Wiregrass student completes Ace apprenticeship

Submitted PhotoMarc Hughes, Wiregrass graduate and apprentice, Wiregrass Interim President DeAnnia Clements, with Jason O'Brien, Ace Technologies research and development manager, Sean Strickland, Wiregrass computer information systems instructor, Kaylah Scott, Ace Technologies human resources generalist, Ace Technologies Vice President Jammie Stalvey, and Michael Williams, Wiregrass dean for technical and industrial programs, gather to for Hughes completing the apprenticeship program.

HAHIRA — In 2018, college student Marc Hughes started his journey as an apprentice through Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s registered apprenticeship program.  

Hughes' apprenticeship as an internet working technician at Ace Technologies included a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction in computer information systems and electrical maintenance, college officials said in a statement.

“I would 115% recommend the apprenticeship program to other students,” he said. “It helps open doors that you didn’t even know were doors in the first place. It has set me up with the right skills/knowledge for the jobs I do every single day. Hands down the best school/career decision I’ve ever made.”

Through his registered apprenticeship, Hughes was able to complete his paid on-the-job training and related technical instruction. Not only was he awarded a networking specialist diploma and electrical maintenance technology technical certificate of credit from Wiregrass but he received a nationally recognized U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship certificate of completion.

“Wiregrass is excited about the success of the apprenticeship program and how it benefited Marc. Thanks to partnerships with local businesses and industries like Ace Technologies, Wiregrass’s registered apprenticeship program is one of the largest and most diverse in the state,” Wiregrass Interim President DeAnnia Clements said. “Apprenticeships benefit both the students and the local businesses.” 

Hughes continues to work for Ace Technologies, where he has advanced to lead technician.

Ace Technologies is a full-service integrator that markets integrated software and hardware systems. The company installs a wide variety of low voltage communication, including security and life-saving electronic systems. This also includes controls, telecommunications, fire alarms, mass notifications, CCTV and networking.

The apprenticeship program through Wiregrass is a method of training individuals in a trade using a combination of on-the-job skills development and classroom/lab-related instruction. The apprenticeship program has proven to benefit business and industry in recruiting, training and retaining highly skilled workers, college officials said. Partnering with the college in hiring students through the apprenticeship program has also shown a reduction in turnover costs, higher productivity and a more diverse workforce.

If a business would like to learn more about the apprenticeship program, contact Nicole West, executive director of departmental affairs. She can be reached at nicole.west@wiregrass.edu or by calling (229) 333-2100 ext. 4837.

Wiregrass is accepting new students for spring semester; classes start Jan. 10. There are 107 majors that qualify for the HOPE Career Grant and several of those programs are on the approved apprenticeship list. Eligible students could have their college tuition and fees completely covered by the HOPE Grant and the HOPE Career Grant! Visit www.wiregrass.edu to learn more about the programs Wiregrass offers.

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