North Carolina’s apprenticeship program offers big potential at small cost

Carolina Journal – A bill was introduced in the state legislature to shift control of the state’s apprenticeship program from the Department of Commerce to the community college system. The goal is to streamline the program and make it more aligned with some of the colleges’ workforce development initiatives.

The program, “ApprenticeshipNC,” has been receiving more attention lately, as lawmakers pivot to vocational training programs as a way to boost the education and earning potential of recent high school graduates. The program helps provide students with more postsecondary options and gives them an effective, low-cost alternative to the traditional college pathway.

NC’s apprenticeship program is relatively straightforward. Students indicate their interest in the program and desired career path, and ApprenticeshipNC matches them with a suitable company. Together, along with a local community college, the student and company arrange a class and work schedule. The company generally covers the cost of schooling and pays the apprentice a wage. It lasts one to four years, depending on arrangements the apprentice and company decide. Apprentices can work to become, for instance, machinists and electricians, all while gaining experience with regional and even national companies.

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I ask why not start VOCATIONAL training in 7th grade?

A fix for the US School System. By Fremont V Brown III

The present US education system does very little to prepare the students for the real world. At the end of 12th grade very few have any true skills to get a job. Plus many college degrees are useless as they are too general and the first two-years are usually a repeat of high school. Many students cannot get jobs that justify the cost of college.

I think the following would go along way to fix the system. First thru sixth grade the teachers must teach the students the BASICS like math, speaking, spelling, reading and writing. Teach math without calculators. Teach the student what type questions to ask themselves to reason out the answers for themselves. Teach US history with solid knowledge of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, plus world history and geography are a must.

Starting in 7th grade the courses change to three hours a day for courses to prepare the student for college. One hour a day for a course called LIFE. This course would teach the student EVERYTHING they need to know once they begin life after 12th grade. Like cooking, washing the clothes, balance the checkbook, understanding the interest rates on loans, how to do a budget and stick to it, etc. Then four hours of vocation/trade skills. These courses would teach skills to be a plumber, carpenter, chef, landscaper, auto mechanic, dental tech, nursing, etc. The courses would also include management, purchasing, accounting and all of the skills needed to run a business. At the end of the courses the instructors would or would not issue a certificate that guarantees the employer that the student can do the job without supervision and correctly. The student could in many cases finish school with three to six skills. I am pretty sure the drop out rate would be much lower then it is now. And the students would be more prepared to start life on their own.