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Cherokee County received another economic boost thanks to a $5,000 grant from the SunTrust Foundation to the Spartanburg Community College Foundation to address the regional workforce shortage. Grant funds will be used to train four individuals in the Operation Workforce Training program, which offers participants 65 hours of high-quality industry instruction and materials, and participation in post-training interviews with partner companies who will hire full-time trained employees.
Piloted in spring 2017, the project supports SCC's efforts to address regional workforce gaps, the underemployed or unemployed, individuals in need of adult education/GED and training, and high school seniors with no post-graduation plans. The program will train students in high-demand career skills over two years, and at the end of the grant period, participants will be employed full time, or will continue in additional educational opportunities.
"We're very grateful for the SunTrust Foundation's support," says Melissa Schmitt, SCC business solutions consultant. "Grants like these help us fund projects that train people who need a hand up. It lets these folks realize their economic and educational potential."
The Cherokee County School District will identify students to participate in the program, focusing on students from Blacksburg High School and Cherokee County Technology Center as a top priority. Additionally, the Cherokee County Adult Education will also participate in identifying and supporting adult education population participants.
Kim Jolley, city president of SunTrust Bank in Spartanburg, says, "I am thrilled to present this check on behalf of SunTrust Foundation. Every day I hear from CEO's about the shortage of skilled labor in the Upstate. It is vital for us to come together and work with programs like this to provide quality education and instruction to develop a qualified workforce in our community."
SCC partnered with local industry in Cherokee County to design the program. Three partner corporations, Hamrick Mills, Nestle, and Plygem, will offer participants plant tours as well as formally interviewing and hiring those who complete the program, providing full-time employment.
Photos of the award check presentation are available for download at the following link: www.flickr.com/SunTrustGrantAward