Gaston College Apprenticeship 321 Graduation and Signing Ceremonies

The Gaston College Apprenticeship 321 program held ceremonies to honor its graduates and new apprentices in September. The ceremonies took place virtually, with participants joining the events via Zoom.

The Apprenticeship 321 Graduation and Signing Ceremony for Advanced Manufacturing was on Monday, September 14. Two students graduated and received Journeyworker Certificates, eight students signed as apprentices, and three Youth Apprentices signed into the program.

Jill Hendrix, Director of Apprenticeships and Work-Based Learning, welcomed all the virtual attendees and introduced Dr. John Hauser, President of Gaston College, and Brandon Psomadakis, Maintenance Supervisor at Mann+Hummel. Both Dr. Hauser and Mr. Psomadakis offered their congratulations and encouragement to the graduates and new apprentices. Hendrix then facilitated the signing of the new apprentices.

Graduate student Justin VanDyke, who apprenticed at Mann+Hummel, received his Journeyworker Certificate.

The graduating students were Gregory James McGinnis, who apprenticed at LanXess, and Justin VanDyke, who apprenticed at Mann+Hummel. Their Journeyworker Certificates, which denote that they are qualified and skilled in Advanced Manufacturing, are recognized nationally and give them greater job choices.

The new apprentices introduced at the ceremony were J. Tyler Medlin, who signed with the Gaston College Textile Technology Center; Karen Burris and Debra Martin, who signed with Hanes; Jacob Jones, who signed with Mann+Hummel; and Jarrod Gates, Thomas Goodman, Brady Powers, and B. Taylor Price, who signed with Bosch.

“Three of the Bosch apprentices – Jarrod Gates, Thomas Goodman, and Brady Powers – have completed the Gaston College Youth Apprenticeship program,” said Hendrix. “We are very, very grateful to Bosch for all they do to partner with Gaston College.”

The Youth Apprenticeship program at Gaston College allows high school juniors and seniors to take Career & College Promise or Career & Technical Education classes while learning about partner companies via tours, interviews, or actual work experience in order to prepare them for the Apprenticeship 321 program.

The three Youth Apprentices introduced at the September 14 ceremony were Wesley Brandon from Bessemer City High School, Ruda Kirkpatrick from Hunter Huss High School, and Zachary Sanders from West Lincoln High School.

The first class of Gaston College Youth Apprentices completed their program in June. Six of the seven Youth Apprentices have received apprenticeship job offers; four have accepted their offers and they signed with their employers at the ceremonies on September 14 and 15.

On Tuesday, September 15, the Apprenticeship 321 program held its Signing Ceremony for Paramedic Medicine. At that virtual event, three apprentices signed with Gaston County EMS and three with Lincoln EMS. Those apprenticing with Gaston County EMS are Emily “Sumner” Howard, Christopher McLaughlin, and Shelby Speas. Joining Lincoln County EMS are Johnathan Richard, Jennifer Tipton, and Leigh Wisham.

Hendrix once again welcomed all the virtual attendees and presided over the signing of the apprentices. She also introduced Dr. Hauser and James Eubanks, Director of the Department for EMS Education, who greeted the new apprentices and wished them well.

Kathryn Castelloes, Apprenticeship Director for the North Carolina Community College System, attended both ceremonies remotely and remarked on the benefits of apprenticeship and offered her best wishes to the program participants.

Participants in the Apprenticeship 321 program receive job-specific training and a cost-free education from Gaston College while earning a salary from local employers. For more information about the Apprenticeship 321 program, visit Apprenticeship 321 or contact Jill Hendrix, Director of Apprenticeships and Work-Based Learning, at 704-922-6521 or



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