Why Apprenticeship?

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What’s your best fit for career prep?

As you approach your junior and senior year of high school, friends, family, and teachers are frequently asking you about your plans after graduation. 

Will you go to college? 
Should you consider the military? 
Maybe you’re a talented athlete wondering if you could go pro. 

Whatever path you pick, it needs to be a good fit for your interests, goals, and individual style. More and more students are discovering apprenticeships. In fact, thousands of students across the country are enrolling in apprenticeship programs to create a bright future, and you can too.  

Gaston College, in conjunction with many companies in Gaston and Lincoln counties, is offering the Apprenticeship 321 program to high school graduates. High school juniors and seniors also have the chance to complete a youth apprenticeship. 

Own Your Future

Successful local companies are training motivated students like you to take on key roles. As an apprentice, you will:

  • Earn a paycheck while you learn advanced skills that will help companies compete, grow, and thrive.
  • Take bright ideas and turn them into valuable products using state-of-the-art tools and technology, or learn life-saving paramedic skills.
  • Be prepared to grow and advance in an exciting career.
  • Pursue a field that aligns with individual interests — from advanced manufacturing to medical care.

Earn Free College Credits

All of your classes, books, and fees are paid for as an apprentice by the employer who hires you. You’ll get paid for the time you learn on the job. Apprenticeship pathways will lead to either earning a two- year associate degree, a diploma, or a certificate. Graduates also earn a Journeyworker credential from the United States Department of Labor that is recognized nationally and gives you greater job choices

Apprenticeship graduates have the option to apply credits earned in the program toward completing an associate degree or transfer credits to a state four-year university in order to earn a bachelor’s degree. 

Grow Life Success Skills

Adulting requires more than just classroom knowledge. Apprentices also learn the skills you need for life. You will:

  • Learn teamwork and collaboration
  • Develop skills needed for effective communication
  • Gain a better understanding of responsibility 

Download Your Free Apprenticeship Guide!

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Start a Youth Apprenticeship Now

  • Start the youth apprenticeship program as a junior or senior in high school. You’ll take classes at Gaston College in the College Now program or in your school’s CTE program and learn more about the companies that participate in the apprenticeship program. 
  • Gain valuable networking and learning opportunities with local employers as a youth apprentice to help you get hired after high school in their apprenticeship program. 
  • Attend Gaston College’s youth apprenticeship summer camp for free for additional networking and learning opportunities from local employer partners.  

Get Support From Start to Finish

  • Your school career development coordinator can help you learn more about youth apprenticeship through Gaston College. 
  • Apprentices have a mentor who offers coaching and support and genuinely wants to help you succeed. 

It’s Easy to Get Started

To get started, download your apprenticeship guide now, review the application steps, email apprenticeships@gaston.edu, or call 704.922.2313.