WSCC, Sonoco Flexible Packaging announce apprenticeship program

Walters State Community College and Sonoco Flexible Packaging have developed an apprenticeship program to train maintenance mechanics. Apprentices will also learn electromechanical or automation skills.

“Walters State is excited to work with Sonoco, an industry leader in flexible packaging and a top employer in our service area,” said Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State. “Sonoco has shown a commitment to its employees by developing a program providing a path for advancement and ensuring future workforce needs are met.”

For Sonoco, the apprenticeship program will benefit both students and employees while contributing to the growth and success of the business and the community, said Mickey Reaves, operations manager at the Sonoco Morristown location.

“We are thrilled and honored to partner with Walters State Community College in developing this apprenticeship program,” Reaves said. “Together, we are paving the way for a brighter future, where education and industry seamlessly merge. This partnership signifies our commitment to providing students with real-world experience and valuable skills while also addressing the needs of our ever-evolving workforce.”

Apprentices receive valuable on-the-job training and are paid while learning. Engineering technology classes will include programmable logic, electrical circuits and welding. Credit classes taken may be applied to the associate of applied science in engineering technology. Through the college’s Division of Workforce Training, students will earn certifications from OSHA and other agencies.

“Apprenticeship programs bring both our credit and non-credit courses together to provide a custom program for companies like Sonoco,” said Dr. Anita Ricker, assistant dean for workforce training.

For more information on beginning an apprenticeship program, contact Ricker at or 423-620-2730.