EGGER holds graduation in Lexington for inaugural class of apprenticeship program
May 25, 2022
Six graduates of EGGER Wood Products apprenticeship program were recognized with Journeyman certifications during the inaugural graduation ceremony on Friday. Roland Schonner, Expert Apprenticeship Training with EGGER, is also in the photo.
While several high schools and colleges in the area are celebrating graduations, EGGER Wood Products in Linwood held its first ever graduation for its apprenticeship program.
Created in 2018, in partnership with the Davidson-Davie Apprenticeship Consortium, students enrolled in EGGER’s apprenticeship program receive four years of paid on-the-job training and a scholarship to earn an associate degree from Davidson-Davie Community College in the mechanical or electrical technician trade. After graduation, they are offered a full-time job at the company.
On May 20, EGGER celebrated the graduation of its inaugural apprentice class at Childress Vineyards to recognize six apprentices for their accomplishments over the past four years. All apprentices were awarded a Journeyman Certification and will continue as full-time EGGER employees.
Journeyman Certification recognizes skilled trade workers who have successfully completed an official apprenticeship program and signifies a dedication to mastering the chosen trade.
“Mechanical and electrical trades are definitely careers that are in high demand right now,” said Lance Hunter, apprentice graduate. “Apprenticeship programs, like the one at EGGER, give students like me, who are interested in something other than a traditional school, plenty of career opportunities. I’m thankful to EGGER for providing me with real-life experience, as well as an education, to help set me up for a long-term career.”
The inaugural graduating class includes Ryan Austin (High Point, N.C.), Alex Higginson (Denton, N.C.), Judson Griggs (Lexington, N.C.), Lance Hunter (Lexington, N.C.), Daniel Porter (Woodberry Forest, Va.) and Ethan White (Kingsland, Ga.).
EGGER is a global manufacturer of wood-based materials for the furniture and interior design, flooring and building products industries.
In 2017, Egger committed to invest up to $700 million and create up to 770 manufacturing jobs at its new facility at the I-85 Corporate Center in Linwood in the next 15 to 20 years. With 20 production plants worldwide, EGGER Wood Products LLC in Linwood is the company’s first production facility in North America.
According to leadership at EGGER, the program is a key part of the company’s effort to develop a highly skilled workforce for its facility in Lexington.
“This is a special moment not only for the graduates, but for the entire EGGER family as we celebrate the first-ever graduating class of apprentices,” said Jay Jenkins, EGGER Apprentice Program Manager. “It’s been so rewarding to see them come into the program with a desire to learn their respective trades and watch them grow and develop over the years. We know they’ll continue to be successful and a great asset to the company as they transition into their new roles at EGGER.”
Last month, U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and Austrian Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Dr. Margarete Schramböck visited EGGER’s Lexington plant to sign a memorandum of understanding to expand apprenticeships in the U.S. and Austria, and to promote job creation.
General news reporter Sharon Myers can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @LexDispatchSM.