Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant told students they were in the right place at the right time as they signed letters of intent to enter the workforce at Wayne Brothers Construction Company during a ceremony in May.
The 11 A.L. Brown High School students signed their letters of intent after completing the Wayne Brothers Inc. pre-apprenticeship program which gives on-the-job training and guarantees them employment after graduation if they complete all of the program requirements.
“You are in the right place at the right time. If you want a future, it is here because we have a lot of job opportunities,” Hinnant told the students. “We are so glad that Kannapolis City Schools could put together the program and that Wayne Brothers could sponsor this program so that you all could get the special skills that are necessary so that you can grow into that next place.”
Hinnant added that he can point out jobs around the City of Kannapolis that are behind schedule because of a lack of workers. He said with the city’s Downtown Revitalization and the continuous growth in Cabarrus County, there are numerous job opportunities in the area in the construction industry.
“I’ll also tell you that if you are going to be going to work for Wayne Brothers, you are working for star company. And I can tell you they treat their people the right way and they have access to jobs all across the region,” he said. “I promise that you set your anchor in the right place to grow and become what you would like to become as a star in the construction industry.”
Hands-on experience for students
Mallory Harris, Career and Technical Education (CTE) Career Development Coordinator, said the KCS district understands the importance on relying on community and business partners to offer opportunities for students to gain extended learning.
This gives students additional skills after graduation and puts them a step ahead of the game for employment.
“So with Wayne Brother we’ve been able to offer ours students the pre-apprenticeship program through the North Carolina Community College system,” Harris said. “Upon successful completion of the program, as long as they meet all of the requirements, they also earn a tuition waiver that can be used to attend community college for free.”
The students take regular CTE classes such as drafting, construction and engineering where they polish their skills and then they apply to be part of the Wayne Brothers program.
If they are selected through an interview process, they participate in the pre-apprenticeship program for one semester; going out to job sites and taking classes with company staff.
One of the students who recently completed the program and signed a letter of intent was junior Justin Giraldo who said it changed his life.
Giraldo shared some of his experiences with Wayne Brothers during the signing celebration. He told parents and teachers in the audience that the knowledge and skills he and his classmates learned over the semester exceeded his expectations.
“The class time provided us with safety and logical knowledge. The on-site jobs allowed us to experience hands-on work and made sure we were always alert,” Giraldo said. “This has been a phenomenal experience. The experience has reassured me that I’m on the right path. I know going forward I will make smart career choices.”
One of the students that graduated from the pre-apprenticeship program was A.L. Brown student, Alex Nunez. He was recently honored as the state of North Carolina’s top student apprentice.
Other students who graduated along with Nunez and Giraldo were Nicholas Lyerly, Donte Bonhomme, Tamar Rucker, Jesus Salazar Cruz, Elian Lazaro, Erick Garcia Morales, Dale Bradley, JaQuan Russell and Freddy Martinez Ruiz.
During the celebratory event, eight other students signed letters of intent to participate in the pre-apprenticeship program this summer. Those students were Edgar Benitez Pineda, Isidro Arellano Saucedo, Cristian Benitez, Danval Gray, Jr., Kevin Santibanez, Mark Lindskog, Joseph Bonilla and Eustacio Medina Gonzalez.