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Manufacturer AFL has implemented a Spartanburg County-based program called Operation Workforce Training to encourage students to study manufacturing. The program is in partnership with Byrnes High School and Spartanburg Community College’s Corporate and Community Education division.
AFL is sponsoring 10 senior high school students who are taking an introduction to manufacturing class from professors at Spartanburg Community College. As the class progresses, AFL will observe the training and help determine future curriculum and content, according to a news release.
By the end of the program, students will receive a high school diploma, state-certified WorkKeys score and a college certificate.
“After evaluating the local manufacturing landscape for the past 24 months, we felt like we needed to do something different and innovative,” said Ryan Burns, director of talent acquisition for AFL, in the release. “Competition for hiring local talent is tighter and tougher than it has ever been in my HR career. Fortunately, we were able to partner with local schools right here in our community to develop a program that is a win-win for everyone involved.”
To prepare for the program, Burns and his team interviewed plant managers, operations managers and engineering managers to gain an understanding of entry-level manufacturing needs and AFL’s plans for the next 12 to 24 months. In Fall 2017, more than 20 students from Byrnes High School toured AFL’s facilities. Through various interview panels, offers were made to 10 students. Once the students complete the course and graduate, AFL will interview and hire up to and including all 10 students, the release said.
Headquartered in Spartanburg, AFL has operations across the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan.