Apprenticeships Could Be Gateway to Middle Class

U.S. News
By Katherine Peralta

January 12, 2015

Hope Johnson and David Whelan divide their weeks between courses at Central Piedmont Community College and the factory floor at Siemens USA in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they’re enrolled in high-tech, European-style apprenticeships manufacturing gas and steam turbines for power plants.

Johnson, 20, and Whelan, 18, are gaining more than just experience. Once they’ve completed their apprenticeships, they’ll each have an associates degree in mechatronics – paid for by Siemens – and a full-time job at Siemens making about $55,000 a year – well above the average salary for similarly educated young adults.

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