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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Some students in our area are heading back to school and back to work.

They're part of a special apprenticeship program that sets them up with a job in the end.

Joe Grigg was just 17, a senior in high school, when he started working at Blum, a Lincoln County-based company that manufacturers hinges for companies like Ikea.

"I didn't really have a plan for college and this seemed like the best thing going," he said.

Now 26, he was actually an intern, then an apprentice that the company trained with the expectation of the full time job Grigg has now had for almost a decade.

This week, 14 new apprentices started at the company hoping to mirror Grigg's success.

The company started the apprenticeship program 20 years ago, and now partners with several other Charlotte-area manufacturing companies to get high school students across the area trained and into the workforce.

"Most of my friends don't know what they want to do, but doing this I have an idea what I want to do in the future," Christian Ramsumair said.

An Olympic High senior, he says it can be a lot to juggle-- school work, friends and a job, but it's worth it.

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