Carroll Community College, in partnership with Heidelberg Materials North America, will provide a path to a skilled-based job for employees in the Millwright Apprenticeship Program. Millwrights are a group of specialized craftspeople who perform maintenance on the full complement of industrial machines at Heidelberg Materials.
The program is four years long, with 780 hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. Students learn various skills, including welding, plumbing, pipefitting, conveyor belt functions, and sheet metal work.
“This program gives me professional credit to move up in this industry,” said Lucas Currens, a Heidelberg Materials employee and student in the program. “You get more money as you move up in the program,” he said.
Employee apprentices complete all of the on-the-job training and related classroom instruction before they are eligible to take an exam to get promoted to the next level. Apprentices start the program as a helper and work through six training areas before becoming certified journey workers. The apprentices perform maintenance on various equipment, including vertical mill and conveyor systems, bucket elevators, industrial fans, and material screws, to name a few.
The State of Maryland's recognition of the Millwright program allows all of the employees to be officially recognized for the work they are already doing. “With Heidelberg now having a state-approved apprenticeship program, it is going to help them attract new talent,” said Scott Covert, subject matter expert in manufacturing for Carroll, who works directly with Heidelberg.
“At the end of the 4-year program, you are making journeyman wages with no college debt, and you will have a certificate from the Maryland Department of Labor and be considered an expert in your field,” Scott said.
Plants, factories, foundries, mills, breweries, and manufacturing facilities across various industries rely on millwrights’ meticulous dedication to keep motors, turbines, renewable energy, and equipment of all sizes running efficiently and effectively.
"Carroll Community College's partnership with Heidelberg Materials exemplifies the synergy between education and industry, fostering a pathway for technical excellence. Through our collaboration, we're proud to deliver state-approved apprenticeship training that ensures superior skills and empowers employees to progress within their careers, said Kelly Koermer, Vice President of Continuing Education and Training at Carroll.
“This program is a testament to our commitment to providing quality education and enabling lifelong learning opportunities. Completing this apprenticeship isn't just a milestone; it's a gateway to success, offering a head start with 24 credits toward a degree at Carroll Community College," she said.
“This program helps us ensure we have the right skills to make the plant run at the highest performance level to provide the construction materials for the world to thrive,” said Paul Rogers, plant manager at the Heidelberg Materials cement plant in Union Bridge.
“The Millwright apprenticeship gives employees at Heidelberg Materials the opportunity to grow personally and professionally,” said Sue Tropey, HR manager at Heidelberg Materials.