Made in Henderson County Program Welcomes 9 New Apprentices

August 31, 2021
New MIHC Apprentices sign contracts

Hendersonville, NC – Nine new apprentices from across the community signed contracts with five local advanced manufacturing companies yesterday, as part of the Made in Henderson County (MIHC) Apprenticeship program. After last year’s virtual Signing Day event, this year the MIHC Signing Day event took place at Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC), following CDC recommendations, to celebrate the third class of manufacturing apprentices.

Over the next two years, the newly signed apprentices will learn advanced manufacturing skills in the classroom at Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) and complete 3,000 hours of on-the-job training. Whether on the job or in the classroom, MIHC apprentices are paid for their time – starting the program at $15.00 an hour and ending making a minimum of $18.00 an hour.

The MIHC Apprenticeship offers free tuition to both graduating seniors from Henderson County Public Schools and adult learners from the general public. Apprentices graduate from BRCC debt-free with a certificate in Mechatronics Engineering and a guaranteed full-time job offer with their partner company.

“Henderson County Public Schools is excited to see another generation of students succeed through this amazing program, we’re proud to have HCPS graduates enroll in this program each year and invest so heavily in both their careers and education,” shared Dr. John Bryant, Superintendent of Henderson County Public Schools.

Launched in 2019, the Made in Henderson County Apprenticeship is a registered NC Apprenticeship with the NC Department of Commerce, offering participating students a certificate from Blue Ridge Community College as well as state and federal credentials. Throughout the course of the program, apprentices alternate between attending class at BRCC one day a week and working at one of the partner companies the rest of the week.

Dr. Laura Leatherwood, President of Blue Ridge Community College said, “With yet another class of manufacturing apprentices being welcomed to our campus, we continue to see the impact of the Made in Henderson County Apprenticeship program and its ability to foster the next generation of skilled and talented manufacturing workforce.”

The Made in Henderson County Apprenticeship program is a partnership between Blue Ridge Community College, Henderson County Public Schools, Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, and the participating companies: Elkamet, WestRock, Meritor, Norafin, GF Linamar.

“The Made in Henderson County Apprenticeship is a shining example of Henderson County’s ability to develop partnerships among industry, educators, and workforce,” said Nathan Kennedy, Chair of Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development. “This program has the potential to impact generations of residents while providing a vital service to key employers- it illustrates the full scope of what can be accomplished through the power of community collaboration.”


WestRock Apprentices

Brantley Holmberg

Elkamet Apprentices

Manuel Luis Barco

Joseph Dallatorrez

Jeffrey Lopez Perez

Norafin Apprentices

Kristofer Knudson

GF Linamar Apprentices

Elder Munoz

Brooke Netherton

David Orihuela-Rico

Meritor Apprentices

Gabriel Sanders

For more information on the Apprenticeship Program, and to keep an eye out for next year’s important dates, please visit