July 25, 2018
By: Claire Gibbons
How would you or your child like to attend high school, earn college credits at the same time, learn advanced manufacturing skills, and get paid – all at the same time?
A four-year degree is not the only solution that provides the necessary experience for a high-paying career. Youth and Adult Apprenticeships offer a debt-free solution for on-the-job training and employment at local advanced manufacturers like Bosch and Boeing.
Thanks to the generous support of local, state and national funders, such as the Metro Chamber of Commerce, all educational expenses associated with the program are covered for youth apprentices. Youth Apprentices finish the program with zero college debt.
Bosch has partnered with Trident Technical College for 30+ years to provide adult apprentices with on-the-job training along with in-the-classroom instruction. When Trident Tech began its youth apprenticeship program in 2014, Bosch was one of six companies that helped launch the program. Today more than 130 local companies are involved with Trident Tech’s apprenticeship program.
Charleston is building a world-class, diverse economy and to sustain and be competitive, we need a world-class workforce. Bosch has been a leader for many years by partnering with community colleges and ensuring we have the best models possible for apprenticeship.
“Bosch is the gold standard in Charleston when it comes to apprenticeships,” said Mitchell Harp, dean of Apprenticeship Programs at Trident Tech.
Meet Bosch youth apprentice, Stephanie Walters. Stephanie used to watch her father as a mechanic and thought she’d rather make things than fix things. After participating in FIRST Robotics, Walters wanted more hands-on learning and joined the youth apprenticeship program at Bosch. After driving 45 minutes to high school every morning, she would then drive to Bosch or Trident Technical College for classes and hands-on work as an apprentice. Despite the long days, Walters excelled and recently graduated high school second in her class. Now she’s set to join the adult apprenticeship program, which she hopes to utilize towards an associate’s degree and more in the future.
“My peers will earn college debt while I have a real position where people know me by my work and my name,” she said. “I know I can get a job at Bosch in this field and continue from an apprentice to an engineering degree in the future.”
Walters shared her story at the national level as a speaker for New America’s Youth Apprenticeship in America Today program in December 2017.