Paid apprenticeship programs are now in every Alabama community college
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Caleb Aguayo
New opportunities give Alabama residents the ability to focus on college and earning a living at the same time. The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) announced Tuesday that registered apprenticeship programs are now available at every community college in the state.
A registered apprenticeship, validated by the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship (AOA), is an industry-driven career pathway that allows students to work for a competitive wage for companies within their field of study while also earning college credit toward a credential or degree.
Apprenticeships help meet demands in the workforce, bringing students into high-demand industries like manufacturing, nursing, and childcare.
“Apprenticeships are the gold-standard in work-based learning. They offer a proven path to meet Alabama’s workforce demand in high-wage, high demand occupations and allow citizens to earn a living while they learn a skill. The participation of higher education in Alabama to help offer these opportunities adds tremendous value to the programs,” said Josh Laney, Director of the AOA.
Apprentices are employees first. They are hired by the employer who wants to invest in their training. Students who apply and are selected for a registered apprenticeship spend a portion of their week working hands-on with a company to obtain the skills necessary to succeed in their career of choice. The remainder of the week is spent learning either virtually or inside a college classroom or lab.
“We are proud that the Alabama Community College System has invested so much into ensuring that the residents of this state have opportunities that go beyond residents just being able to say they have a credential. Their credentials and the opportunity for apprenticeship also give them the chance to say they have a job they can use to create a career,” said Laney.
In addition to the income a student earns during an apprenticeship, participating employers commit to paying any remaining tuition fees after a student’s financial aid and scholarships have been awarded. This means that students who participate in registered apprenticeships in Alabama typically complete their training program with no school debt.
The length of time a person trains in an apprenticeship varies based on the specific training needs defined by the employer. When students complete the apprenticeship with their credential or degree, they begin work with their employer full-time.
In Tuscaloosa, Bevill State Community College is one such school offering apprenticeships to its students in the welding, machining, and HVAC industries.
Maurice Ingle, Bevill’s director of Career Technical Education, explained what she hopes the apprenticeships will accomplish.
Ingle said, “We have dual enrolled students in a career tech field. Once they graduate high school, they can immediately interview for an apprenticeship position and go to work right out of high school while they’re finishing the program. So it’s a benefit all the way around, for students, and business and industry.”
The following registered apprenticeships are available through Alabama’s community colleges. Residents should contact their local community college for more information on how to apply for local apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities.
Bevill Welder, Combination Machinist, HVAC Service Technician
Bishop State Electromechanical Technician, Industrial Maintenance Repairer
Calhoun Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, Tool Maker, Registered Nurse, Tool and Die Maker, CNC Set-up Programmer – Milling and Turning
Central Alabama Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse
Chattahoochee Valley Registered Nurse
Coastal Computer Support Specialist, CNC Set-up Program, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, Accounting Technician, Building Maintenance Repairer, Construction Craft Laborer, Heating and Air-Conditioner Installer/Servicer, Stamping Press Operator, Stamping Press Operator, Surgical Technologist, Survey Drafter, Tool and Die Maker
Drake State Registered Nurse, Heating and Air-Conditioner Installer/ Servicer, Licensed Practical Nurse
Enterprise State Mechatronics Technician
Gadsden State Registered Nurse
Ingram State Heating and Air-Conditioner Installer/Servicer, Diesel Mechanic
Jefferson State Cook (Hotel/Restaurant), Welder, Registered Nurse
Lawson State Machinist (Precision Machinist), Welder, Combination
Lurleen B. Wallace Mechatronics Technician, Diesel Mechanic, Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse
Northeast Alabama Registered Nurse, Machinist (Precision Machinist), Welder, , Maintenance Repairer, Industrial Carpenter
Northwest-Shoals Heating and Air-Conditioner Installer/Servicer
Reid State Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, Commercial Driver
Shelton State Industrial Manufacturing Technician
Snead State Registered Nurse, Welder, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic
Southern Union Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse
Trenholm State Automotive Mechanic (Automobile Mechanic)
Wallace – Dothan Automotive Technician Specialist, Registered Nurse, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, Licensed Practical Nurse, Electrician, Maintenance, IT Desk Specialist
Wallace – Hanceville Registered Nurse, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, Tool Maker, Operating Engineer (Heavy Construction Equipment Mechanic), Diesel Mechanic, Tool and Die Maker
Wallace – Selma Industrial Maintenance Repairer, Electrician, Maintenance