RockATOP Manufacturing Apprenticeship Application Steps

The Apprenticeship Application Process

This opportunity is open to any Rockingham County, NC junior or senior high school student enrolled in public school, private school, charter school, or a North Carolina registered home school who has legal status to work in the United States and who meets the program’s eligibility guidelines. Students must have transportation available.

If you’re considering apprenticeship, the application process is designed to give you more insight and help you decide if apprenticeship is a good pathway for you. You’ll get a chance to tour companies and see actual job and career possibilities in action. The steps to becoming an apprentice also ensure the apprenticeship is a good match for both you, as a student, and the participating company. 

Whether apprenticeship is your number one goal or you’re still exploring your options, start with the steps below to learn more and begin the application process.

Step 1: Gather Information and Explore 

There are a number of ways to learn more about apprenticeship opportunities in Rockingham County. Look for the following events and opportunities.

  • Informational sessions will be held each fall at local high schools and other locations. Some sessions are limited to students during the school day, while others may be open to both students and parents. Please notify your school counselor if you have missed an informational session or contact us at More information on Information Session day/times can be found here.
  • Talk to your school’s career development coordinator or counselor about apprenticeship. 
  • If you are homeschooled or cannot find information at your school about apprenticeship, contact us
  • Talk to your parents or guardians about apprenticeship. It’s an exciting opportunity, but also a big commitment.  A parent or guardian is also required to accompany you on company tours/Open House events. 

Step 2: Attend Industry Open Houses  – Late Fall and Early Winter

From October through December, students and parents are able to tour companies who offer apprenticeships. Each tour typically lasts about an hour, and you are able to learn about how the company operates, specific apprenticeship opportunities, possible career pathways, employee benefits, and more. Apprenticeship applicants and a parent or guardian must attend at least one open house in order to apply. 

  • Invitation is open to parents/guardians and potential applicants only. Due to safety regulations younger students may not attend.
  • Due to safety regulations, please wear closed toe and closed heel shoes.
  • All persons attending open houses should bring picture identification.
  • Open House Schedule Fall/Winter 2023

Step 3: Apply – Late Fall and Early Winter

RockATOP student applications are typically available in November and are due December 19.  

AFTER completing the online application (link below), applicants must complete a Signature Page and return with all signatures to:

RCS Students: Your Career Development Coordinator

Private, Charter, Homeschool:

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Step 4:  Invitations Sent to Attend February Invitational 

After a review of applications, selected students will be invited to continue in the process with an invitational event held in February. This event will be held over four evenings. Attendance is mandatory for all four evenings.

  • Students will participate in hands-on activities, problem-solving situations, team-building scenarios, and testing, all while being observed and interacting with company representatives. 
  • Students will learn more about what is involved in an apprenticeship and meet some of the company representatives. 
  • Company representatives will get to know the students, their capabilities, and how they may fit within their respective companies.
  • At the end of the four evenings, students will complete a form selecting their top three companies, in order, where they would be interested in becoming an apprentice. Companies complete a form selecting their top three students. Students and companies are matched to maximize success in the program.

Step 5: Complete a Pre-Apprenticeship During the Summer

Students that match with a company and meet all requirements will be invited to be a pre-apprentice. Students will be notified of this offer in mid-March. The summer paid pre-apprenticeship is a combination of working at the company and taking two classes at Rockingham Community College. Work hours and college hours generally occur during normal business hours. Students must have transportation to their work site and the college. Daily, punctual attendance is mandatory. College assignments must be completed when due.

Step 6: Apprenticeship Selection – August

During the summer pre-apprenticeship, students are evaluated for:

  • Grades
  • Job Performance
  • Attendance and Punctuality
  • General fit within the company and apprenticeship program 

Individual students will meet with their company contact regarding the selection of apprentices. At that time, the selected students will receive information about their upcoming work schedules; the official signing ceremony, which is held in August; registration at Rockingham Community College; and other details. 

In some cases, a pre-apprentice may not be selected as an apprentice. If a student is a rising senior and still interested in the program, they may apply again the following year.

Start Your Application Now!