Stanly Youth Apprenticeship Partners registers first two apprentices

Published 10:32 am Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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Unique learning opportunities, while getting paid, and gaining necessary on the job training, followed by a community college tuition waiver.

Thanks to a recent collaboration with Stanly Youth Apprenticeship Partners, this is exactly what Stanly County high school students can expect if they are dreaming of a career in the automotive industry.

Stanly Youth Apprenticeship Partners is a team of three automotive businesses — Whitley Automotive in Locust, NAPA Auto Parts in Locust and Frog Pong Performance in Oakboro.

Students who are selected for the automotive pre-apprenticeship are assigned to work at each of the three partnering businesses listed above. This opportunity provides the students experience and insight into the daily operations of each company.

Providing pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs to Stanly County students has created an opportunity to directly engage students with their passions while jump starting their career path, before even graduating high school.

Each of the pre-apprentices selected for the automotive pre-apprenticeship had their own reasons for choosing this path.

“I chose to be in this apprenticeship because of my love for cars
and the want to understand and work on them more,” West Stanly senior Jarred Simpson said.

For North Stanly senior Hunter Morgan, the motivation was slightly different.

“I made this decision to get a broader future plan started,” Morgan said. “This program is a great opportunity for me to learn and experience more about this career and what to expect. This program can help me with college in the future.”

After his first two weeks in the program, Simpson reflected on the impact of the program.

“I have learned a lot about how automotive shops work,” Simpson said. “The most enjoyable thing I have experienced in this program is the willingness of other techs to teach. They have so much knowledge and I am truly gaining from it.”

For Morgan, working on old trucks at home had been the extent of his experience in the automotive industry until now. Morgan shared the unique learning opportunities he has already experienced while working at Frog Pond Performance.

“I was able to help pull out and put in a new motor in a 2016 Equinox that had a blown motor. I also have learned about doing services and what to check for while you have the car on the lift. ”

At the end of this semester, Simpson and Morgan will have the opportunity to sign up for a full-time apprenticeship with one of the companies, which will include a community college tuition waiver.

The waiver pays for their related education to obtain an associate’s degree as an automotive technician. This allows for the student
to continue to build on their skills while continuing to work.

Students and families interested in learning more about this opportunity can contact the Career Development Coordinator at the student’s high school.