INA (WSIL) -- Rend Lake College hosted an Apprenticeship Works! program Wednesday for area high school and college students.
The event showcased how local businesses work with the college to give students on-the-job training that will benefit them during their future careers.
"They're able to adapt to your life. It's not adapting to what they want you to do. They help adapt to your schedule," explains Rend Lake student Chad Morris.
Morris, in his second year at RLC, is familiar with the program. He says the hands-on experience is a plus.
"A lot of times when you're in high school, and you're thinking about college, you're thinking more about inside of a textbook, you're thinking about having to study all the time."
Professor Chris Sink says the small group size is also an advantage.
"Allows me really one-on-one time for anybody that needs that extra push."
Students are learning electrical, machinery, and much more. The experience would give them a chance to work with area businesses in Jefferson County, such as Continental Tire.
"They'll make correction and get that machine working and put up as quickly and safely as they can. I like being able to hand-off a skill set that I know is valuable to the industry, that something employers are actually looking for," explains Sink.
CTE Support Specialist Joy Fitts says the program is beneficial to students who might not want a traditional degree.
"As an apprenticeship, they earn a wage. Most of our employers pay the tuition, so when they graduate with the degree or certificate they're graduating almost debt free."
That's good news for Morris. He hopes to graduate from the program in May 2021.
"That's why I put off college for so long. I just wanted to make money, not spend money. Having a company that's able to put their confidence and resources behind you, it gives you an extra boost of confidence," says Morris.
If you would like more information about the apprenticeship program, click here.