Wiregrass student signs apprenticeship program with WATCO
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Wiregrass Tech Welding and Joining student, Spencer Tomberlin, signed an Apprenticeship agreement with WATCO Mechanical Services of Fitzgerald. “We are excited for this to be the second Apprenticeship with local business and industry here in Fitzgerald,” shared President DeAnnia Clements. “We are looking forward to being able to provide more in the near future.”
Spencer is a Registered Apprentice with the U. S. Department of Labor with the help of Nicole West, Wiregrass Executive Director for Departmental Affairs and coordinator for the Apprenticeship program. “We make sure our student apprentices are officially registered with the U.S. Department of Labor because this additional step guarantees both the student and employer that the apprenticeship meets national quality standards,” shared Mrs. West. A Registered Apprenticeship provides apprentices with access to additional federal funding for tuition, fees, tools, and more. When apprentices complete the program, they will receive a nationally-recognized credential.
The Apprenticeship is a form of job training that combines paid on-the-job learning with classroom instruction. It provides a paid learning environment for the students with set wage progression, so as their skills develop their pay increases. Students are finding the ability to gain real work experience before they graduate as an added benefit from the program. The apprenticeship program has proven to benefit business and industry in recruiting, training, and retaining highly skilled workers. Partnering with the college in hiring students through the apprenticeship program has also shown a reduction in turnover costs, higher productivity, and a more diverse workforce.
Nicole West, Executive Director of Departmental Affairs, also serves as the college’s coordinator for the Apprentice program shared this, “We make sure our student apprentices are officially registered with the U.S. Department of Labor because this additional step guarantees both the student and employer that the apprenticeship meets national quality standards.” A Registered Apprenticeship provides apprentices with access to additional federal funding for tuition, fees, tools, and more. When apprentices complete the program, they will receive a nationally-recognized credential.
WATCO Mechanical Services is a certificated tank car repair, cleaning, and testing blast pain and lining facility including tank care retrofits.
Wiregrass is accepting new students for Spring Semester; classes begin on January 10, 2022. There are 107 majors that qualify for the HOPE Career Grant, and several of those programs are on the approved apprenticeship list. Eligible students could have their college tuition and fees completely covered by the HOPE Grant and the HOPE Career Grant. Visit www.wiregrass.edu to learn more about the programs Wiregrass offers.
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