Group of students signing apprenticeship agreements

Apprenticeship programs offer onsite training for high-paying jobs through Blue Ridge Community College

Blue Ridge Community College’s apprenticeship program continues to aid in the growth of local students and our local economy by helping students pursue careers in the automotive, manufacturing, and business and banking industries.

In addition to reducing company recruitment costs, apprenticeship programs increase employee retention, productivity, and engagement at a time when many employers are desperately seeking workers.

Daniel Martinez, a 2021 automotive apprentice working with Anderson Automotive Group, said “Speaking on behalf of the apprenticeship class, it is an honor and a great opportunity for us to advance in our careers. The support has been unreal and we appreciate all Blue Ridge has done, especially in a pandemic.”

Blue Ridge apprentices work on a unique schedule that maximizes their time in the workplace. Apprentices attend class one day per week, then work at their respective employers the other four days. When they complete the apprenticeship program, they will hold a nationally recognized credential in their chosen field.

The companies working with Blue Ridge to offer the apprenticeships include a variety of local employers. For the Made in Henderson County manufacturing apprenticeship, they include Elkamet Inc.; GF Linamar LLC; Norafin America Inc.; Meritor Inc.; Mountain Showcase; and Westrock.

For the Automotive apprenticeship, companies include Anderson Automotive Group; Boyd Chevrolet; Egolf of Brevard; Four Seasons Ford; Harry’s on the Hill; Hunter Automotive Group; Fields Land Rover Jaguar of Asheville; and Prestige Subaru.

And for the Business and Banking apprenticeships, companies include Champion Credit Union; Elkamet, Inc.; First Bank; First Citizens Bank; Mountain Credit Union; and Self Help Credit Union.
Blue Ridge Director of Corporate and Customized Training Shanda Bedoian stressed the significance of apprenticeships for the local economy.

“Apprenticeships are a great workforce pipeline development strategy,” she said. “Plus, these programs can be customized to support a specific industry sector, as we’ve done at Blue Ridge.”

Brittany Marshall, branch manager at First Bank in Hendersonville, stressed the importance of the in-class and onsite learning experiences gained through an apprenticeship.

“The hands-on experience is invaluable,” Marshall stated. “The apprentice matures and gains confidence throughout the program, which leads to a successful career.”

This year’s list of apprentices and their corresponding businesses include:
Elkamet, Inc.
Manuel Luis Barco
Wyatt Goodman
Jeffrey Lopez Perez

GF Linamar LLC
Elder Munoz
Brooke Netherton
David Orihuela-Rico

Meritor, Inc.
Gabriel Sanders

Norafin Americas Inc.
Kristofer Knudson

Brantley Holmberg

Anderson Automotive Group – Nissan
Eric Salitre

Anderson Automotive Group – Prestige Subaru
Andrew Rodgers
Juan Zamara

Anderson Automotive Group – Toyota
Juan Chavez-Teratol
Daniel Martinez

Boyd Chevrolet
Thomas Barnette
Dustin Williams

Egolf of Brevard
Matthew Bass

Fields Land Rover Jaguar of Asheville
Rocky Robledo

Four Seasons Ford
Tyler Bradley
Jake Cram

Harry’s on the Hill
Garrison Haire

Champion Credit Union
Ethan Blankenship

First Bank
Ximena Maldonado-Gomez

First Citizens Bank
Braydon Harris
Dilon Montes

Mountain Credit Union
Jonah Mendoza

Self-Help Credit Union
Maria Miranda-Salgado

These students were recognized at recent signing ceremonies.

High school students from the Class of 2022 may apply beginning November 15, 2021 for the next apprenticeship class.