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Thursday, May 23, 2024

CFCC receives 900k for local high school apprenticeships

Electrical equipment went missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence at Cape Fear Community College. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)
Cape Fear Community College is the recipient of $900,000 in Golden LEAF funding to expand electrical apprenticeships. (Port City Daily/file).

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Cape Fear Community College is the recipient of $900,000 in Golden LEAF funding, which it will use to expand electrical apprenticeship courses at four local high schools.

Almost 100 additional juniors and seniors at Heide Trask, Pender, New Hanover, and Ashley high schools will be able to take part in the program, which covers safety and tools and introduces students to residential installation and the National Electrical Code. All classes are registered with the United States Department of Labor so students gain qualifying hours toward their Journeyman card. Upon completing the course, students graduate with a Level I Apprenticeship credential.

“We are excited to receive this funding to expand our electrical apprenticeship program in local high schools,” CFCC President Jim Morton said in a press release. “This investment provides students with valuable skills and training and addresses a critical employment need in our community and across our state. By working
together, we can create opportunities for our students to succeed and help fill the skills gap in our workforce.”

This program is aimed at closing the gap in the construction trades for electricians. The projected annual job openings for electricians in North Carolina is 85,700, with 91 current openings in New Hanover and Pender counties. The average earnings of an entry-level electrician are $47,310.

CFCC also works in partnership with Cape Fear Electrical Contractors Association, a consortium of over 30 local electrical contractors, to provide internships to these students to gain real-world experience before graduation.

“Bringing these courses to high school students jumpstarts the effort to fill the statewide deficit of skilled electricians and prepare for the anticipated
retirement of more than 40% of North Carolina’s electrical contractors in the next twenty years,” CFECA President Burton Vezina said in a press release.

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