South Carolina’s Columbia-based Technical College System recently scored a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor earmarked specifically for youth apprenticeship and awareness, administered under the auspices of ApprenticeshipUSA State Accelerator Grants.
“Apprenticeship Carolina” is a trademarked program that works directly with businesses, advocating for demand-driven apprenticeship programs throughout South Carolina across a broad range of industries. The initiative, an official arm of the DOL, has witnessed dramatic growth since 2007, experiencing an eight-fold increase from 90 to 786 individual programs and adding 120 new apprentices monthly.
While the common perception of apprenticeship brings trades to mind, such as construction, plumbing and electrical work, Apprenticeship Carolina has expanded the scope to include health care, IT, tourism and manufacturing. Consequently, South Carolina is the leading state nationwide for apprenticeship training.
“The SC Technical College System and its Apprenticeship Carolina program are dedicated to increasing the awareness and use of registered apprenticeships in South Carolina,” Susan Pretulak, VP of economic development with the SC Technical College System, said. “We know from experience that apprenticeships can go a long way to bridging the skills gap that so many companies across our state face. This grant from the U.S. Department of Labor will help us to promote and expand apprenticeship, especially youth apprenticeship programs, in South Carolina.”
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