January 6, 2023

Forsyth Tech commemorated several “firsts” for the college and Stokes County on Thursday, January 5 at an apprenticeship signing at South Stokes High School.

Representatives from Forsyth Tech, Stokes County Schools and Marshall Brothers Construction signed an agreement to provide the first youth apprenticeship registered through ApprenticeshipNC, the first apprenticeship partnership between Stokes County Schools and Forsyth Tech, and the first carpentry apprenticeship partnership for Forsyth Tech. Apprentices will train to become carpenters and earn a Journeyworker credential for carpentry upon completion of their work and instruction.

Student Isaac Joyce also signed his apprenticeship agreement on Thursday, and will be the first apprentice in the new program. The South Stokes High School senior said, “The biggest benefit to my apprenticeship is the people I’ve met and having them in my corner. My favorite thing about this program is the opportunity itself. I had never experienced anything other than a restaurant kitchen. In this line of work, it’s a different thing every day.”

Students like Isaac will complete carpentry courses at a Stokes County high school and then, upon graduation, complete the carpentry diploma at Forsyth Tech.

Mike Marshall, Co-owner of MBC Construction, said, “We appreciate the opportunity to be involved in this worthwhile and much needed program. At MBC, we have a lot of experience in the construction industry and are glad to pass that knowledge on to those who wish to pursue this as a career. Not everyone wants or needs to go to a four-year college and we believe it’s better to go to the workforce with a plan than to college without one.”

Forsyth Tech offers students multiple pathways to fast-track their career, through apprenticeships like these and the award-winning Learn and Earn Apprenticeship Program and many hands-on learning opportunities.

“It is an honor to partner with local businesses like Marshall Brothers Construction to give students in Stokes and Forsyth Counties opportunities and access to great careers,” said Jennifer Coulombe, Vice President of Industry Partnerships and Continuous Innovation at Forsyth Tech. “I’m sure that this will be the first of many partnerships in Stokes County.”

Superintendent Dr. Brad Rice said, “We are excited to begin a registered apprenticeship program for students. We know this program has the capacity for developing highly skilled workers for our future workforce and believe it will create life-changing opportunities for our students. It is exciting that it is a first for Stokes County and Forsyth Technical Community College.”