Dr. Chris Harrington has been named the new director of ApprenticeshipNC, a key statewide program under the North Carolina Community College System.
ApprenticeshipNC is the State Apprenticeship Registration Agency that focuses on supporting hands-on training for students and providing high-quality workforce pipelines for businesses.
A Randolph County native, Harrington spent most of his career in leadership roles in manufacturing and supply chain operations for several companies, including Elastic Therapy, Draeger Safety, Sony DADC, and Technicolor.
During his tenure at Elastic Therapy, he managed the apprenticeship program, and became a co-founder of Apprenticeship Randolph — Randolph County’s premiere opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to jumpstart their careers. Today, he is the chairperson for Apprenticeship Randolph.
He also has teaching experience at High Point University and Guilford Technical Community College.
“With Dr. Harrington’s extensive knowledge and experience in private sector management, as well as his demonstrated commitment to registered apprenticeship, I know he will prove to be a strong leader for the ApprenticeshipNC team,” said John Loyack, Vice President of Economic Development at North Carolina Community College System. “He possesses a unique ability to leverage his knowledge of apprenticeship from an employer perspective. This, combined with his academic and practiced commitment to building a stronger North Carolina workforce, will no doubt propel North Carolina registered apprenticeship and economic development efforts to a higher level.”
In this role, Harrington will be responsible for overseeing the execution of ApprenticeshipNC’s mission to help North Carolina employers build and retain an adaptable, skilled, and efficient workforce through the registration of apprenticeship programs across the state.
Harrington said apprenticeship is the gold standard in work-based learning that delivers a highly skilled workforce.
“I am excited to join ApprenticeshipNC and look forward to leading a team of dedicated professionals to strengthen and grow the use of registered apprenticeship throughout our state,” Harrington said. “A highly skilled workforce is the key factor in our economic prosperity and growth. I look forward to combining my firsthand experience as an employer, apprenticeship consortium leader, and researcher with all the many professionals and advocates collaboratively to building and sustaining North Carolina’s workforce.”
Harrington received his bachelor’s degree from Crichton College, master’s degree from the University of Tennessee, and doctorate in leadership studies from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Harrington joined the System January 8.
ApprenticeshipNC (ANC) registers apprenticeship programs in all 100 North Carolina counties and provides continuous guidance and support for sponsors/employers with state, federal, and private funding streams to assist with initial implementation of their registered apprenticeship program. ANC also connects them with other organizations that promote and engage in apprenticeship like the NC Community Colleges, local workforce boards, community-based organizations, industry associations, and apprenticeship consortiums.