STANLEY, N.C. – Blum, Inc. and its partner companies are celebrating 15 years and 100 graduates in their Apprenticeship 2000 program. This successful four year program attracts high school students from five counties in North Carolina with the promise of free college and a paycheck. The program invests over $150,000 per apprentice to create skilled manufacturing technicians that partner companies cannot find in the workforce.

Apprentice 2000 partner organizations include: 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 & plastics technician, machine technician, and welding fabricator.

“Apprenticeships are much more 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 skilled mentors. 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.”

Blum graduates receive an Associates degree in Manufacturing Technology from CPCC, a journeyman’s certificate from the North Carolina Department of Labor and a guaranteed minimum salary of $34,000 per year with no contractual requirement to stay with Blum. Graduates start work at Blum with a competitive salary and no school loans to pay back.

Karl Ruedisser, President of Blum, Inc., added that, “Without the skilled workforce that we have developed through Apprenticeship 2000, we would not be able to maintain and expand our highly automated production facility.”

About Blum

Blum Inc. is a leading manufacturer of functional hardware for kitchen cabinets and commercial case goods. Though specializing in lift systems, concealed hinges and drawer runner systems, Blum also manufactures solutions for organizing the contents of drawers.

SOURCE: Blum Inc.

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