SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is pleased to announce a $200,000 investment from Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas. The funds will be used to connect students with hands-on training and career development opportunities.

The investment will be used to support the College’s new Multi-craft Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship program.

“We are grateful to Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas for their continued support of our community’s workforce development needs and appreciate this vote of confidence in our ability to develop this unique apprenticeship program,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “Without investments like this, it would be difficult for small businesses to fund their own apprenticeships and this will make it much more accessible for them.”

Duke Energy presenting Dr. Spalding with big checkThe grant will generously fund all tuition, book and material costs for each apprentice over the next four years. In addition, the grant allocated money to purchase new equipment and related supplies that will be housed in the College’s new Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in Kannapolis, which is slated to open at the end of 2019.

“We started this program because companies need more multi-craft maintenance technicians who have a mastery of all required job duties, but most of our local companies do not have the critical mass to run an apprenticeship program,” said Kerry Motley, apprenticeship director and account manager in business services at Rowan-Cabarrus. “By the College taking on the administrative functions, this allows companies to join a collective of manufacturing companies to ensure that their apprentices get the training they need when they need it.”

This partnership will fill an ever-growing demand for skilled workers. Rowan-Cabarrus hosts and registers the apprenticeship program, as well as provides all related classroom instruction and oversees the on-the-job-training for enrolled apprentices. Companies involved in this initiative include Alevo and Chroma Color Corporation.

“The expansion of apprenticeship programs all across the United States are preparing workers for the rapidly changing economy and filling existing and new jobs in the future,” said David King, lead account manager in business services at Rowan-Cabarrus.

Employees will participate in theoretical instruction and 2,000 hours of on the job training each year for four years simultaneously.

“Having a qualified, trained maintenance technician saves companies both time and money because they will no longer need to outsource various maintenance needs for random issues, but instead can rely on a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ certified journeyman to handle any circumstance that may arise,” said King.

This new program allows companies and organizations to invest in their employees’ developmental skills and training at a discounted rate. The program will offer apprenticeship instructions on electrical, mechanics, machining, programmable logic controls (PLC’s), welding, fabrication, and HVAC. Apprentices who complete this program will be multi-craft certified and equipped to handle a variety of maintenance issues.

“We are proud to partner with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to connect students with apprenticeship and workforce training opportunities,” said Randy Welch, Duke Energy district manager. “These students will help meet the growing and evolving needs of the region’s manufacturing industry.”

The College launched the start of a new four-year apprenticeship training program which will assist companies with their maintenance technician needs. The program provides employee training to become a multi-craft maintenance technician and certified journeyman at a state and federal level.

The program should support 42 local individuals over the four-year grant period.

“The program was created to meet the needs of local area manufacturers desperate for new multi-craft maintenance technician employees. Because so many of the areas employers are small, this program takes on the burdens of running a registered apprenticeship program while ensuring that the employers staffing and training needs are met,” said Motley.

This grant is part of Duke Energy’s $35 million investment in North Carolina’s Community Colleges’ focus on technical education and support of business and industry. Individual community colleges could apply for funds through the North Carolina Community Foundation and the Foundation for the Carolinas. Applications were reviewed by a committee of representatives from Duke Energy, North Carolina Community College System and N.C. Department of Commerce.

For those interested in getting employees the training and certification, it’s not too late for employers to join the multi-craft maintenance technician and certified journeyman program. For more information, please contact Kerry Motley at or 704.216-7210.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). The College is currently accepting applications for spring semester which begins on January 7, 2019.