Student Success Story

ICC National Apprenticeship Week Feature: James Ballard

Sophomore James Ballard is in his final semester of his Associate in Applied Science degree and is part of the ICC Industrial Maintenance apprenticeship program. As an apprentice, he’s received 300 to 450 hours of coursework each year of his apprenticeship, along with a guaranteed minimum hourly payment and coverage of the cost of tuition, fees and books. He’ll leave the program with an advanced skill sets that meets the specific needs of regional employers.

James said, “The program has enabled me to be a multi-skilled employee for my employer, ALcast Company, as I’ve gained a highly valuable and versatile skill set. Through on-the-job experience and hands-on classes, I’ve become a marketable employee that will never be at a loss for a job.”

James encourages anyone thinking about getting a degree in Industrial Maintenace to do so. “The apprenticeship program practically pays for itself and has increased my earning potential while receiving an education in a highly robust field.”

As an industrial maintenance technician, James will be entering a field where he can expect a long-term career with a good salary, job advancement opportunities and the opportunity to use cutting-edge technology while working with their hands. The median salary is $54,524 per year, with highly experienced workers earning up to $78,727 annually.

After he earns his Associate degree, James plans to attend SIU at ICC to earn his Bachelor’s in Industrial Management and Applied Engineering. He credits his teachers and peers at ICC with being essential in his experience and giving him “the confidence to broaden my horizons.”

Apprenticeship program candidates must apply to ICC and receive pre-qualification prior to company interviews. For more information, contact ICC Workforce Development at (309) 690-6865 or visit icc.edu/apprenticeship.

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