Recently, no less than the president of the United States announced that the country needs more college graduates. For students who want the four-year experience and a bachelor degree, Robeson Community College’s University Transfer program is a great, low-cost way to start.
But, believe it or not, there are still well-paying jobs that are available that do not require a four-year degree.
This past spring, Campbell Soup recognized two individuals who completed a five-year internship/apprenticeship program. One of those was Robeson Community College alum Bryan Livosky, who graduated in 2015 with an associate in Applied Science degree in Electrical and Electronic Technology.
Livosky started at Campbell on the production line as a “bean blancher,” but says he was always interested in going into maintenance. Despite having previously worked for an electrical contractor, Livosky didn’t have enough experience to enter the field directly, but other maintenance technicians and the management at the plant encouraged him to enter Campbell’s apprenticeship program.
Livosky had already tried post-secondary schooling, first as an engineering student at UNC Charlotte and later at a couple of other community colleges after graduating from Scotland High School, but just hadn’t found his niche. RCC is Campbell’s “preferred” school for its apprenticeship program and Livosky wanted to take a programmable logic controller class taught by Campbell engineer Warren Westbury, who is also a long-time adjunct instructor at the college, so Livosky signed up.
William Locklear, RCC’s assistant vice president, has played a major role in cultivating the college’s relationship with Campbell over the years. Locklear says Westbury brings an excellent combination of real world engineering experience and love of teaching to RCC. In addition, Locklear adds, “the internship is a very successful partnership between the college and Campbell. Our tech programs have been able to train and prepare many technicians for their plant. They been very supportive of our efforts for the past 20 years.”
With Campbell’s support and encouragement, Livosky spent four years taking one to three classes per semester until he completed the degree at RCC, all while maintaining full-time employment at Campbell Soup. The apprenticeship program is a five-year program because participants spend one year in each of five departments at the plant, thus Livosky finished his degree at RCC almost a year before he completed the apprenticeship as an “A Class Mechanic,” Campbell’s designation for its top mechanics.
If you are interested in learning more about apprenticeship programs in our Electrical and Electronics Technology program, contact program Chairman Harvey Strong at [email protected]
The partnership with Campbell is one of many opportunities for students at Robeson Community College. If you are interested in learning more about other opportunities, contact our admissions office on the web at robeson.edu/admissions or by phone at 910-272-3342.
Dennis Watts is the public information officer for Robeson Community College.