GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Garrison Weavil has known for years that he wanted to be a mechanical engineer.

Now, four years into the Guilford Apprenticeship Partners, he has thousands of hours of experience under his belt and a free education for Guilford Technical Community College.

"I'm no longer stressing about school. I go to school to learn. I'm not really worried about the future because I know I'm on track and I'm able just to really set me a good foundation up for the future," Weavil said.

The GAP began in 2015. The program benefits multiple areas of the Triad, with students gaining experience and education without cost. Additionally, companies are training their own future workforces.

"It's grown to 34 companies, and we drafted 78 apprentices and I think a total now that are in the program across the four years is 138 I believe," Jaime Trogdon with Machine Specialties Inc. said.

With the cost of higher education and the lack of skilled workers both impacting North Carolina, this program takes care of both.

More information about the apprenticeship program can be found here.