4 people in a collage
(Top, left to right) Kendra Mizell, Kisha Norman, (bottom, left to right) Justin Rose and Sara Watson all completed apprenticeships in workforce development at BCCC in order to help businesses navigate their own workforce development programs.

BCCC staff complete workforce apprenticeships

Beaufort County Community College congratulates four continuing education staff members on their graduation from the BCCC Workforce Development Specialist Registered Apprenticeship Program. Kendra Mizell, Kisha Norman, Justin Rose and Sara Watson graduated from the program with their Workforce Development Specialist journeyman credentials in December 2020. Completing the program will help staff better assist companies and individuals with successful apprenticeships.

The Workforce Development Specialist Registered Apprenticeship Program is designed for staff who work alongside local business and industry representatives to develop and support education and career pathways that lead to students obtaining employment in Beaufort, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington Counties. The program combines a 12-month curriculum in administration and management, education and training, customer service, and communications and media with more than 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. It prepares graduates to advance and sharpen their workforce development skills. Apprentice Kendra Mizell was even inspired to earn a bachelor's degree. The program is both state and federally recognized through ApprenticeshipNC and the US Department of Labor.

“It was important for me to go through my own apprenticeship program, so I could help guide local companies and their employees with their own apprenticeship programs,” said Sara Watson, director of customized training & apprenticeships at BCCC. “By completing the program, I learned so much more about local workforce development in our service area, and it will help me navigate our counties workforce needs on a new level.”

“It was eye opening to see how creative our companies, schools and local governments are in using limited resources in rural North Carolina to train and equip the local workforce,” said Watson. “After going through this apprenticeship program, I feel more confident to stand beside them and assist.”

Just as these employees apprenticed at the college, employees at workplaces in BCCC’s four-county service area can enter into an apprenticeship to gain skills, build their leadership and advance on the job without having to pause or disrupt their employment.

“These four staff members sharpened and expanded their workforce development skills during the apprenticeship program,” said Stacey Gerard, vice president of continuing education at BCCC. “Their training curriculum was customized to focus on workforce development needs for BCCC’s four-county service area and to equip staff members with the knowledge and tools to work alongside employers in the development and implementation of career pathways that lead to well-paid local jobs. Participants also enhanced their knowledge of the development, structure, and benefits of registered apprenticeship programs.”

Because of its location in rural eastern North Carolina, Beaufort County must create and retain its own workforce through highly relevant education and training. In a region where several counties are losing population, Beaufort still projects to gain population over the next decade. Development of a viable workforce pipeline for young people and displaced workers is imperative for them to gain sustainable and well-paid employment close to home, thereby preventing outmigration. Apprenticeship Beaufort County is the primary means by which Beaufort County Community College, Beaufort County Schools, and the Beaufort County Economic Development Council collaborate to enhance the county’s economic development through nationally- and state-recognized training.

For more information about entering into or setting up an apprenticeship, contact Sara Watson at 252-940-6311 or sara.watson@beaufortccc.edu.