PCC Assists ECVC’s Development of Apprenticeship Program

PCC administrators joined Eastern Carolina Vocational Center (ECVC) officials this month to announce ECVC's establishment of an apprenticeship program. From left to right are: PCC Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Development Services Tom Gould, PCC Apprentice Coordinator Jerome Shepard, ECVC Human Resources Generalist Darone Dancy, ECVC President Lisa Ward-Ross, ECVC Operations Manager John Coward and PCC President Lawrence Rouse.

GREENVILLE—With assistance from Pitt Community College and the N.C. Community College System’s Apprenticeship NC initiative, Greenville’s Eastern Carolina Vocational Center (ECVC), Inc., started a Custodian Apprenticeship Program April 1.

The apprenticeship – one of the first of its kind in North Carolina – supports ECVC’s mission and Gov. Roy Cooper’s declaration that North Carolina is an “Employment First State,” meaning employment in the general workforce should be the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities.

ECVC’s apprenticeship includes 144 hours of classroom instruction (soft and job-specific skills) and 2,000 hours of structured, on-the-job training. Upon completion, students earn a Journeyman’s Certificate (state and national credentials), indicating a high level of professional expertise.

ECVC initially invested in the apprenticeship to enhance the skillset of its workforce and develop potential employees for its expanding janitorial services business. Future plans call for the apprenticeship to include additional occupations.

PCC’s role in the apprenticeship’s development stems from a grant the college received through the U.S. Department of Labor and ApprenticeshipNC to help promote and increase apprenticeships in North Carolina’s 17-county Northeast Region. Jerome Shepard is leading that effort as apprentice coordinator.

Shepard, who has an office at PCC but serves the entire 17-county region, says Pitt is committed to serving all types of business and industry and training a world-class workforce to enhance economic development activities in the Northeast Region.

Businesses interested in developing apprenticeship programs are encouraged to contact Shepard at (252) 493-7678.