Media Advisory: U.Va.’s Path-Breaking Apprenticeship Program To Graduate Six, Induct Nine; Will Also Recognize Employees Earning GEDs and Participating in ESL Program

Members of the media are invited to attend the University of Virginia Facilities Management’s Annual Apprentice and Education Recognition Ceremony.

The event will be held Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at the University’s Alumni Hall. Six apprentices will graduate and nine new apprentices are scheduled to be inducted. The six graduates represent the electrical, electronics, plastering and heating, ventilation and air conditioning trades, while the inductees include two carpenters, two electricians, three plumbers and two heating, air conditioning and ventilation technicians.

Donald Sundgren, the chief facilities officer at the University; Colette Sheehy, the University’s vice president for management and budget; and Frank Friedman, president of Piedmont Virginia Community College, will speak at the program.

U.Va.’s Apprenticeship Program started in 1982, the first of its kind at a public university. Since then, it has been the model for similar programs at Carnegie-Mellon University, James Madison University, Virginia Military Institute and Washington & Lee University.

Including this year’s class, 140 people have graduated from the Apprenticeship Program, of whom 109 are still employed at the University, including 13 who entered the first apprenticeship class in 1982.

Admission into the Apprenticeship Program is highly competitive; there were about 600 applications for the nine new apprenticeship positions. Many apprentice graduates earn promotions and move higher in their careers in Facilities Management ­– and mentor new apprentices.

The ceremony will also honor lifelong learning and educational achievements. Seven Facilities Management employees will be recognized, including four who earned master’s degrees and three who earned associate’s degrees.

Susan Erno, program coordinator of the Charlottesville City Schools Adult Learning Center, will honor those who have received their General Educational Development diploma and those who have completed a course in English as a Second Language. The winners of the Voices of Adult Learners competition will also be cited.

Sundgren and several of the apprentice graduates and honorees will be available for interviews after the ceremony.

Media Contact

Matt Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications