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charles henkels

Charles Henkels

​Apprenticeship Director

Bachelor of Arts in History
California State University Sacramento, Sacramento, California

Current Appointments
Secretary, California Conference on Apprenticeship
Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation, Advanced Technological Education
Project Director, California Apprenticeship Initiative
Project Lead, IEDRC Community College Apprenticeship Network

Mr. Henkels joined Norco College's team as an Apprenticeship Director in May of 2016, and led the development of one of the state's first college sponsored apprenticeship programs.  Recognized as a leader in the apprenticeship and work-based learning initiative, Mr. Henkels directs both federal and state grants working to integrate apprenticeship & work-based learning pathways into the community college system.  Previous to his work at the college, he coordinated the Associated General Contractors of America's largest apprenticeship training program in San Diego, California.  He serves as the Secretary for the California Conference on Apprenticeship, and is an active participant in the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium and the Department of Labor's Sector of Excellence in Apprenticeship.  In addition, Mr. Henkels has worked with his local state legislatures drafting legislation aimed at incentivizing businesses offering work-based learning to students in registered apprenticeship programs.  

Seeing how individuals could learn more efficiently when combining their education with meaningful work experience (and vice versa), and witnessing the national student debt approach $1.5 trillion, Mr. Henkels believes the education system needs to support the expansion of “earn-and-learn" models that keep students out of debt and on track in developing the highest valued skills and technical knowledge needed in our ​changing economy.  He recognizes the important heritage of the apprenticeship system regarding the transfer of skills and knowledge to the next generation and he is passionate about creating opportunities for businesses to collaborate dynamically with the college in developing the region's workforce and economy.

Understanding that registered apprenticeship expansion requires strategic planning and long-term vision, Charles has aimed the college's apprenticeship programs towards sustainability by collaborating with public agencies including the Department of Labor, the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (CA), the California Community College Chancellor's office, local Workforce Development Boards, and the Employment Training Panel (CA).  In addition, Charles has partnered with private organizations and CBO's such as Goodwill SoCal and the Community College Foundation.  With the ultimate goal of delivering a simple, effective, and accessible way to start apprenticeships, he has led efforts to remove bureaucratic hindrances, delays and obstacles to pave the way for effective public-private partnerships in apprenticeship.

Strong coffee, high energy preschoolers, and the occasional pick-up soccer match keep Mr. Henkels running at full-speed, and a Sunday afternoon in front of the grill is his ideal way to spend what used to be called his “free-time."​