Cutting Edge Work Experience Programs Coming out of Northeast Alabama Community College

In 2012, Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) started requiring students in all career technical programs within the Workforce Development Division to have a work experience component as part of their degree requirements, and to assure that their students exit the program with significant experience in the workplace. The college partners with business and industry from the Tri-State region to assist our students in receiving hands-on, real-world experience. 

Nancy Griggs Coordinator for Work Experience Programs, serves as the liaison for business and industry for the following cutting edge Work Experience Programs.

Cooperative Education (Co-op/Internship) 

This program is an educational opportunity based upon a cooperative arrangement by the college and employer to provide practical work experiences for students. The Co-op/Internship combines classroom study with related employment. This program requires a student to be placed with an employer for one semester, but can be longer if employer requests, for a minimum of 16 hours per week for 15 to 16 weeks. Interviews and arrangements are made with the employer the semester prior to the Co-op/Intern starting their work experience. Measurable Learning Objectives (MLOs) are established by the student, the employer, and the instructor for the student to complete during their work experience.   Employers also use this work experience to screen the student for potential full-time employment. The three-way partnership between the employer, college and student, contributes to the growth and development of the cooperative education program.  



In 2013, the college worked with a local company to develop a specialized three-year Co-op feeder program to their Electrical and Instrumentation apprenticeship program. This program required that students attend college full-time one semester and work full-time with the company on alternating semesters. This stretches the two-year degree program to 3 years and allows for specific customization to meet the needs of the company. The initial program with E&I was so successful that the company asked NACC to develop a similar program for Maintenance Mechanics, which was initiated in Fall 2017. Students in each of these programs are paid $16.65 per hour while in school. Upon graduation, the student can interview for full time employment and if hired they become an apprentice at the company with a starting pay of $28.43 per hour. Upon completion of the apprenticeship program (in two years) the student becomes a journeyman with a base pay of $37.08 per hour. This company has been pleased with the quality of employees it has obtained through this program. To date, this company has hired all the Co-op students who have completed this program. 


US DOL Registered Apprenticeships

In 2014 NACC developed the Northeast Alabama Community College ~ Tri-State Apprenticeship Consortium. This consortium is coordinated by Nancy Griggs and consist of members from business and industry who participate in the apprenticeship programs. The consortium started with five companies and has grown to represent a variety of manufacturing and construction companies.  NACC continues to add new business and industry to this program. The college has been recognized as a leader in coordinating these programs and make it easy for companies of any size to sponsor one or any number of apprentices.  


Business and industry sponsor the students and pay for their tuition and books.  In addition, the sponsor pays the apprentice for time worked in their facility. Students selected as apprentices work for their sponsoring company 30 hours per week and attends college 10 hours per week. Apprentices receive pay increases each year for successful completion of the program and each works directly under the supervision of a journey worker throughout the 3-4 year apprenticeship program. The duration of the apprenticeship depends upon the job. Apprentice earn certificates, an AAS degrees, and multiple industry certifications. 



NACC’s registered apprenticeship programs consist of Machine Tool Technology, Multi-Skilled Maintenance Technician, and a Youth Multi-Skilled Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship program. NACC was the first in the state to start a Youth Apprenticeship program, utilizing dual enrollment high school students. The first cohort of Machine Tool Technology Apprentices started in 2014, have completed the apprenticeship program and earned their US DOL Registered Apprenticeship Journey worker card in October 2018.  

Additionally, NACC has partnered with Construction Companies in the Tri-State area for a Carpentry/Construction apprenticeship program. Additional apprenticeship programs are added to meet local business and industry needs.

Northeast Alabama Community College


Tax Credit for Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship Alabama recognizes NACC’s U.S. DOL Registered Apprenticeship programs and are giving a tax credit to employers in our programs to support your efforts. 


For more information about our Work Experience Programs please contact:

Nancy Griggs

Coordinator for Work Experience Programs    

Northeast Alabama Community College

256-228-6001 Ext. 2217

256-638-4418 Ext. 2217

Sarah Stahl