http://www.rockdaleschools.org/
RCA launches German apprenticeship program
Pictured (left to right): RCA students in the new German Apprenticeship program Stanley Odom of SHS, Alex Spencer of HHS, TJ Hayes of RCHS, Toby Lanier of RCHS.Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) and Rockdale Career Academy (RCA) are proud to announce the launch of an innovative German-style apprenticeship program under the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (GA CATT), beginning with four students at the local branches of two German manufacturing companies. 

These four sophomores - Stanley Odom of Salem High, Alex Spencer of Heritage High, TJ Hayes and Toby Lanier of Rockdale County High - signed letters of commitment to the three-year Industrial Mechanic Apprenticeship program during a Aug. 14 signing ceremony at the state Capitol. Odom and Lanier will apprentice at Haver & Boecker under the mentorship of Executive Vice President Claudio Caobianco and Spencer and Hayes will apprentice at Bosch under the mentorship of General Manager Bruno Oberle.

Apprentices are dual-enrolled students, splitting time between high school, technical college and a local manufacturing plant. By the end of the three years, students graduate with a high school diploma, progress towards an Associate's degree, receive a U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship certificate, German-American Chamber of Commerce certification as an Industrial Mechanic, and earn between $20,000 to $25,000 while learning. The program is effectively a $40,000 scholarship as the Georgia Piedmont Technical College degree program is fully paid by the state and the training costs for the apprenticeship is borne by the company.

At the signing ceremony hosted by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle's office, the German American Chambers of Commerce, Technical College System of Georgia, and the Georgia College and Career Academies, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle thanked the school systems, companies, agencies, partners and individuals involved in establishing and growing the apprenticeship program. "These partners continue to revolutionize the way our students are entering the workforce as skilled employees, driving the economy in their region. We are very proud of how it’s going to impact the entire state as well," said Cagle. "I believe that when we connect to make sure education is aligned with what industry needs truly are, we will have better outcomes."

RCPS Superintendent Richard Autry praised the hard work and partnerships created by RCA in order to launch this program. "Individualized and industry-driven programs such as this provide our students options that give them the advantage after they graduate. I am proud of this collaboration between industry and education that sets our young people up for success."

RCA CEO Jill Oldham said, "We are so excited to have this program. We have four fantastic apprentices joining us at two world-class manufacturers. This is truly the opportunity of a lifetime. This would not have been possible without the support of Georgie Piedmont Technical College, the support of our manufacturers and the trust of our apprentices' families." She thanked the Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) department, Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council, RCPS Superintendent Richard Autry, and the Rockdale County Board of Education for their support.

RCA Assistant Principal Bennett McCumber described the year-long process of research and relationship-building with partner agencies and the intense selection process to choose students suited for the program. "This is not your normal high school experience," he said. "Not only do these apprentices earn college credit and a wage while receiving on-the-job training, they receive the priceless mentorship from industry experts who are invested in their well-being."

The organizations involved in this program include RCA, Newton College & Career Academy (NCCA), Georgia Piedmont Technical College, seven companies - Bosch, FiberVisions, General Mills, Haver & Boecker, Michelin Tread Technologies, Nisshinbo, Verescence, the German American Chamber of Commerce, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle's Office, Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council, Newton County Chamber of Commerce, and Georgia Tech Manufacturing Extension Partnership. RCA and NCCA formed a regional group under GA CATT in order to launch the German-style apprenticeship program. 

The GA CATT dual vocational training program was signed into effect in Newnan in 2016 by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle of Georgia and Stefanie Jehlitschka of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., Inc (GACC South). Coweta County’s Central Educational Center, West Georgia Technical College, the Technical College System of Georgia, and eight Coweta County manufacturers, launching the nation's first apprenticeship program that focuses on high school students and involves a consortium of companies.

For information on how to apply, please contact Bennett McCumber at bmccumber@rockdale.k12.ga.us. More information about GA CATT is available at www.gacatt.com.




Pictured: (Left to right) Georgia Piedmont Technical College President Dr. Jabari Simama, Bosch General Manager Bruno Oberle, State Senator Tonya Anderson, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Heritage High sophomore Alex Spencer, Rockdale County High sophomore TJ Hayes, Salem High sophomore Stanley Odom, Rockdale County High sophomore Toby Lanier, Haver & Boecker Exec. Vice President Claudio Caobianco, Haver & Boecker Human Resources Generalist Thomi Breedlove, Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council Exec. Director Marty Jones. Photo courtesy of the Office of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

Pictured: (Left to right) Georgia Piedmont Technical College President Dr. Jabari Simama, Bosch General Manager Bruno Oberle, State Senator Tonya Anderson, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Heritage High sophomore Alex Spencer, Rockdale County High sophomore TJ Hayes, Salem High sophomore Stanley Odom, Rockdale County High sophomore Toby Lanier, Haver & Boecker Exec. Vice President Claudio Caobianco, Haver & Boecker Human Resources Generalist Thomi Breedlove, Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council Exec. Director Marty Jones. Photo courtesy of the Office of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.




Pictured: Rockdale Career Academy CEO Jill Oldham with Haver & Boecker executives and apprentices Toby Lanier of Rockdale County High and Stanley Odom of Salem High.

Pictured: Rockdale Career Academy CEO Jill Oldham with Haver & Boecker executives and apprentices Toby Lanier of Rockdale County High and Stanley Odom of Salem High.




Pictured: Rockdale Career Academy CEO Jill Oldham with Bosch executives and apprentices Alex Spencer of Heritage High and TJ Hayes of Rockdale County High.

Pictured: Rockdale Career Academy CEO Jill Oldham with Bosch executives and apprentices Alex Spencer of Heritage High and TJ Hayes of Rockdale County High.