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Wiregrass Student Becomes Apprentice | New

VALDOSTA – Garyson Scheller, a third-generation tech college student, signed a registered apprenticeship contract with Whidden Gunworks.

Scheller is a precision machining and manufacturing student at Wiregrass Georgia Technical School’s Valdosta campus, college officials said in a statement.

He began working at Whidden Gunworks as a work-learning student at Berrien High School.

“Work-based learning is a great entry into the registered apprenticeship training model. We are proud that Garyson has chosen Wiregrass Tech to carry on the legacy of his family’s technical college,” said Nicole West, Director of Learning for Wiregrass.

Scheller’s family heritage includes his grandmother, Susan Nelms, a graduate of the office/office assistant program, his mother, Ashley Scheller, a graduate of the computer applications program, and his father, Johnathan Scheller, a graduate of the industrial electricity program.

The registered apprenticeship is a partnership between local industry and the technical college to provide real-world training alongside technical training, college officials said. Scheller is apprenticed to Whidden Gunworks as a machine operator.

After his apprenticeship, Scheller will receive a National Certificate of Apprenticeship Completion from the U.S. Department of Labor as well as a Precision Machining and Fabrication diploma from Wiregrass.

John Whidden, owner of Whidden Gunworks, said: “Garyson started working with us when he was in high school. It was a great pleasure to see him learn and mature in his abilities. The Wiregrass learning program suits all of us and we couldn’t be happier to be part of a team with Garyson and Wiregrass. I encourage anyone looking to develop their skills to consider an apprenticeship like this.

Whidden Gunworks manufactures some of the “most innovative and creative precision products for the world of competitive and recreational shooting,” college officials said. “Developed to satisfy the needs of repeat national champions and world record holders, all of their offerings are marksmanship products.”

Wiregrass partners with 32 local businesses to sponsor apprentices for open job opportunities. The college has 32 active apprentice students. Additionally, 22 students have completed their registered apprenticeship program and received a national certificate of completion, college officials said. The program has proven beneficial to businesses and industries in recruiting, training and retaining highly skilled workers.

Partnering with the college to hire students through the apprenticeship program has also demonstrated reduced turnover costs, higher productivity and a more diverse workforce.

If a company would like to learn more about the apprenticeship program, contact Nicole West at [email protected] or by calling (229) 333-2100, ext. 4837. To learn more about Wiregrass Tech, visit any campus or online at