WPCC’s Signs Three New Apprentices at Leviton Manufacturing


Western Piedmont Community College held a signing ceremony last week to recognize three Leviton Manufacturing employees joining the PACE Apprenticeship Program. Maintenance Technicians Joshua Kincaid, Derek Lopes and Vanessa Hartley were honored during the event.

Senior Operations Manager John Petty and WPCC President Dr. Welch stand with Leviton’s PACE Apprentices.

Leviton joined WPCC’s PACE program in 2022, and Derek Lopes is looking forward for the opportunity ahead.

“I saw the PACE program posted on our company boards and the opportunity really intrigued me,” Lopes said. “I’ve been a mechanic for a little over a year and a half. I really enjoy my work, fixing things and getting a good turnover rate so that we can make more parts and help the business [Leviton Manufacturing] out.”

Senior Operations Manager John Petty is excited about the continuation of the partnership Leviton has with WPCC and PACE.

“I am thrilled about the three maintenance techs starting the PACE apprenticeship program with WPCC. I believe that this program will provide them with valuable development opportunities and help them to grow as technicians. I am confident that they will gain a wealth of knowledge and skills through this program, and I am excited to see the progress they will make,” Petty said. “This apprenticeship program is an excellent opportunity for them to gain hands-on experience in the field and to work with experienced professionals who can guide and mentor them. Overall, I am excited to see the positive impact this program will have on the three maintenance techs and the organization as a whole.”

PACE, which stands for Partnership for Apprenticeship and Career Exploration provides apprenticeship opportunities for workers to receive specialized training to enhance their job skills. Apprentices are paid while in the program along with earning an educational credential to demonstrate training.

“WPCC’s PACE Apprenticeship Program is proud to partner with Leviton and other industries in Burke County to provide pathways for apprentices to earn while they learn valuable skills that will lead to higher paying jobs and a bright future,” WPCC Dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Education Rick Furse said. “This is a win-win for industries looking to develop the next generation of skilled workers, and individuals who are seeking training for the high-tech occupations of the future.”

To become a PACE partner, apprentice, or learn more about the program, visit online at wpcc.edu/pace.