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Craven Community College receives $200,000 grant for apprenticeship program

Craven Community College’s new technical apprenticeship program received a $200,000 grant from Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas this Monday.

Excited college administrators, foundation representatives, local business partners, and guests came together for the check presentation in the Bosch Advanced Manufacturing Center — an on-campus training facility for manufacturing simulations complete with classrooms, an auditorium, and a design lab.

“We live in a wonderful community with a beautiful quality of life … but if you don’t have a job then it’s all for naught,” said Dr. Ray Staats, Craven Community College president. “Apprenticeships are critical to developing connections between the classroom and workforce readiness … and this completes the puzzle.”

The Duke Energy Foundation’s investment will go to the Craven County Apprentice Program (CCAP), which was established to connect students with hands-on training and career development opportunities.

The program will train students in one of three specialized programs: Industrial Systems Technology, Mechatronics Engineering Technology, and Manufacturing Technology.

Mike Hughes, vice president of community relations at Duke Energy, said that the foundation was proud to partner with Craven Community College. “These students will help meet the growing and evolving needs of the region’s manufacturing industry,” Hughes said.

Gerry Boucher, vice president for students, said that students would graduate as nationally recognized experts. “When individuals finish up this track, they’ll get a journeyman’s card for thousands and thousands of trained hours — and that’s not quite, but kind of, like the masters degree for manufacturing.”

In the nationwide apprenticeship system, there are currently over 533,000 active participants. Of the many programs that operated in fiscal year 2017, there were 6,124 active apprentices in North Carolina. In comparison, South Carolina had 17,609 active apprentices.

The money from the Duke Energy Foundation’s grant will go to covering the cost of books, tuition, and fees for about 17 students when classes start this August.

“We look forward to coming back and hearing success stories,” Hughes said. “And I think those will be throughout the program, not just at the end of the program.”

In the News 

Craven Community College receives $200,000 grant – New Bern Sun Journal

Craven Community College gets grant for apprenticeship program – WNCT-9

Craven Community College gets $200,000 grant – WCTI-12

Craven Community College receives $200,000 grant from Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas to connect students with apprenticeship opportunities – Craven Community College Marketing

Editor’s Note: The Duke Energy Foundation supports the work of EducationNC.

Emily Yue

Emily Yue is a visual journalist, writer, and illustrator born and raised in North Carolina. She attended Villa Heights Elementary School, Davidson International Baccalaureate Middle School, and North Mecklenburg High School. Growing up, she spent many summers living with her grandparents in Shanghai and Hong Kong. She is a recent graduate of the Media and Journalism School at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she attained degrees in photojournalism and studio arts. She served as opinion editor at The Daily Tar Heel, and her work has appeared on WUNC, WYXC Radio, Stereogum, and Allied Media Projects. Visit her website at