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Melinda Locklear is a first-year apprentice in vegetable preparation at Campbell Soup in Maxton, N.C. She also is an example of tenacity, as she set a goal for herself to become a maintenance apprentice and, ultimately, a maintenance technician, said Julie Horras, human resources manager with the company.
Locklear was an operator in the Container Can plant and found out about Campbell Soup’s apprenticeship program. She applied for a maintenance position in the apprenticeship program in 2019 but was not chosen.
She obtained feedback on what she needed to do to ensure her success in being selected for the program. She then took that feedback and began working with the maintenance and electrical technicians in her area to get some hands-on experience. She also began attending Robeson Community College to pursue her associate degree in electrical systems technology. In doing so, she met all the qualifications and was awarded a spot in the Campbell Soup Apprenticeship Program for 2020.
“Even after only a few short months, Melinda is proving to be a valuable team member by immersing herself in learning how to troubleshoot, diagnose and ultimately repair the equipment we have here in the plant,” Horras said.
Locklear looks forward to earning her associate degree and then transferring to East Carolina University to continue her education in the maintenance field by earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical technology. She also intends to finish her apprenticeship program at Campbell to earn her journeyworker’s certificate.
“Melinda is just one example of how the apprentice program works here at Campbell Soup Company,” Horras said.