CHARLOTTE -- Blum, Inc., a partner in the nationally recognized Apprenticeship 2000 program, will be in the spotlight for Wood Pro Expo tour participants on February 14. The tour of Blum in Stanley, N.C. is the last segment of a full day of programming. Blum is a leading manufacturer of functional hardware for the kitchen cabinet and commercial casework industries specializing in lift systems, concealed hinges and drawer runner systems.
Approaching nearly 200 graduates to date since the program’s launch 22 years ago, Apprenticeship 2000 has received national recognition for its proven success. “Apprenticeship 2000 is recognized as one of the best apprenticeship programs in the US. There are more than 50 companies in North Carolina offering apprenticeships modelled after Apprenticeship 2000” says Walter Siegenthaler, Executive Vice President of the Max Daetwyler Corporation, and member of the NC Apprenticeship Council. In August 2017, 11 young professionals, representing six Charlotte-area manufacturing companies graduated. Each successfully completed 6,400 hours of on-the-job training, along with 1640 hours of technical and vocational training at Central Piedmont Community College. All apprentices received paid college tuition along with guaranteed employment upon completion of the program. Additionally, Apprenticeship 2000 will welcome newly selected high school seniors into the program, to begin their individual paths to career success. They will be formally submitting their registrations to the North Carolina Department of Commerce during the Signing Ceremony. These students will receive unparalleled technical training and hands-on experience to accelerate their career development. See video below.
Tour participants will also see one of the most innovative and rapidly-growing companies in the region. In December 2016 Blum announced a $16 million investment and a new hiring effort at its Lincoln County facility The project follows investment in solar energy and reflects an uptick in demand for products, according to the company. With 390 employees, Blum is Lincoln County’s second-largest employer. The new investment follows a $4.4 million solar panel installation at the plant, which began generating electricity in 2016. The power generated helps fuel Blum’s operations and also provides enough electricity to the grid to power 300 homes. The project includes 6,600 solar panels located on the facility’s roof and reflects Blum’s commitment to sustainability, also demonstrated through industry-leading recycling and conservation programs.
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