Wiregrass invests with student apprenticeships

Wiregrass gives apprentices real-life experience

HAHIRA, Ga. (WALB) - Wiregrass Technical College is stepping up to try and create jobs and on-the-job training for the youth of South Georgia.

It’s all a part of their Wiregrass Apprenticeship program serving about 40 students.

“It’s just helped me get my career on path and let me know exactly what I want to do," said Marc Hughes, an information technology apprentice.

Marc Hughes, information technology apprentice
Marc Hughes, information technology apprentice (Source: WALB)

Hughes is an apprentice for Ace Technologies and a student at Wiregrass Technical College.

“What you learn in school, you come here, and you learn. They definitely feed off each other and it helps you grow. You never stop learning. You never stop improving," said Hughes.

Originally, Hughes said he was working a part-time job, when the Wiregrass faculty approached him about the apprenticeship program.

“If students get on the job training while they’re in school, they’re much more valuable employees when they graduate," said Michael Williams, Wiregrass dean of apprenticeships.

Michael Williams, dean of apprenticeships
Michael Williams, dean of apprenticeships (Source: WALB)

On-the-job training that Williams said is unmatched.

Now, Hughes is two years in, reflecting on how far he has come.

He said he is unsure where he would be without this opportunity.

“Probably still be at that minimum wage job and just waiting to finish school, and see, and throw resumes out there to see what I got," said Hughes.

Hughes said his apprenticeship has given him a drive and work ethic unlike any other.

Hughes and Williams both said they are thankful for the blossoming partnership between Ace Technologies and Wiregrass Technical College.

“We’ve wanted something like this for a lot longer since it’s been operating at the school," said Jammie Stalvey, Ace Technologies vice president.

Jammie Stalvey, Ace Technologies vice president
Jammie Stalvey, Ace Technologies vice president (Source: WALB)

Stalvey hopes it will continue to last for years to come, filling a void.

“There’s a big void of folks moving into the technical trades and some of the construction trade," said Stalvey.

The company said they’re happy to provide youth with opportunities and to provide with the resources needed for the job market.

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