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Regional Student Apprenticeship Program prepares students for the real world

Three local school districts are hosting a showcase for an apprenticeship program on Jan. 30 at the Green Ridge Recreation Center starting at 5:30 pm. It’s for anyone who wants to jump-start their career right out of high school.

The Student Registered Apprenticeship Program is for high school juniors and seniors who attend Roanoke County, Roanoke City and Salem City Schools.

These students will have the chance to learn technical skills before being sent out in the field.

Micah Franco, who is participating in the apprenticeship, said he likes having a plan for himself.

“I like to plan ahead for my future, and I like to be able to know what I want to do and have the necessary experience so I can have a little bit a step ahead once I get out into the field,” said Franco.

Alex Lawrence is currently a senior at Cave Spring High School. She said this program gives her the confidence she needs to go out in the field.

“I’ve been on a few of the job sites. So, they will walk you kind of walk you through there. So, it’s definitely handy you’re not as nervous going in,” said Lawrence.

Vice President of Electrical Construction Lee Perschino at Varney said both Lawrence and Franco work at the pre-fabrication site at Varney for about a year before they are sent out in the field.

Perschino thinks this program is great because it helps to ensure the future of Varney.

“We look at them as future leaders for the company. They can get into a supervisory role, and one day they could possibly even take my position at the company,” said Perschino.

Meanwhile, 10 News also spoke with students participating in the program at Lawrence Equipment.

Apprentice Tori Spangler said it’s great that she’ll be able to jump-start her career.

“I don’t have to get into debt to get a good paying stable job. Plus, there will always be opportunities in this field,” said Spangler.

Anthony Garcia has been participating in the apprenticeship for about two years. He said it’s great to have another alternative than college.

“Some kids are not meant for school. So, they’d rather go straight to work and join the workforce with an apprenticeship it’s only gonna put you in a better spot,” said Garcia.

Chief Operating Officer of Lawrence Companies Mike Stevens said the apprenticeship program helps to ensure that they have qualified and experienced technicians.

“With this, we knew that this was going to be that one we can create our own. Plus, we are able to take a young person that doesn’t wanna have to go to college and spend anywhere between $100,000 to $200,000 of debt when they can come out and start working immediately learning more about the trade or the skill that they want to do in that four year period of time,” said Stevens.

Source: WSLS News 10

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