Apprenticeship 321 – Economic and Workforce Development

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Pursuing higher education presents a set of unique challenges for prospective students. Traditional four-year programs can mean removing yourself from the workforce for the duration of your education. High costs can lead to taking on student debt. You may worry about how your education translates to real-world earning potential.

If you have these concerns when thinking about your future but understand that higher education is necessary to advance your career, Gaston College’s Apprenticeship 321 Program may be exactly what you are looking for.

Earn While You Learn

The Apprenticeship 321 program provides an alternative to traditional higher education for those who enjoy working with their hands, are interested in careers in a STEM-related field, or want to continue working full-time while learning.

Registered with ApprenticeshipNC and the U.S. Department of Labor, the program places students in positions with regional advanced manufacturers. For two to three years, apprentices will work alongside mentors where they will receive job-specific training, tuition-free education, and a salary. Apprentices are paid to pursue their education!

Program Overview

The goal of the Apprenticeship 321 Program is to cultivate highly skilled workers for large and small manufacturers who can enter the workforce immediately upon completing the program. Through on-the-job training, successful apprentices will qualify for nationally recognized certifications as journeyworkers, academic credentials from Gaston College, and a National Career Readiness Certificate.

Gaston College offers apprenticeships across a variety of occupations, including:

Want to Learn More?

If you are interested in learning more about the Apprenticeship 321 Program offered at Gaston College download our free infographic. This helpful guide will show you how to begin pursuing a career in advanced manufacturing.

Advanced Manufacturing - Download


Dr. Dewey Dellinger, Interim Vice President, CET 155B

Jill Hendrix, Coordinator, Apprenticeship 321 & CE – CAM 137

Tanya Osbia, Success Coach, Apprenticeship 321 – CAM 136  

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