Kendra Rupard

Thanks to a collaborative program between Wilkes Community College and the Ashe County School system called Career and College Promise, Kendra Rupard was well on her way to realizing her goal to become a machinist and work for GE Aviation when she graduated from Ashe County High School in the spring of 2017. Career and College Promise (CCP) gives high school students the opportunity to receive career counseling and take college courses while in their junior and senior years, virtually free!

After graduation Kendra enrolled full-time at Wilkes Community College and continued her course work to become a machinist. Kendra was recently hired at GE Aviation in her field. After her training period, she will work and continue with her studies to complete her two-year degree. “I will make the decision, at that time, whether to pursue my four-year degree. GE believes in investing in their employees, so they will pay for the remainder of my two-year degree as well as the four-year degree should I continue,” said Kendra.

The Ashe Campus Wilkes Community College works with local industry, like GE Aviation, to provide the necessary curriculum and course of study to support the needs of the facility, which in turn provides “living wage” jobs for the community. It is a mutually beneficial relationship. Kendra stated, “Having the chance to complete the necessary coursework to land a position at GE Aviation is amazing. Being able to take my classes for free during high school gave me an advantage that has really jump-started my career.”