Paving the Way for an Engineering Career Through Apprenticeship

  • Name: Phillip Fuller
  • School: High Point Central (2017 Graduate)
  • Company: Bright Plastics
  • Job Role: Process Technician  
  • Start Date: Summer 2016

Phillip Fuller, a 2017 graduate of High Point Central High School, is well on his way to a career in mechanical engineering. As an apprentice at Bright Plastics, he is getting personalized, on-the-job training while working toward his education at no cost.

“Coming from a family that wasn’t financially able to send me to a four-year school, I knew I’d need to either get scholarships or attend community college,” Phillip explained. 

When he heard about the Guilford Apprenticeship Partners program, he realized there was another option.

“Apprenticeship actually seemed more stable than going to a four-year school,” he recalled.  “It not only allowed me to make money immediately, but to start working toward a career.”

Phillip was hired by Bright Plastics which serves a wide variety of industries. As a process technician, he works with the machines, makes sure they’re set up and running properly, and assists the machine operators. His role also involves troubleshooting.

“This is my first official job and my co-workers have done a great job mentoring me and showing me what it means to be a part of the workforce,” he said. “They’ve given me a lot of practical advice about working at Bright Plastics, as well as life advice.” 

A rewarding career without college debt

When Phillip completes the apprenticeship program, his plan is to continue his education in mechanical engineering, and then move into the engineering department at Bright Plastics.

“I’ve been in conversations with Bright [Plastics] about investing in my future education,” he said. “The management has provided moral support and encouragement; they want to see me succeed.”

Phillip says he wouldn’t have gotten this incredible opportunity without the help of Susie Dehart, his school’s Career Development Coordinator.

“She pushed for me to apply and would even give me transportation to important appointments if my family wasn’t available.”

Getting into the program required Phillip to stay on top of important deadlines, but it’s been worth the hard work.

To other high school students, he says give it a shot.

“Whether you get a full apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship, you get money in your pocket and college credit, so just go for it,” he exclaimed. “It’s good money for your age and a head start on life, both career and education.”

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