Saddled with plenty of good-paying jobs but not enough qualified workers to fill the positions, GE Aviation is investing in the next generation by partnering with an apprenticeship program in North Carolina to take local students’ futures to new heights.
The program, created by Chip Singleton, was modeled after Germany’s rigorous apprenticeship programs where students split time between the classroom and the factory floor of a sponsor company.
His program became so successful it caught the eye of the GE Foundation which gave Singleton’s school a $100,000 grant to expand the program and expose students to the latest technologies.
Each year, GE accepts two to four seniors to work at GE Aviation’s new, 170,000-square-foot plant in Asheville every day from noon to 6 p.m. During their apprenticeship, they receive paid on-the-job training, an elective credit for the program, and a grade. So far, some 50 young men and women have graduated from the program.
Word of mouth has helped garner interest from other students and there is a plan to implement a summer program.