For Immediate Release
January 27, 2016
COLUMBIA -- The State Workforce Development Board (SWDB) has granted nearly $400,000 to four organizations that will provide training and apprenticeship opportunities.
This initiative aims to increase training and employment opportunities for priority populations such as individuals with disabilities, ex-offenders, youth and others. Applicants were required to partner with a community-based organization, a local workforce development board and a business, as well as serve one or more priority populations.
“The board believes that the development of a highly skilled workforce begins with training, of which apprenticeships are a key element. Apprenticeships produce skilled workers, increases productivity and improves retention, while offering workers the opportunity to earn higher wages, national credentials and career advancement,” said Mikee Johnson, SWDB chairman and president of Cox Industries. “All of this makes South Carolina an exceptional place to do business.”
“By thinking beyond traditional apprenticeships, SWDB is encouraging smart ways to bridge the gap between education and employment and helping industries attract people that can benefit from the combination of classroom and on-the-job experiences,” said Cheryl Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce and SWDB member.
The grants were awarded to the following organization:
- Aiken Technical College -- $100,000: Aiken Tech will serve 60 participants; long-term unemployed and underemployed, individuals with disabilities, and out of school youth, through the delivery of pre-employment education programs that will lead to employment in the Advanced Manufacturing and Healthcare fields. Aiken Tech will also provide career counseling and mini-job fairs in an effort to help students become employed upon complete of an education program. Finally, Aiken Tech will partner with business and industry to develop apprenticeship opportunities for students who wish to further their education and career goals.
- Piedmont Technical College -- $98,727: Piedmont Tech will serve 40 participants; out of school youth, underemployed or unemployed adult offenders, and long-term unemployed adults, though their Manufacturing Pathways for Priority Populations program. This program features a laddered approach to skill and credential obtainment; each step providing participants with increasing levels of employable skills. Participants will complete a three-week Manufacturing Boot Camp and will be eligible to move into a QuickSkills Certification Program and a more advanced degree, certificate or diploma program. Piedmont Tech will also work with area businesses to identify and develop apprenticeships program. Participants will exit the program with at least two certifications, a hands-on apprenticeship experience and a higher level degree.
- SouthernCarolina Alliance -- $99,838: SouthernCarolina Alliance will serve approximately 13 participants, including out of school youth, individuals with disabilities, long-term unemployed and ex-offenders. The program consists of technical skills training in Manufacturing, on the job training and an apprenticeship with a local business.
- Lexington/Richland 5 Adult Education -- $100,000: Lex/Richland Adult Education will serve 18 participants through their construction employment training and apprenticeship program. Individuals will be out of school youth, unemployed or underemployed, individuals with disabilities, veterans and ex-offenders. Participants will complete on the job training hours, and will receive academic, career readiness and transition services in preparation for sustainable wage employment.
The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) is putting South Carolinians to work. The agency invests in building a pipeline of quality workers, matches workers with jobs, and is a bridge for individuals who find themselves out of work for no fault of their own. This promotes financial stability and economic prosperity for employers, individuals and communities. DEW is dedicated to advancing South Carolina through services that meet the needs of the state’s businesses, jobseekers and those looking to advance their careers.