ASHEBORO — Local administrators and community leaders gathered on RCC’s Asheboro Campus on Aug. 9 to both celebrate Apprenticeship Randolph’s second graduating class and witness 17 more apprentices signed to the program.
The audience included faculty and staff from Randolph Community College, the Randolph County School System, Asheboro City Schools, Uwharrie Charter Academy, Faith Christian School and homeschool, and family and friends
“We’re all collectively excited to watch these 12 get to the finish line,” said Terence Franklin, Apprenticeship Randolph (AR) Vice Chairman and Maintenance Reliability Manager for Post Consumer Brands. “Thank you to the apprentices, family members, mentors, employers, community and educational supporters that have helped us to reach this point.”
Guest speaker Jesse Osborne, a 2022 graduate and Electrical Test Technician for Hubbell Industrial Controls, noted that his most memorable RCC courses were in Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs).
“I sure am glad we worked with simulators before actually controlling anything physical with a PLC,” he said. “All of us had many PLC programs that did not work as expected the first time we tried them out. Conveyors malfunctioned, bottles were broken, silos were overfilled, pumps overheated. We were all frustrated at one point or another when something did not work the way we expected it to, but we worked through it, with help when needed.
“We learned how to troubleshoot our programs, we learned better ways to implement processes, how to comment so we could understand what we were doing when we came back to class a week later.
“Now that the apprenticeship program is over, we will no longer be taking classes with each other, but I pray that none of us ever stop learning.”
The keynote speaker was Misty Wolfe, Curriculum & Instructional Management Consultant for the NC Department of Public Instruction’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Division. Wolfe spent 20 years in the Randolph County School System before her current position.
“In CTE, our mission is to empower all students to be successful citizens, workers and leaders in the global economy,” she said. “We believe CTE gives purpose to learning by emphasizing real-world skills and practical knowledge. Much of what we do in CTE is centered around work-based learning experiences. No one understands and appreciates the tremendous work of Apprenticeship Randolph quite like we do.
“Apprenticeship Randolph was by far the most gratifying project I worked on during my time [in the RCSS]. Seeing our students engaged in such an impactful learning experience and improving their lives and the life of our community through this opportunity is not only rewarding, but it brings a true sense of joy to this educator’s heart. You, the students, are the reason we do what we do.”
Kevin Cox, Tooling Engineer, and Tool Shop Manager for EG Industries, introduced the 2026 class speaker, Chris Gordon, who signed with EG as a Tooling Technician Apprentice.
“Before I heard about Apprenticeship Randolph, I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do after high school,” Gordon said. “I thought about joining the Air Force. I thought about just getting a stable job and going to college and hoping I could pay for it. But, junior year of high school, I got pulled into the library where teachers talked about Apprenticeship Randolph and how it could change my life.
“At first, I didn’t think anything of it, but the more I learned about the program and the more I did my research, I knew I had to do everything in my power to get in this program.
“I look forward to this journey, learning more at RCC, learning more on the job in this career field, and making great friends along the way. Congratulations to my fellow signers tonight and to the graduates who have completed this journey. Thank you to the companies for taking a chance on all of us. We won’t let you down.”
Apprenticeship Regional Coordinator for ApprenticeshipNC Tiffany Jacobs presided over the signing ceremony as the 17 pre-apprentices each came up onstage to sign their apprenticeship contracts with company partner representatives.
During the graduation ceremony, each graduate was introduced and received their Associate of Applied Science in Manufacturing Technology, a Certificate in Manufacturing Technology, a State Apprenticeship Certificate, and a National Journey Worker Credential. The 12 graduates each left parting advice for future apprentices along with a message of thanks.
The members of AR’s second graduating class (with company and high school) are: