By Holly Desrosier
Craven Community College (Craven CC) and Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) East recently created an apprenticeship program to train new employees. This program allows individuals who are selected to participate in various trainings to optimize job skills in their chosen area.
More than 380 applicants competed for the new program’s 40 slots, which offer apprentices the opportunity to work as full-time federal employees as they pursue a combination of education and on-the-job training at the FRC East depot. Participants will complete a certification in Industrial Systems Technology at Craven CC.
“Not only will it connect them directly with a job opportunity with one of the area’s largest employers, but it can help them flourish and grow as successful individuals by connecting them with a viable education, apprenticeship status and skills-based learning,” said Sarah Sawyer, Craven CC executive director of career programs.
Students have already undergone federal screenings and background checks and are now in week three of the onboarding process. The education portion of the program will continue over the next year, while the remainder of the program will entail specialized training at FRC East facilities. Each student has been assigned to a specific area at FRC East, including machining, pneudraulic systems, aircraft sheet metal, mechanical parts repair and aircraft mechanic.
FRC East has played an important role in national defense for over 75 years and has earned a reputation of excellence in providing high-quality products and services. Their workforce provides first-rate maintenance, engineering and logistics support on a variety of aircraft, engines and components for all branches of the United States armed forces, as well as federal agencies and foreign governments.
“Attention to details is key,” said Sawyer. “When we’re dealing with aircraft functionality and creation of tiny parts, it has to be 100% accurate. It’s a matter of life and death, especially in military exercises and operations. They want to ensure that there is an investment on the academic side and on-the-job training as well.”
Classes begin Aug. 19 on the New Bern campus with a schedule that simulates a 40-hour workweek. During the first semester, students will participate in curriculum courses such as computer-aided design, circuit analysis and industrial safety, as well as workforce development courses that focus on life and work skills that contribute to success and produce well-rounded employees.
“This program offers a wealth of opportunities for these students,” said Sawyer. “It is a benchmark collaborative model for when entities work together in the community and will strengthen the region with skilled employees entering the workforce.”
This article was originally published in the New Bern Sun Journal on Aug. 28, 2019.