Apprenticeships | Thomas Nelson Community College


Thomas Nelson has partnered with employers around the Peninsula to provide a variety of apprenticeship programs in various industries. We work with and prepare Thomas Nelson students to connect with employers on the Peninsula accepting applications for Apprenticeships.

Apprenticeship Partners

Currently Accepting Applications

Newport News Shipbuilding
 Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) offers 26 different trades and most programs are four-year or 8,000 hour programs. Programs are a combination of noncredit, onsite classes held at with NNS Apprentice School instructors along with credit classes through Thomas Nelson.  Upon completion students earn graduation from the Apprentice School and apprenticeship credential.  Highly competitive entry into the Apprentice School. Learn More and Apply

Apprenticeship Partners

AMTECH CNC Machinist Apprenticeship – Operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic work pieces.
Four-years/8,000 hours: This apprenticeship is a combination of Thomas Nelson credit classes and non-credit classes at New Horizons Regional Education Center. To qualify at Thomas Nelson you must have a GED and take the Virginia Placement Test. Upon completion apprenticeship credential and qualified Journeyman awarded.

Alcoa Howmet
 Multi-craft Maintenance Technician – Perform work involving the skills of two or more maintenance or craft occupations to keep machines, mechanical equipment, or the structure of an establishment in repair.
Four-year/8,000 hours: This apprenticeship combines online training through TPC and credit classes at Thomas Nelson.
To take classes at Thomas Nelson students must have a GED and take the Virginia Placement Exam. Howmet is looking for a high level of math knowledge to be placed into electronics courses. Apprenticeship credential earned at the end and qualified Journeyman.

 Tool and Die -: Lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, jigs, fixtures and gauges. 
Four-year/8,000 hours: This apprenticeship combines non-credit classes taken at Thomas Nelson, New Horizons and Canon. Education requirements from the employer are a GED or HS diploma. Upon completion students receive Apprenticeship credential and are qualified Journeyman.

Liebherr Mining
 Welder-Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
Two-year/4,000 hours: This apprenticeship combines online training through Tooling University, onsite classes at Liebherr and soft skills non-credit classes through Thomas Nelson. A GED is required for employment. Upon completion students earn Journeyman credential and possibly AWS credential.

Naval Weapons Station
Automotive Mechanics- Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul automotive vehicles. 
Four-year/8,000 hours: This apprenticeship includes all credit courses at Thomas Nelson which complete an AAS in Automotive Technology. To take classes at Thomas Nelson students must have a GED and take the Virginia Placement Exam. Apprentices must also sit for ASE certification and earn several automotive certificates in addition to Apprenticeship credential.

Newport News Public Schools
School Nutrition Technician. 
Two-year program/4000 hours: This pilot program recently hired 14 current NNPS employees. The program is a combination of online training through Culinary Management Institute (CMI) and classes are offered at NNPS by NNPS instructors.

Student Testimonial

“The best decision I ever made was to seek employment at Liebherr Mining Equipment as a welder/fitter apprentice. In two years, I went from starting my first welding job to having my journeyman’s card. The level of commitment from the men and women involved with the program is unparalleled. Help was always just a question away and the vast knowledge of the trainers, instructors, and mentors was invaluable. I know that I would not be half as successful as I am today without going through this apprenticeship. I would encourage anyone thinking about an apprenticeship to just do it. You will not be disappointed.”  

- Kyle Kenreigh

Thomas Nelson offers Virginia Registered Apprenticeships, a training system that produces highly skilled workers to meet the demands of employers competing in a global economy, through a combination of on-the-job training and theoretical classroom instruction.

More than 2,000 Virginia employers use the custom-designed programs to train their workforce.

Apprenticeships offer valuable opportunities including:

  • Jobs that usually pay higher wages 
  • Higher quality of life and skills versatility 
  • Portable credentials recognized nationally and, often, globally 
  • Opportunity for college credit and future degrees 
  • On-the-job training with a competitive wage

How long is an apprenticeship?

Registered apprenticeship training programs last between one to six years, during which time the apprentice is employed full-time with the sponsor company, earning a competitive wage with incremental increases.

How does a Registered Apprenticeship benefit employers?

Registered Apprenticeships benefit employers by providing them with a pipeline of skilled workers with industry-specific training and hands-on experience. The programs are customized to match employers’ needs, and highly flexible to meet the employers changing requirements.

Additional Resources

Whether you are an individual looking for an apprenticeship or an employer looking to begin an apprenticeship program, Thomas Nelson can help. Contact Tony Farley, AVP of Business Development and Corporate Training, at (757) 825-4075.