Wake Tech and Amazon partner to train 100,000 US workers in 'mechatronics' by 2025
Posted February 15, 2021 6:34 a.m. EST
Updated February 15, 2021 7:36 a.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Wake Technical Community College is now part of Amazon’s goal to train employees in a new apprenticeship program, providing workers an opportunity for higher paying, in-demand jobs.
The shipping giant already depends heavily upon automation in their Garner facility. "Their facilities operate on very high tech electronic equipment that moves things different places," said Scott Ralls, president of Wake Tech.
Ralls said Wake Tech is already preparing to add more than 30,000 square feet of space at their Beltline Education Center on Bush Street in Raleigh. It is one of four Amazon training sites across the country preparing 100,000 people for work in "mechatronics," a combination of electronics and mechanical engineering.
According to Ralls, skilled workers trained in robotics systems are in high demand.
"Technology needs to be installed. Technology needs to be maintained. Technology needs to be repaired, and that takes very smart technology-capable people and those are the people we’re training," said Ralls.
Ralls is familiar with apprenticeships in other Wake Tech programs like training in HVAC systems, plumbing, welding and construction. Ralls said, for several years, Wake County Commissioners have supported the school’s apprenticeship programs to fill high-demand jobs.
Now Amazon workers can benefit from the same approach.
"When they finish they automatically get a pay boost," Ralls said. "That’s the way apprenticeship works."
Wake Tech’s plans for an expanded training facility with Amazon will make it one of four such training sites in the country.
Ralls said the school now has six campuses across the county with plans for a seventh, which will include another robotics training site in the Wendell area.
Amazon also places a large emphasis on recruiting military veterans for jobs and training opportunities.