First RAP Graduate Receives National Credential

September 20, 2023

Central Community College’s first participant to complete its Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) has received a nationally recognized certificate of completion.

Francisco Pano (pictured left), a 2022 welding technology graduate, recently completed his apprenticeship with Standard Iron in Grand Island and received the U.S. Department of Labor certificate during a ceremony this morning.

Pano must work for Standard Iron for two more years as part of the agreement, but he said he enjoys working for Standard Iron and can see himself there beyond the requirement.

“Well, I plan on working here maybe four, five more years, maybe longer. I’m not sure yet,” said Pano.

CCC began its RAP program in 2021. It follows the “earn while you learn” model, which provides apprentices the opportunity to further their education and skills development while supporting themselves through employment. Some 20 businesses across CCC’s 25-county service area are part of the RAP program.

“Pano's graduation as our first apprentice is a milestone for both Standard Iron and Central Community College,” said Catrina Gray, area wide apprenticeship director. “We've made significant strides since then, and we anticipate celebrating more graduates in the months to come. We are proud of Pano and his achievements through the apprenticeship program.”

(Also pictured Paulina Ortega, apprenticeship coordinator, and CCC President Dr. Matt Gotschall.)