WCC, LCC Launch Summer Youth Apprenticeship Program - Wayne Community College | Goldsboro, NC `

WCC, LCC Launch Summer Youth Apprenticeship Program

June 07, 2024

Wayne Community College and Lenoir Community College held a kickoff celebration for high school students selected to participate in their summer youth apprenticeship program.

The inaugural Advanced Manufacturing Academy, launched by the Southeastern Education and Economic Development (SEED) initiative, was created through the NC Business Committee for Education (NCBCE). A total of 35 students will be participating in the academy at the two schools.

WCC’s youth apprentices
LCC’s youth apprentices

“We are thrilled that all of you are here today to embark on this exciting journey together,” WCC President Patty Pfeiffer told the program participants. “Your dedication and hard work will pave the way for a bright and successful future. We can’t wait to see all that you’ll accomplish by the end of the summer.”

“This is very special, and we’re grateful to the parents and the students for making this commitment,” said LCC Senior Vice President of Student Services and Workforce Development John Paul Black. “We are absolutely committed to your success and look forward to working with you.”

Along with college credit, the program offers career exploration in engineering, maintenance, machining, industrial systems, and mechatronics for the participants. They will receive a paid education, a monthly stipend for transportation and supplies, hands-on experience and classroom instruction, and weekly field trips to local businesses.

Smithfield Foods sponsored the SEED initiative to focus on growing the manufacturing and agriculture workforce through work-based learning and apprenticeships. “I think this is just as big of an opportunity for us as it is for the students,” said Clarence Scott, talent development manager at Smithfield Foods.

Morgan Crawford, deputy director for the NCBCE, explained that the education nonprofit’s purpose is to bring education and business together. “We provide that critical link, and that was what Governor Jim Hunt envisioned for North Carolina when he created this nonprofit 40 years ago,” she shared. “We’re really excited to have this program and that our longtime business member, Smithfield Foods, has committed to fund this project.”

Two of the academy’s students from Charles B. Aycock High School are ready to learn more about the manufacturing industry. Tristin Tyler, a rising junior, said it feels rewarding to be in the program’s inaugural cohort. Rising sophomore Natalia Estrada agreed, saying she feels like she had a hand in making history and is looking forward to making money as she learns.

The seven-week program begins June 10.

About SEED
SEED aims to create youth and registered apprenticeship pathways to careers, allowing students to learn and earn while getting industry-recognized credentials and a two-year degree at no cost to them.

About Wayne Community College
Wayne Community College is a public, learning-centered institution with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro, N.C. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, the college serves around 10,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 150 college credit programs. WCC’s mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves.