A Joint Service of Bradley University and Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

ICC students sign onto Caterpillar apprenticeships

Isabela Nieto
Apprentices don their Caterpillar hats after signing their contracts

Illinois Central College students signed apprenticeship contracts with Caterpillar at a ceremony on Monday to begin their journey into the workforce.

The ceremony featured speakers from ICC's administration and a professor to congratulate the apprentices on their accomplishments.

ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey championed the collaboration between the college and Caterpillar and thanked them for their investment in programs that have encouraged their students to pursue the trades.

220912.2.ICCApprenticeshipCATsignday.png - 1.png
Isabela Nieto
Apprentices sign their contracts

The apprenticeship encompasses industrial maintenance fields as well as cybersecurity and information technology.

Agriculture and Industry Technology Professor Steve Flinn says that the apprenticeship is five years in the running and says he was proud to be in the position to teach these students the skills they need to succeed.

Students take classes at ICC within their given field and gain real world experience through opportunities like this apprenticeship.

Caterpillar Director of Guest and Community Relations Henry Vicary says the apprentices have bright futures and gain the opportunity to secure a position that will guarantee two years of employment following the completion of the apprenticeship.

220912.3.ICCApprenticeshipCATsignday.png - 1.png
Isabela Nieto
ICC graduate and Caterpillar employee AJ Salmon speaks on his experience in this apprenticeship

One of the apprentices, Nicholas Davis, says he is nervous about signing on with Caterpillar.

“It's a big change for a long period of time. There’s a big outcome, though," he said.

A previous apprentice, AJ Salmon, spoke at the ceremony and says that this opportunity allowed him to grow into the position he is in now, and is thankful to have been at ICC and taken this apprenticeship.

Davis says Salmon’s words made him more comfortable, and looks forward to his time at Caterpillar.

We depend on your support to keep telling stories like this one. You – together with NPR donors across the country – create a more informed public. Fact by fact, story by story. Please take a moment to donate now and fund the local news our community needs. Your support truly makes a difference.

Isabela Nieto is a student reporting intern at WCBU. Isabela is also a student at Bradley University in Peoria.