Connecting the Community with a Skilled Workforce – Carol Faust on the Value of Apprenticeship 321
As Coordinator of Continuing Education and Apprenticeship 321 at Gaston College, Carol Faust sees firsthand the value of helping students obtain lifetime careers. But her involvement with the school’s apprenticeship program extends beyond the student body — it fosters the growth of a skilled workforce in the community.
Working in Gaston’s new Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Carol serves as a liaison between students and the manufacturing companies in the area. With over a decade of experience in community college administration, she handles everything from meeting scheduling to marketing and community outreach.
“I get to work directly with students and local companies, and hopefully help them fill employment gaps,” she explains.
Carol says the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing supports the learning environment at Gaston College with state-of-the-art training spaces and equipment that can be used for the local community’s benefit.
“The new Center for Advanced Manufacturing gives our local manufacturers the chance to obtain a workforce with valuable skills,” Carol says. “Apprenticeship 321 allows someone with little to no training to gain an education and job experience in a highly technical field.”
A Mutually Beneficial Program — Apprenticeship 321
Apprenticeship 321 is a consortium of companies that have joined forces with Gaston College to develop and recruit skilled manufacturing workers. According to Carol, it is an incredible opportunity for students.
“The companies pay the apprentices for their on-the-job training time in addition to paying their tuition, fees, and books at the college for related instruction courses,” she explains. “The value to the apprentice is the opportunity to gain these sought-after skills, in addition to the education, so they may begin a lifetime career in advanced manufacturing – all while getting paid and not accruing educational debt!”
Carol says the companies benefit by having the chance to hire someone interested in technical jobs that may be soon vacated by those retiring.
“The company and the apprentice develop a relationship/commitment to one another that hopefully will lead to long-term employment and return on investment for the company.”
When students complete the Apprenticeship 321 program, they are usually offered full-time, permanent employment. Carol adds that many pursue advancement opportunities by completing a journey worker’s card.
“This program is for anyone looking to gain education and experience in advanced manufacturing,” Carol stated. “It is an excellent opportunity to obtain long-term employment with one of our local advanced manufacturing companies.”