Randolph County apprenticeship program gives students hands-on training

ASHEBORO, N.C. -- Monday was the first day on the job for Jonathan Mroczkowski. He's hoping his first day is the beginning of a long career at Asheboro's Jaeco Precision.

"I do plan on staying here with my company because it's what's training me up. It's kind of a loyalty thing there," Mroczkowski said.

But get this. Mroczkowski is just a Senior at Randolph Early College. But it's his work ethic along with math and science skills plus attention to detail that is catching the eye of fellow employee Jamie Anderson.

"He's a sharp kid", Anderson said. "Taking full advantage of the program. Had I had the opportunity at that age, I would do the same thing."

The program Anderson is talking about is called Apprenticeship Randolph. In the program's first year, 16 high school students like Mroczkowski are paired with seasoned employees. The students are getting technical hands-on training in a growing career field and earning a pay check. Plus their college tuition and books will be paid for.

"It gets my foot in the door", Mroczkowski said. "And makes sure I have a job as well as a free education which is a good thing."

For employers, Apprenticeship Randolph allows companies to shape motivated workers, fit them into their culture and skip the long process of searching for the right job candidates.

"If I am looking at the results of the first year, I think it's going to be very successful. We are really pleased with the outcome this time," Jaeco Precision co-owner Eric Lambeth said.

An interest meeting for the second Apprenticeship Randolph class will be held in January 2018.