunity to work with these apprentices and provide them the necessary training and awareness of the business processes that we want them to have. And it also builds loyalty with those employees.”
Apprentice Mikhael Breault said, “I’ve learned so much that I don’t think I would’ve learned otherwise.”
The financial benefits have been good, too. “Instead of racking up a whole bunch of financial debt, I get to have my associate’s degree,” Breault said. “And I saved up enough money to keep going on my bachelor’s degree with the money I made working at Cat.”
Another apprentice, David Linder, said he knew as a pre-apprentice that he wanted to work at Caterpillar. “My experience at Caterpillar has been great so far; it’s been amazing,” he said. “It’s molded me into who I am today, and it’s really showed me what I want to do as a career.”
Baluis said the Caterpillar staff works hard to make the apprenticeship program “the best program there is.”
“They try to make sure that it meets the needs of both the apprentice and of the business,” Baluis said.