Caterpillar recently partnered with Illinois Central College to establish a three-year apprenticeship program designed to facilitate the development of skill trades workforce within manufacturing companies. The program will provide Mechatronics training on courses required for Maintenance Repair and Electrician training.
“Programs like this are extremely important to the community,” said Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis.
The program was developed with several local partners: Illinois Central College, Caterpillar Mapleton (LPSD), Caterpillar Morton (PSLD), and Caterpillar Corporate Employee & Labor Relations. Five local students were selected to participate in the program, where Caterpillar will be funding 100% of their tuition in addition to paying them an hourly rate based on 40-hour work week, even while the students are attending class. The apprenticeship course provides both classroom learning and on-the-job training.
"I think it's a huge step for everybody," says Anthony Whittenburg, ICC Student. "I believe that this program will help out a lot of people and basically get into a good job and continue on with their lives and possibly continue moving forward."
Upon completion of the three year course, the employee will be considered and placed in Maintenance Mechanic or Maintenance Electrician position (depending on the business need at time of graduation). The employee will have received an Associates in Applied Associated Sciences and earn National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) credentials.
“This is really important to us, because it enables Caterpillar to partner with the community in building a pipeline of a skilled trades for the future”- Takisha Dailey- HR Manager - Caterpillar Mapleton