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Business Apprenticeship Day set for June 29

All businesses are invited to join Robeson Community College on June 29 to learn more about apprenticeships and establish an ApprenticeshipNC program with RCC. Apprenticeship Coordinator Patrick Jacques and representatives from ApprenticeshipNC will be available to meet one-on-one with employers to answer questions and register businesses for the program. 

“The apprenticeship program is an agreement between the college, the employer, and the State of North Carolina,” said Patrick Jacques, the apprenticeship coordinator at Robeson Community College. “It is anywhere from a 2 to 5-year program that usually aligns with a particular program that we teach at the college and the industry that is nearby.”

“We are trying to bring more and more apprenticeships in through our programs at the college,” said Jacques.

The General Assembly recently passed legislation to provide incentives to encourage more business-apprenticeship programs in the State.

Small businesses with less than 500 employees locally (number not based on corporate-wide scale) can receive up to $2000 per eligible apprentice hired, and students who are registered as an apprentice can receive $2500 towards tuition, books, fees, supplies, uniforms.     

What qualifies as an eligible apprentice?

  • Company must be located in a Tier I or Tier II County. Counties within a one-hour radius of Robeson Community College that qualify for these funds include Robeson, Columbus, Bladen, Scotland, Richmond, Cumberland, Sampson, Hoke, Duplin, Harnette, Lee, Anson, and Montgomery.
  • Apprentice must be hired for a high demand careers sector and must be a new apprentice aged 16-25.
  • Funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024 and spent by December 31, 2026.

In addition to the $2000 incentive, employers will receive a 50% reimbursement for hourly wages, up to $15 per hour for non-high school apprentices and up to $14 per hour for high schoolers hired.

Jacques says that the apprenticeship program is a win-win-win for all parties involved.

“We win as a college, because we are getting students and we are getting them trained; the company wins because they get employees that they are able to bring in slowly and build them up and develop them into the ideal employee; and the student is going to gain because not only are they getting on-the-job training, they are getting the training at RCC, and they are getting free tuition too.”

Jacques adds that “87% of students who start the apprenticeship program in the State of NC, stay with the company once they complete the apprenticeship, so that’s a phenomenal number and that’s a lot higher than what you would see when you just bring normally hire people and bring them in.”

Why should you hire an apprentice from Robeson Community College?

“The students that we have, we have a large number of them that are working already, and they really are excited about trying to working in their field, rather than just any job to get them through school, so they have that enthusiasm,” said Jacques. “You’ll get to bring in students, you’ll bring them in slowly, you’ll train them, you’ll have them exactly the way you want, so when they graduate, they can roll right into a full-time position and hit the ground running. “

Walk-ins are welcome for the June 29th event, but appointments are strongly encouraged and can be made by visiting RCC’s website at www.robeson.edu and clicking on the “Business Apprenticeship Day” icon.  

DJ’s Gunner Jackson from WKML and G Moniy from Foxy 99 will be at RCC to help bring awareness to the importance of apprenticeships and the value they bring to businesses and communities. WKML will be on campus from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and WZFX from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

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