South Carolina’s First Registered Apprenticeship Program Welcomes Newest Class
Rolls-Royce hosted a signing day event last week at its Graniteville facility to welcome its fifth class of MTU America apprentices and to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. MTU is part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.
“MTU’s signing day event highlights a special moment in our apprentices’ careers,” Jeremy Diebel, senior machining manager and apprenticeship coordinator at MTU America said. “These high school students are signing on to an experience that will give them a solid resume, marketable technical skills and important soft skills. We are eager to have them join the MTU family and we are excited to help them grow.”
National Apprenticeship Week was established in 2015 to recognize apprenticeships for fostering innovation and prosperity in the US. It recognizes the important role apprenticeships play in offering employers an opportunity to develop a highly skilled workforce and career seekers the chance to earn a wage while learning the skills necessary to succeed.
MTU America’s plant began its US-based apprenticeship program in 2012, in partnership with Aiken County’s high schools, its career and technology center and the support of Apprenticeship Carolina. As the first-ever registered high school apprentice program in South Carolina, MTU America’s apprenticeship program gives high school juniors and seniors a structured training system to obtain work skills immediately sought by employers for careers in manufacturing. Since its inception, MTU has had more than thirty students go through the program.
Upon passing the program’s final exam, MTU’s apprentices receive certification as an industrial mechanic (Basic), an international credential that qualifies them to work in any manufacturing facility in South Carolina or Germany. Graduates of the apprenticeship program are armed with the skills needed to pursue high-paying full-time employment with MTU or other area manufacturers. They can also choose to continue their education at two and four year institutions.
MTU America’s German-modeled apprenticeship program has gained much attention since its launch, including honors from the South Carolina Department of Education and the Association for Career and Technical Education for its ingenuity in technical education and community partnership.