Through a unique arrangement, the state-approved Caterpillar Apprenticeship Training in Welding Program allows high school juniors and seniors to work and study at the same time. Students complete their final two years of high school while working and training inside Caterpillar's Sanford Fabrication facility and at The Innovation Center of Lee County. Welding-related college courses are provided by Central Carolina Community College. Students also work 30 or more hours per week in the summer between their junior and senior years.

    What do I earn in the Caterpillar Program?
    **Once you complete the two-year apprenticeship program and graduate from high school, here's what you will have earned:

    1. Welding Certificate from Central Carolina Community College
    2. North Carolina Department of Labor High School Apprenticeship Certificate
    3. Apprenticeship hours to transfer to an adult program
    4. Career Readiness Certificate
    5. Proprietary Caterpillar training
    6. Preferred employment opportunity at Caterpillar (pending meeting full-time employment requirements)

    How can I prepare for the Caterpillar Apprenticeship program as a 9th grade student?

    • Enroll in Career and Technical Education courses. Specifically – Trade and Industrial Education, Core and Sustainable Construction, Electrical Trades, Masonry, Carpentry, Agricultural Mechanics
    • Make sure to be in school – Not too many absences
    • Make good grades
    • Stay out of trouble - no discipline issues

    **For more information see Mrs. Baucom in the Career Center or email me at

    For more information visit Lee County Schools - CTE