Press Releases

Nash Community College Participates in STEPs4GROWTH Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Nash Community College will complete the STEPs4GROWTH Pre-Apprenticeship program at the end of July 2023. This program is Successful Training and Effective Partnerships for Growing Regional Opportunities in the Workforce to Harness N.C. Clean Energy Alliance (STEPs4GROWTH) led by NC A&T State University.

The program converges Clean Energy (C.E.) sectoral industries, sectoral champions/backbone organizations with N.C. education systems to establish a statewide C.E. workforce training and employment system for all levels. System Development, Program Design and Program Implementation phases will include Industries, Backbone Organizations, Community College training partners, Workforce Development Boards, Regional Training Centers, Chambers of Commerce, Universities, High Schools and other worker support groups.

In August of 2022, NC A&T was awarded funding to build the N.C. Clean Energy Workforce efforts as STEPs4GROWTH, a 4-year, $23.7 million initiative funded by the Department of Commerce’s Good Jobs Challenge and led by the Center for Energy Research & Tech at NC A&T. The program is a Comprehensive Clean Energy Workforce Development Project for N.C. and the U.S. focused on entry-level participants from High Schools and Community Colleges (those who need to be reskilled and those displaced workers).

NCC partners and participates in the CLEAN VEHICLE region. The region has three community colleges: Nash Community College, Edgecombe Community College and Wilson Community College. Each community college will provide 96 hours of Continuing Education courses in June and host employer partners for the on-the-job experience for the students beginning in July.

Participating colleges and high schools agreed to support the STEPs4GROWTH Program for students seeking employment/re-employment in the clean energy sector. Those students enrolled in the STEPs4GROWTH Program were enrolled into a 96-hour curriculum & 80-hour OJT program, with a pre-requisite requirement of an industry-recognized Career Readiness Certification score of bronze or higher.

Students have been exposed to typical problems and challenges encountered in a modern, clean energy environment and gained first-hand experience in addressing them. The Pre-Apprenticeship credential is earned upon successful completion of all required curriculum and OJT program hours, consisting of the following courses: Introduction to Electric Vehicle or Advanced Manufacturing, Working Smart (Five modules), General Industry OSHA-10, Lean Six Sigma – Yellow Belt and Problem Solving.

NCC also hosted an Advanced Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship with employer partner Rocky Mount Engine Plant – CUMMINS. Six graduates (Summer of 2023 – rising seniors and graduates) are enrolled in the program.

Each participant receives a paid $15/hr. stipend for 176 hours; transportation to/from class; daily lunch; personal protective equipment (donated by N.C. Department of Transportation, NC Electric Cooperatives, the City of Wilson and the City of Rocky Mount); and five stackable credentials (Bronze CRC/Workkeys, Working Smart, OSHA, Lean Six Sigma (Yellow Belt) and Pre-Apprenticeship Certification).