“The apprentice program has been around for a number of years, but there was no one focused on making it available to automotive students. Whenever you work within a large chain of people, you always seem to run into those who want to put in the least amount of effort,” Pulverenti said.
Pulverenti continues, “Shante Bell, who coordinates the North Central Region of the apprentice program for the North Carolina Community College system, helped connect us with folks around the state who work with the students we need to reach to make this program a success. Altogether, we have been trying to get this done for over two and a half years and we are thrilled it has paid off.”
Despite having little time to kick off the program after the paperwork was completed in April and before students graduated in June, the North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program is already underway with several new apprentices placed in North Carolina shops.
“We’ll be working to add a pre-apprentice program over the next year so that students can register at age 16 and shift into the apprentice program when it’s time to graduate from high school. We will also be focusing on outreach to let students know about this career path,” Pulverenti said about the future of the program.
Students and shops interested in participating in the North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program can contact IGONC Marketing and Communications Director Tricia Sauls at Tricia@igonc.com. The program’s Facebook page can be found at facebook.com/NCAutoApprentice/.