In honor of the third annual National Apprenticeship Week, we are highlighting our member companies’ leading apprenticeship programs. Over the last five years, the number of apprentices nationwide has grown drastically, with more than 545,000 apprentices across the country – many of whom call North Carolina home. On this first day of National Apprenticeship Week, we’re excited to shine a spotlight on Wayne Brothers Incorporated, whose apprenticeship program has been in place since 2002.
For more than 31 years, Wayne Brothers has provided civil and infrastructure and concrete construction solutions throughout the Southeast. A recognized leader in the construction industry for its progressive culture, Wayne Brothers is known for its careful attention to design, the selection of the most effective materials, and the investments made in cutting edge technologies. For 15 years, Wayne Brothers’ Form Carpenter, Heavy Equipment Operator and Placing & Finishing Concrete apprenticeship programs have been in place to train apprentices with the necessary skills for their desired occupation. With the understanding that apprenticeship programs are integral to closing the skills gap, Wayne Brothers has found that its intensive training and development has resulted in higher motivation and lower turnover for those who participate in the apprenticeship program. To ensure apprentices hone their skills throughout employment, Wayne Brothers continues training and testing over the course of their career to bolster productivity and innovation.
Wayne Brothers’ apprenticeship programs were developed to give veterans and incumbent workers a comprehensive learning experience that would prepare them for a position within the company. Apprentices in their program also earn 15 credit hours that can be applied to a college degree. Additionally, Wayne Brothers developed a pre-apprenticeship program, which provides school-aged students the chance to learn in the classroom and gain on-the-job experience to better prepare them for their education and career. This program also allows students to earn high school and college credits. To make this possible, Wayne Brothers partners with Kannapolis City, Cabarrus County and Rowan County schools to attract high school students to the pre-apprenticeship program. Wayne Brothers also partners with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Central Piedmont Community College to allow students to transfer 15 credit hours to a degree in a related field of study. For Wayne Brothers, the alignment between the secondary and postsecondary education systems is critical to ensuring the training individuals receive meets the current and future needs of the heavy commercial construction industry. As the success of Wayne Brothers’ program shows, apprenticeship programs can effectively fill our talent pipeline but alignment between education systems, the workforce community, local government officials and community leaders is key. I look forward to sharing more highlights like this one with you in the coming days.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber