First Female ACC Student Earns Apprenticeship Credentials

Victoria Rose in working gear at ECI.

Above, Victoria Rose in working gear at ECI.

(December 13, 2021) – The Alamance Career Accelerator Program (CAP) last June graduated its first seven male student apprentices from the cohort that began in 2016. Now Victoria Rose, a 2021 Alamance Community College graduate, has become the first female apprentice to complete CAP while gaining work experience and a paycheck.

Victoria achieved three key milestones with her signature on the completed CAP agreement:  she earned an Associate in Applied Science in Mechatronics Engineering Technology after four debt-free years; she has a guaranteed full-time job with Engineered Controls International (ECI), LLC, in Whitsett, NC; and she has a Journeyman Certificate from the NC Department of Commerce.

The Career Accelerator Program (CAP) allows qualified high school students to attend Alamance Community College part-time, work part-time, and graduate after four years debt-free with an associate degree and a guaranteed full-time job. It is a partnership between Alamance Community College, Alamance-Burlington Schools, and a dozen industrial businesses in Alamance County.

CAP graduates complete approximately 8,000 hours, comprised of 6400 hours working as apprentices and 1600 hours learning in class. All tuition, books, and fees for the associate’s degree program are covered, so the students graduate debt-free. Alamance CAP is recognized by the State of North Carolina as a registered apprenticeship program.

Victoria Rose recently signed her apprenticeship completion agreement as ECI plant manager Jeremiah Cornett looked on.

Above, Victoria Rose recently signed her apprenticeship completion agreement as ECI plant manager Jeremiah Cornett looked on.

Victoria Rose knew in high school she wanted to be an engineer. When she learned about the Career Accelerator Program from a teacher at Cummings, she decided to enroll in ACC’s Mechatronics Engineering program.

“If you decide to be a mechatronics engineer, you should try the apprenticeship program because you will also have a job, learn how to work on the machines, and troubleshoot,” she said.

At ECI, Victoria is responsible for quality control. “Every morning I do audits to make sure everything goes correctly,” she says.

Victoria’s CAP journey was nearly derailed by the pandemic. She was laid off from her previous employer but, through CAP, she found a new company in ECI where she finished her apprenticeship and now has a full-time job.

“My experience at ECI as the one and only female was different than what I expected,” said Victoria. “They show me kindness and treat me so well. I never have any problem working there. They even have listened to my idea about helping the company grow.”

Over the past four years, Victoria learned to navigate job responsibilities while earning a degree, discovering new skills while improving on others. “I definitely have more confidence and better communication skills,” she said.

Victoria’s associate degree and her on-the-job training guarantees future opportunities, especially in the growing field of mechatronics. Victoria advises any high school juniors or seniors that are mechanically inclined to consider Career Apprenticeship Program through Alamance Community College.

Victoria Rose has a solid future ahead but she is not finished with her education. “I plan to come back to ACC to earn my degree in Computer-Integrated Machining,” she said. “It’s a win-win situation.”