Charlottean Matt Brown is getting a leg up in his career in an unconventional way. As a participant in the Apprenticeship 2000 program, he earned money while learning a trade and guaranteed himself a future full time job at PFAFF Molds while he was still a high school student.

Now 20 years old, he has completed his studies in Mechatronics (a multi-disciplinary engineering field) at Central Piedmont Community College and already has nearly 4 years of work experience as an apprentice under his belt. So what’s next? Tackling a second language.

Brown is studying Spanish along with two other apprentices through a unique onsite language program provided by PFAFF Molds and The Language Academy of the Carolinas in order to better prepare for a career in an increasingly global industry.

“The company I work for has customers in Mexico that often come to our Charlotte location for weeks at a time and also will send employees down to Mexico for repair work,” explained Brown via email. He says learning Spanish will help him communicate better with customers and build better relationships with them.

Nothing could beat the convenience of language courses that take place at work but for Brown the key to his learning success has been the small class size offered by the Language Academy. In middle school and high school, he studied foreign languages too but found large class sizes of 25 students or more made it difficult for him to grasp new concepts and stay focused.

“[The Language Academy’s] intimate sized classes and very passionate and knowledgable instructors allowed me to be more focused and open to instruction,” he says, adding that the variety of teaching techniques used (including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic methods) also cater to multiple learning styles.

Thanks to Apprenticeship 2000, Brown has mastered the highly specialized technical skills needed to succeed in manufacturing today but it may be his language skills that ultimately give him a real advantage in the global business world of tomorrow.

The Language Academy of the Carolinas based in Charlotte, NC offers classes and translation services. Want more information on setting up a Business Program at your workplace? Give us a call at 704.548.0048 or drop us a note at to get started.