In honor of the third annual National Apprenticeship Week, we are highlighting our member companies’ leading apprenticeship programs. Over the last five years, the number of apprentices nationwide has grown drastically, with more than 545,000 apprentices across the country – many of whom call North Carolina home. Given today’s #WorkReadyWednesday falls during National Apprenticeship Week, we’re continuing our series of features, spotlighting Bühler Aeroglide’s apprenticeship program.
Bühler Aeroglide is a global leader in thermal processing, manufacturing industrial dryers, roasters, and toasters for the food, petfood, aquafeed, and industrial sectors. An advanced manufacturing and engineering company, Bühler Aeroglide saw a need to bridge the skills gap and strengthen its workforce, which is why it developed its apprenticeship program in North Carolina. Targeting high school students in their junior and senior years, the program gives apprentices the opportunity to gain on-the-job training and work experience, while also pursuing an associate’s degree in an engineering field. This, in addition to receiving pay throughout the program and earning a Journeyman’s Certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor. Upon graduation, apprentices can begin working full-time with benefits or they may transfer credits to a four-year institution, continue working while attending classes and receive a four year degree debt free through Bühler Aeroglide’s tuition reimbursement program. The first class of apprentices will be graduating in the fall of 2018.
Already filling gaps within the company, Bühler Aeroglide’s apprentices have been a welcome and productive addition to the company. It’s clear that this apprenticeship program is already alleviating the workforce challenges it was designed to solve. This success is rooted in Bühler Aeroglide’s partnerships with local high schools and community colleges. From facility tours to presentations within the schools to coordination with high school CDC and CTE teachers, alignment between the education systems is critical to Bühler Aeroglide’s efforts to recruit and retain apprentices. Further, without the support from local community colleges like Wake Tech and Vance-Granville, the higher education component of the program would fall flat. Bühler Aeroglide’s apprenticeship program is one of many driving solutions to fill our talent pipeline across North Carolina and I look forward to sharing another with you tomorrow.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber