Blue Ridge Community College graduates of the Business and Banking Apprenticeship program were celebrated on Wednesday, July 27, in the college’s Thomas Auditorium. (Left to right: Maria Miranda Salgado, Ximena Maldonado-Gomez, Jonah Mendoza, Dilan Montes, Braydon Harris, Ethan Blankenship, Wyatt Goodman and Apprenticeship Coordinator Kelli Stewart.)
By Blue Ridge Community College Marketing & Communications Dept.
Blue Ridge Community College celebrated graduates of the award-winning Apprenticeship Blue Ridge program this week with two public ceremonies. Nine Automotive Apprenticeship graduates were celebrated on Monday, July 25, while seven graduates of the Business and Banking Apprenticeship track were honored on Wednesday, July 27. The ceremonies were held in Blue Ridge’s Thomas Auditorium.
At each ceremony, Blue Ridge’s Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development Dr. Scott Queen reminded graduates of the critical community needs they were equipped to meet.
“I would like to emphasize the importance of what you have achieved personally and for our community,” he said. “America continues to address an enormous skills gap in our workforce. This is where you come in.”
The unique Apprenticeship Blue Ridge program allows adult learners and high school graduates to earn an income while gaining on-the-job experience and college credit – all without incurring debt. It is part of Blue Ridge Community College’s ongoing commitment to workforce training in Western North Carolina.
Apprenticeship Blue Ridge currently offers advanced manufacturing, automotive, electrical, plumbing and business/banking apprenticeship tracks. Following an apprenticeship, students have the foundational knowledge, competency and skill set to grow in their chosen fields while enjoying financial independence upon graduation. For employers, the transformational power of apprenticeship builds a strategic workforce pipeline that promotes employee retention and productivity.
Monday’s ceremony included a welcome by Dr. Queen, followed by short speeches from Dean of Advanced Technologies Joe Shook and Automotive Instructor Christopher Peavy. Wednesday’s ceremony included speeches by Dean for Business and Career Services Brenda Blackburn and Business Administration Instructor Ben Kish. The certificates were presented to graduates by Apprenticeship Coordinator Kelli Stewart.
The Automotive Apprenticeship graduates included, Augustina Mendez-Agustin, Joshua George, Carter Hamrick, Elidel Ramos, Omar Perez-Ortega, Garrett Schofield, Adrian Hernandez, Luis Garcia and Caleb Walker. The Business and Banking Apprenticeship graduates included Maria Miranda Salgado, Ximena Maldonado-Gomez, Jonah Mendoza, Dilan Montes, Braydon Harris, Ethan Blankenship and Wyatt Goodman.
“Know that we are very proud of you,” Dr. Queen said to the graduates. “You made it.”
Learn more about applying for the Apprenticeship Blue Ridge program at blueridge.edu/apprentice.