Caterpillar Youth Apprentice graduates, inductees recognized
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Travis Bottom was student speaker at the Caterpillar Youth Apprenticeship Program graduation and induction. ... (more)
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Senator Jim Burgin, N.C. Senator District 12 and Vice Chairman of the Central Carolina Community College ... (more)
SANFORD - Fourteen individuals were recognized on May 15 as members of this year's graduating class from the Caterpillar Youth Apprenticeship Program. In addition, the newest program inductees were recognized during a ceremony at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic & Conference Center.
The Caterpillar Youth Apprenticeship Program is a partnership that includes Central Carolina Community College, Lee County Schools, Caterpillar's Sanford plant, and the N.C. Community Colleges.
Senator Jim Burgin, N.C. Senator District 12 and Vice Chairman of the CCCC Board of Trustees, presented the keynote remarks. "In the short-term, this program allows students the opportunity to gauge where they best fit within this field," said Burgin, who added that in the long-term, the program prepares students for employment while saving money and getting real-world experience -- and the opportunity to work with a fantastic company.
"The opportunity to work and partner with a fine company like Caterpillar to create this opportunity and these apprenticeships is just remarkable," said Burgin.
Burgin encouraged the students to always be a lifelong learner, continue to find things that you are passionate about, and look for ways to volunteer in the community. He told the graduates and inductees, as for work, do everything you're supposed to do plus one more thing ... and have a great attitude.
The student speaker was Travis Bottom. "It has been a challenging journey to reach this point. Looking back, I didn't think that some of the simplest things would be the most difficult. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to follow a straight line until you're under a dark welding helmet," Bottom told the students.
"I hope you take each day by the horns and make everything you can out of it, because, whenever I tell anyone about the program, they say, 'I wish I had something like that in high school.' Of course, none of this would've been possible without those of you whom have put your time and effort into bringing the apprenticeship to what it is today. It is truly amazing what all of your hard work has created," Bottom said, adding his thanks to the instructors, mentors, high schools, CCCC, Caterpillar, and all of those who helped build and support the Caterpillar Welding Apprenticeship.
The Caterpillar Youth Apprenticeship Program in welding is a partnership among, Caterpillar, CCCC, Lee County Schools, and the N.C. Community College System. The goal of the program is to train high school students through their junior and senior years for critical, high-demand, well-paying careers in welding, as well as to help provide the skilled workforce Caterpillar and other modern industries need.
The students continue their high school studies during their junior and senior years while taking welding and manufacturing-related classes. They train at CCCC's Lee Main Campus or its Dr. Paul Howard and Dr. Barbara James Industry Training Center three days a week and work/train at Caterpillar two days per week.
Successful and qualifying students will receive:
- 12-hour Welding Certificate from Central Carolina Community College.
- High School Recognition Certificate from the N.C. Community College System.
- Career Readiness Certificate.
- Work hours accrued will be applied toward their adult apprenticeship.
- A preferred employment opportunity at Caterpillar, Inc.
Martin Kegel, Caterpillar Fabrications Operations Manager, led the induction into the Class of 2021 and presentation of the Graduating Class of 2019.
With the recent graduates, the local Caterpillar operation has exactly 25 percent of the welder workforce being graduates of the program.
CCCC President Dr. Lisa Chapman gave the welcome and remarks, as well as introduction of the keynote speaker. "This program is phenomenal," said Dr. Chapman, who talked about the various partners in the program. "You don't find that everywhere and it's because we have so many people in our community that are so committed to economic development and to the success of our students. ... The success of this program is a testament to the work of a lot of people."
Dr. Andy Bryan, Superintendent of Lee County Schools, also had welcome and remarks. "We are very excited to be a partner of this partnership," said Dr. Bryan. "We think we have a great program. We're very excited for our graduates tonight and our inductees."
Drew Goodson, CCCC Dean of Career & Technical Education, gave an overview of the Caterpillar apprenticeships.
Closing remarks were by Charlene Cross, Apprenticeship NC Consultant.
Members of the Welding graduating class are Asa Ammons, Travis Bottom, William Flynn, Chrissean Griffin, Denny Joya, Caleb Lovick, Ryan Marks, Troyvari Marks, Jeremy Paz, Joram Reyes, Landon Richard, Dylan Smith, Eli Snyder, and Maxwell Weunski.
The newest Welding program inductees are Martin Herrera-Alvarado, Alden (Bryce) Carter, Eduardo Cisneros, Edgar Mendez-Dominguez, Fode Doukoure, Jose Guevara-Garcia, Bryan Gopar, Chase Marlowe, Jackson Miranda, Erin Oglesbee, Damion Page, Bertin Pinales, Edwyn Prado, and Ryan Singh.
For more information on the Caterpillar Youth Apprenticeship Program, contact Drew Goodson, CCCC Dean of Vocational & Technical Programs, at 919-718-7445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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