Joseph Lail, a 12th grade student at Newton-Conover High School, took a giant step toward his future by signing official papers that approve him for a new apprenticeship program in Catawba County known as Apprenticeship Catawba. This is the first year that four local businesses have collaborated with high schools and Catawba Valley Community College. School districts in Catawba, Lincoln and Alexander County are eligible for these paid apprenticeship programs. The students approved have all been through a trial period this summer at four major industries: Technibilt, A Wanzl Company; Tenowo, Nonwovens; Sarstedt; and ZF Lemforder. Each of these companies reside in Catawba County (Tenowo is in Lincoln County) and are German-based organizations that place a strong emphasis on the value of training their staff through apprenticeship programs.
By signing on for the program, Joseph will continue his high school career for one more year. During his senior year, he will attend school for a half day and spend the other half at Technibilt learning the skills necessary to leave high school and be fully employed at Technibilt upon his graduation. His potential for earnings after completing high school and the four-year apprenticeship with Technibilt are between $35,000 and $40,000 his first year. While employed at Technibilt, he will also have an opportunity to pursue a college degree and have financial support to do so as he continues to work for Technibilt. He will be paid for his time at the company as he learns the ropes. Joseph had to take and pass extensive tests for his math and communication skills before approval for his trial period this summer.
This is a great opportunity for students in these districts to have a “leg up” on getting a job after school with skills that will follow them the rest of their lives. It is also a great opportunity for businesses in the area to find quality employees and train them the way they need them trained to be successful contributors to their business. Only twelve students total from the four school districts in these counties were selected for this prestigious opportunity. There is hope that this program will expand to help more students and also the businesses that benefit from the apprenticeships.
Below are links to see the businesses now included in this program: