Forsyth Technical Community College Announces Apprenticeship Program with Collins Aerospace as Governor Declares N.C Manufacturing Week

With support from Governor Roy Cooper, Forsyth Technical Community College and Collins Aerospace announced a new apprenticeship program giving opportunities for apprentices in engineering to work at Collins Aerospace while going to school.

Governor Roy Cooper signed the 2019 Manufacturing Week Proclamation at Collins Aerospace on October 1, 2019, and also took the time to help Forsyth Technical Community College and Collins Aerospace kick off the apprenticeship program.

Manufacturing Week, held this year from September 30 – October 5, encourages thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders.

“You think about manufacturing in the days of old and it’s so much different now,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. “It requires so much more knowledge and talent. That’s why it’s so important for us to continue to invest in education and to make sure people have the skills necessary to get these good paying jobs.”

The new apprentice program is part of the college’s LEAP@Forysth Tech program, a structured collaboration between Forsyth Tech as the apprenticeship sponsor and instructional provider, and local companies committed to employing the apprentices throughout their educational journey. LEAP@Forsyth Tech will expand the skilled workforce for the region, create a strong positive impact for the economy, and increase the region’s ability to attract new and expanding industries to the community.

“Our apprenticeship programs are also an important part of our comprehensive and diverse educational portfolio here at Forsyth Tech and it will help us achieve our vision of being a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, by empowering our students so they can be active participants in transforming our communities,” said Forsyth Tech President Janet N. Spriggs. “We are thrilled to celebrate this impactful workforce development partnership with Collins Aerospace.”

As more and more skilled workers are reaching retirement age, businesses like Collins Aerospace, defense and aerospace manufacturer, need highly-skilled workers to help them maintain, grow and expand their business operations and to fill gaps left when employees move up into other roles or reach retirement age.

“The timing of this announcement was really perfect. Manufacturing Week is an opportunity to show what modern manufacturing careers truly look like. They are innovative – these are not your grandfather’s jobs. They are high-tech, high-demand and high-paying. LEAP@Forsyth will meet this need and provide opportunities for our students. They will make money while they are learning and earning their associate degree, helping them graduate debt-free,” said provost of Forsyth Tech, Joel Welch.

Several companies like Siemens, Progress Rail and Thermcraft and Triumph Actuation Systems, Inc. have partnered with Forsyth Tech to provide apprenticeship programs through LEAP@Forsyth.

“Today, manufacturers across the country are facing a gap between the technical skills their employees need and the skills they find in applicants. Apprenticeships provide the practical along with the conceptual learning to create that highly skilled individual,” said dean of engineering technologies, John Carstens. “We are illuminating the pathways to a good career with life sustaining wages and opportunity for advancement.

For more information about LEAP@Forsyth, contact Danielle Rose, Apprenticeship Coordinator (, 336-734-7232).

Governor Roy Cooper visiting the facilities Governor Roy Cooper visiting the facilities