STANLEY, NC – Graduates of the Apprenticeship 2000 partnership companies were honored on Aug. 20 at Joe Gibbs Racing. The 10 graduates completed a total of 8,000 hours of training over the last four years, with 1,800 of those hours at Central Piedmont Community College. Graduates earned an associate’s degree in manufacturing technology, a journeyman’s certification from the North Carolina Department of Labor and are guaranteed a job within their partner company starting at a minimum salary of $34,000.

Apprenticeship 2000 is now in its 14th year. The partner companies that comprise the program itself are: Ameritech Die & Mold Inc., Blum Inc., Max Daetwyler Corp., Pfaff Molds, Sarstedt, Timken, Central Piedmont Community College and the North Carolina Department of Labor. Each year, Apprenticeship 2000 recruits from 27 high schools in six surrounding counties and from the workforce of participating companies. The program offers training and careers in the following areas: tool and die maker, electronics technician, CNC machinist, mold and plastics technician, machine technician and welding fabricator.

“Apprenticeships are extremely common in Europe,” said Andreas Thurner, manager of the Apprenticeship Program at Blum Inc. “The European model offers students the opportunity to learn a trade under the guidance of a skilled mentor. We then offer our students the opportunity to work for the company that has taught and supported them throughout their studies. The success of the program speaks for itself. We have an approximate 80% retention rate of graduates after five years.”

For more information on the Apprenticeship 2000 Program visit

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