They may own rooms full of whirring machines, but manufacturers such as Greensboro’s Bright Plastics still have a lot in common with the smiths of pre-industrial times. That includes the need to train new generations of skilled technicians in some very specific practices and procedures. So they are turning to apprentices.

Six Triad manufacturers teamed up to offer 14 apprenticeships to Guilford County Schools seniors and recent graduates for this school year. Several more, plus possibly one HVAC business, are expected to join them next year. They hope to add another 30 apprentices on top of the first 14.

The program, from the newly formed Guilford Apprenticeship Partners, calls for a 4-year work agreement between employers and apprentices. The apprentices also commit to getting an associate’s degree from GTTC — thus far that’s been a degree in manufacturing. Tuition for the associate’s degree will be covered by money recently appropriated by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Read the full article at the Greensboro News & Record.