An innovative Lee County 2-year vocational youth apprenticeship program recently awarded diplomas to 14 high school seniors in welding and manufacturing engineering. The Lee County Caterpillar Youth Apprenticeship program is a collaboration between Caterpillar, Lee County Schools and Central Carolina Community College, which makes it possible for local students to earn college certifications and gain valuable on-site experience as part-time Caterpillar employees, while attending classes.
Since its inception in 2011, the program has consistently created well-trained and motivated professionals for the local workforce. Presently, 15 graduates of the program are employed at Caterpillar. At one point, 26 active employees at Caterpillar were former apprentices. Lee County Board of Education Chair Mark Akinosho paid tribute to the graduates at the May 10 ceremony, noting that “commitment to hard work in school and CCCC and Caterpillar have paid off with a real-world education that will serve them for a lifetime.”
The program’s newest class, the sixth overall, was also introduced during the graduation ceremonies.