BRIDGING THE SKILLS GAP: A STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS IN A RURAL COUNTY
This qualitative study explores how apprenticeship programs affect workforce development partners and the skills gap in Woods County, NC. Specifically, the study explores how the Apprenticeship Woods County program shapes the development of a diverse and skilled workforce for participating employers, how the program can be altered to meet employers' demands and students' needs, and how the participation in a public-private partnership (PPP) further expands the capacity of organizations to work together in pursuit of solutions to mutually identified problems of practice.The study was conducted using qualitative research methodology that employs a research design using three iterative cycles of inquiry, with research questions informing each of the three inquiry cycles. Data collection techniques include interviews of 18 participants representing the four units: employers, apprentices, educators, and workforce development partners. Additionally, participant journals and document reviews were collected. The process used to analyze transcripts from the participant interviews and document reviews consisted of three levels of analysis: (a) open coding, (b) axial coding, and (c) selective coding. At each analysis level, a constant comparison was used to further refine the data and to reveal themes. The research study reveals the Apprenticeship Woods County program to be an effective tool to narrow the skills gap and support workforce development efforts in Woods County. Research data collected through the implementation of a CIPP program evaluation, implemented within the three cycles of inquiry framework, demonstrates that the program contributes to the development of a diverse and equitable, skilled workforce. Apprenticeship Woods County connects youth to local career pathways, supports a positive company culture, strengthens employee skill development, and increases the employer's engagement with the community. The program evaluation also reveals improvement opportunities that include, but are not limited to, diversity in advertising, additional local funding, additional mentor training, and increased PPP membership.This research study strongly supports the Apprenticeship Woods County program as an effective strategy to mitigate the workforce skills gap and support future economic growth in a rural county. Additionally, it supports the PPP as an effective framework to build impactful partnerships in a rural community.
Gerard, Stacey. (April 2021). BRIDGING THE SKILLS GAP: A STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS IN A RURAL COUNTY (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9139.)
Gerard, Stacey. BRIDGING THE SKILLS GAP: A STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS IN A RURAL COUNTY. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, April 2021. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9139. September 21, 2023.
Gerard, Stacey, “BRIDGING THE SKILLS GAP: A STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS IN A RURAL COUNTY” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, April 2021).
Gerard, Stacey. BRIDGING THE SKILLS GAP: A STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS IN A RURAL COUNTY [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; April 2021.
East Carolina University