LILLINGTON - Seven Harnett County students were honored as graduates of the Central Carolina Apprenticeship Works in Welding Technology program. The ceremony took place on Monday, Aug. 7, at Central Carolina Community College's Harnett Main Campus in Lillington.
The graduates are Walker Brock (Harnett Central High School), Zachary Carl (Western Harnett High School), Alex Culbreth (Triton High School), Patrick Elliot (Harnett Central High School), Elisabeth Finch (Harnett Central High School), Zachary Knight (Harnett Central High School), and Jessup Overton (Triton High School).
Also recognized were the program's newest inductees - Ricky Archer (Western Harnett High School), Lauren Barefoot (Harnett Central High School), Hunter DeLeo (Harnett Central High School), Hunter Savage (Harnett Central High School), Katherine Schermerhorn (Overhills High School), and Jack Taylor (Triton High School).
The two-year Central Carolina Apprenticeship Works program in Welding Technology is a cooperative venture with Harnett County Schools, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and several local companies. It combines college courses with part-time work to prepare students for employment as welders in the metalworking and manufacturing industries.
"What you guys are doing is you are working. You are hands-on. You are learning while you work," Aaron Fleming, Superintendent of Harnett County Schools, told the graduates and inductees. "When you graduate high school, you're ready to go and make money."
Fleming challenged the students and other attendees to advocate for apprenticeship programs in Harnett County.
The student speaker was graduate Elisabeth Finch. She noted that being a welder was not her first career plan, but that she signed up for the welding apprenticeship since the first year was free. "I did gain a lot - a lot of knowledge, a lot of skills, muscle ... gained a lot of friends, too," she said, adding that she has learned a lot in the time that she has been welding. "I'm not only a female in a male-dominated field, I'm a female dominating the field."
Dr. Jon Matthews, CCCC's Harnett County Provost, introduced the graduates. Introducing the inductees was Lynn Hartley, Career and Technical Education Director of Harnett County Schools.
Audra DeSorbo, School-to-Career Coordinator of Harnett County Schools, said in her closing remarks that the welding program is a wonderful program. "I think sometimes this is like the best-kept secret," she said.
For more information on the Central Carolina Apprenticeship Works program, Harnett County students can contact the Central Carolina Works advisor or the Career Development Coordinator at their respective high schools.
For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit www.cccc.edu.
Seven Harnett County students have been honored as graduates of the Central Carolina Apprenticeship Works in Welding Technology program -- (left to right) Alex Culbreth, Jessup Overton, Walker Brock, Zachary Knight, Patrick Elliot, Zachary Carl, and Elisabeth Finch.
The newest Harnett County student inductees of the Central Carolina Apprenticeship Works in Welding Technology program are, left to right: Jack Taylor, Hunter Savage, and Hunter DeLeo. Not pictured are Ricky Archer, Lauren Barefoot, and Katherine Schermerhorn.