SC Apprenticeship Program Leads Nation; Students, Companies Benefit

Article by: Christine Scarpelli | WSPA
Apprenticeship Carolina is partnering with technology schools statewide to provide more job opportunities for students and a qualified workforce for companies.
SC is state is leading the nation, officials with the organization said, in the way technical schools help students get jobs.
Eric Lawson is one of thousands of students who is turning an opportunity into a career. He said he saw a piece of paper on a canteen wall that advertised an opportunity to learn more about being in the mechanics field.
Now he’s working at Cooper Standard and graduating Spartanburg Community College in a week. He’s hoping to continue working for a company he loves.
“It's a challenging environment, it's the fast paced automotive world and you've got to make a lot of cars very year to keep the industry going,” said Lawson.
SCC is just one of the Upstate tech schools that partner with manufacturing, nursing and other industries to offer apprenticeship programs. More than 650 companies offer apprenticeships in the Upstate and more than 1000 are eligible to do so.
Officials said its real experience, side by side professionals and it's paying off big time for those who show up ready to work.
“We fully expect that if we invest in an apprentice they turn into a fully fledged technician,” said HR Manager Warren Snead of Cooper Standard.
Apprenticeship Carolinas said South Carolina has the fastest growing apprenticeship program in the country. Nearly 9500 students are or have served in one.
Tthe organization said most stay on the job.
“The ultimate goal of the college is to support the industry and manufacturing community and ultimately provide students with jobs,” said Jeff Hunt, Dean of Technologies with Spartanburg Community College.
We asked Apprenticeship Carolinas what the incentives for companies are. They said eligible businesses can receive a South Carolina tax credit of one-thousand dollars per apprentice, per year for up to four years.
Studies also show a decrease in the turnover rate with a higher skill level improved productivity and consistent training to help employees plan a solid future.
You can read much more about the program at Apprenticeship Carolina’s website here