COA welding program partners with NC Ferry Division

Published 4:28 am Thursday, January 10, 2019

College of The Albemarle has partnered with the Ferry Division of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to offer apprenticeships for students enrolled in the welding technology program.

COA officials first met with the Ferry Division two years ago to begin discussion of a partnership.  Back in the spring, Jed Dixon, deputy director of the NC Ferry Division, said “We appreciate this partnership with COA and look forward to working with the students.  It will give the students some valuable hands-on experience in the trade and it will potentially give us a valuable local talent pool to fill our openings.”

The first internships were offered to COA students of the welding technology program over the summer of 2018. The nine students’ primary focus was marine diesel repair during the course of internships. Upon completion of the summer internships, the Ferry Division started thinking about how additional partnerships could be developed for programs at COA and other community colleges along the coast of North Carolina.

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On November 28, eight community colleges, staff from the North Carolina Community College System and staff from Dare County Schools, met in Manns Harbor to see how the apprentice program between COA and the Ferry Division was modeled. The group had the opportunity to tour the facility and discuss expansion of the apprentice programs with the Ferry Division to see how the apprenticeships could be duplicated at other community colleges.

“Other jobs being considered for future apprentice programs include HVAC technicians, painters, chippers and electricians for boats with the Ferry Division,” stated Tim Sweeney, Dare County Campus dean.  “While other community colleges offer these certifications, many do not have apprentice opportunities established. There is a great need for skilled labor along the coast and the partnership with the Ferry Division provides beneficial experience for our students.”

For more information on the welding technology program, visit


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