Manufacturing depends on a skilled workforce, but companies nationwide and in North Carolina have jobs they can’t fill due to the skills gap. North Carolina manufacturers are being proactive to address this growing challenge by working with local schools and community colleges and developing hands-on apprenticeship programs. The North Carolina Triangle Apprentice Program (NCTAP), founded in 2013 by a group of Triangle-area manufacturers, creates a hands-on program that combines job training and academic instruction. NCTAP recently announced that GlaxoSmithKline’s Zebulon facility has joined its partnership.
Patterned after the successful Apprenticeship 2000 program of Charlotte and the “Dual Training” systems of Germany and Switzerland, NCTAP is now in its second year, recruiting from the best 11th grade students in all schools in Wake, Durham, Orange and Franklin Counties. All NCTAP apprentices earn a tuition-free associate’s degree in engineering at Wake Tech, four years of paid work experience, and a guaranteed start to an excellent career in engineering and manufacturing.
NCTAP Chairman Lukas Schoenwetter, HR director for the Swiss-owned Buehler Aeroglide in Cary, says this about the program: “NCTAP is an essential component of our business in the US and is very much compatible with our company’s long tradition in developing our own workforce. We are very excited about what this modest investment is already producing at our North Carolina operations.” Due to the strong interest NCTAP is creating among area youth, the organization anticipates having more qualified applicants than open positions, and thus welcomes other Triangle-area manufacturers to consider joining. For details, see NCTAP.org and contact NCTAP vice chairman Kent Misegades, 919-946-7096.
Vice President Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber
Register today >The North Carolina Chamber’s Economic Forecast Forum set for January 5, 2015 in RTP. Learn more about the event and sign up here.
Save the date > The North Carolina Chamber’s Manufacturing Summit is scheduled for June 4, 2015. Stay tuned for more details and registration specials.