Rutherford County, NC, Western North Carolina, News,arrests, RC Catalyst, Judicial District 29A ICC student enters apprenticeship program with Sonoco  – Foothills Catalyst

ICC student enters apprenticeship program with Sonoco 

SPINDALE  – Tabitha Lucas, a student in advanced manufacturing at Isothermal Community College, became the college’s first registered manufacturing apprentice this week.

She will go to work and continue her studies at Sonoco, a plastics injection molding operation in Forest City. The facility primarily makes packaging components for many types of consumer products.

“We are excited to have this partnership with the college and look forward to what it will mean for our company and the community,” said Ben Lucas, Sonoco’s plant manager.

Tabitha Lucas signed the official apprenticeship agreement with Sonoco and Isothermal Community College this week. This is the first official registered manufacturing apprenticeship in Isothermal’s service area. Officials anticipate there will be many more. Lucas (center) is pictured with her daughter, Tara, who is a student at Rutherford Early College High School (REaCH) and her husband, Rick.

This particular apprenticeship will span three years, but other companies can customize similar experiences to meet specific needs, said Mark Franklin, Isothermal’s director of Customized Training and Development.

“We see this as a great workforce development tool that will lead to greater student success,” said Franklin.

Lucas is looking forward to the apprenticeship.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity and I can’t wait to get started,” she said Wednesday at a ceremony where she signed the official commitment documents.