Many of our FastForward programs work closely with local companies, organizations and nonprofits throughout Virginia to ensure students who complete their credentials can quickly enter the workforce. However, Highground Services in Franklin, Va. does the hiring first through its apprenticeship program, which provides a combination of in-house, online and on-campus training at Camp Community College.
The apprenticeship program at Highground Services follows the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) electrical curriculum to prep new employees to apply for their journeyman’s electrician license.
“Our criteria when bringing in new talent is not to have electrical experience, it’s that people are ready and willing to learn,” said Highground Services’ CEO Jimmy Strozier, P.E. “One of our most successful guys in our current apprenticeship program came to us from Applebee’s. He applied himself and welcomed the career change.”
The program is a four-year, on-the-job training where new employees work with an electrician 40 hours a week, and sometimes overtime. In addition to a full-time work schedule, Highground Services provides the training that is broken up into in-house, online and on-campus trainings at Camp, where fees are fully paid for by the employer.
“Our apprenticeship program offers an apprenticeship level wage. Each year, apprentices get an increase in pay for the increase in experience and skills they earn until we work them up to the wage rate of a journeyman electrician,” said Strozier. “They’re also provided with benefits and have the option to enroll in our 401(k) program.”
Many who complete the apprenticeship program see this four-year program as the equivalent of earning a college education. Each course and training session teaches safety, skills and best practices that lead to a career in a high-demand industry.
“You don’t have to earn a degree to be successful and have a career that will make you a lot of money,” said Strozier. “With all trades, we have a huge shortage of workers in this country and need to be training this generation for these jobs. They might not all be glamours, but they’re in demand and always will be.”
If a four-year apprentice program isn’t up your alley, FastForward offers many trainings that lead to a certification through NCCER. If you’re interested in learning a new skill set, stacking credentials or entering a new industry altogether, contact your local career coach today. They’re here to help you navigate the right path and source support to cover the cost of FastForward training.