Our North Cove facility in North Carolina is proud to support a nationally registered apprenticeship program that provides students with on-the-job training accounting for 90 percent of an Associate's Degree in Mechatronics, a technology that combines electronics and mechanical engineering. The remainder of the degree is earned through formal college courses.
We interviewed a Baxter employee and instructor at McDowell Tech, a current apprentice and an employee who went through the program to share their perspectives.
While I have several proud moments from my time supporting the apprenticeship, the one that sticks out above the others is the robot donation to McDowell Technical Community College. This initiative was led by the apprentices, doing all aspects of installing the robot, setting up the safety systems, programming the robot, getting quotes from vendors and coordination with college staff. To see the level of professionalism and the high quality effort of the project from start to end was an awesome experience.
Adam Aldridge, Reliability Engineering Manager, North Cove
I decided to pursue the apprenticeship program in order to develop new technical skills. Through the program, I’m able to work in different maintenance areas, while taking classes at McDowell Technical Community College. Working through Baxter’s apprenticeship program will help my career grow because at the end of the program, I will have completed my Associate’s in Mechatronics Engineering Technology and my apprenticeship as a Maintenance Mechanic certificate. I think having the opportunity to learn from others who have experience in this field is very rewarding and enriching. I am so happy and thankful for this great opportunity and I want to keep furthering my career at Baxter.
Evelyn Tomas, Maintenance Mechanic Apprentice
The apprenticeship was everything I needed. I was given a college curriculum to study that was paid for by Baxter. Baxter based my working hours around my school time so that I could focus and have the best chance at success possible. While at work, I was submerged into a tank of knowledge. They had me paired with the best mechanics and technicians in each department for a set number of hours before moving on to the next. Three years later, I had a college degree, thousands of hours of hands on technical experience, and a stack of certifications from various classes. The apprenticeship had such a big impact on my life, that now I work together with the college and Baxter so that I can help others achieve their goals, as others once helped me.
Jonathan Braswell, Maintenance Technician
This is where your work matters.