Trenholm Students Part of First Recruiting Class for U.S Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Automotive Program
Wednesday was a big day for some Trenholm students, who are now part of the first recruiting class for the U.S Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Automotive program.
“My goal is to see how well we can grow them and see how well they perform as students as people as parts of the community and I hope they’re with us twenty years from now,” says Don Duncan, owner of Don Duncan All American Auto and Tire Centers.
After applying and going through the interview process, students are able to work side by side with employers, earning $9 to $12 per hour. Employers also pay tuition and fees for students in the program.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to be able to go to school for free and and learn a craft and a skill set that will last me a long time. I think its a great opportunity to take advantage of,” says Brian Turner.
Some of the students already have very specific goals in mind after completing the program.
“To opening my own business after my education here in the United States-fixing peoples cars, dealing with cars because I really have love and passion for fixing cars,” says Ifanyichuku Ubh.
Several local businesses are participating – Stivers Ford, Larry Puckett Chevrolet, Don Duncan All American Auto and Tire Centers and A to Z Auto Repair.
“We hear about the unemployment rate being 3.8 percent but companies are telling us that they need skilled labors so eve though people are working they may not have the skills that they are looking for,” says Patsy Richards, a Project Manager for Apprenticeship Alabama.
Richards says that is where this program comes in, meeting those vital needs.
“No longer is it going to be a question of how much experience do you have? That’s because you are walking into the door with industry experience,” says Richards.
The program is a 4 year program. Once completed, students have the opportunity of earning a base salary of $60,000.