Community colleges are developing learn-while-you-earn apprenticeships that are customized to employers’ needs, reports Community College Times. The American Association of Community Colleges‘ Workforce Development Institute discussed college-based apprenticeships at a recent meeting.
In South Carolina, Midlands Technical College (MTC) has worked with Blue Cross Blue Shield to design training that will turn college graduates into network support technicians, web systems programmers and web systems analysts with industry-specific skills. The state’s Apprenticeship Carolina program lets companies can claim a $1,000 annual tax credit for each apprentice.
In Texas, the new Engineering and Manufacturing Institute at the Lone Star College System’s Corporate College trains employees in the oil and gas, alternative energy and automated manufacturing industries. Workers may participate in training for two to four years, while working.
The Employ Florida Banner Center for Advanced Manufacturing at Polk State Corporate College (PSCC) supports training and apprenticeship programs.
. . . the Mosaic fertilizer company turned to the Banner Center to train new multi-skilled maintenance workers to offset an impending wave of retiring employees.
“They couldn’t find enough qualified people, so we worked with them to create an apprenticeship program,” said Eric Roe, director of applied technology at PSCC.
Apprentices take competency-based training courses at the center twice a week for two years, while spending three days a week in the field for on-the-job training. There are two cohorts, one in electrical instrumentation and automation and one in mechanic/millwright skills with 16 students in each group.
Apprentices earn a series of credentials, plus up to 15 college credit hours. The credits make it easier for workers to go on to earn an associate degree.<