The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) awarded Apprenticeship Carolina, a division of the SC Technical College System, a $7.7 million State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation grant to expand programming and increase workforce diversity. As the state recovers from its COVID-induced unemployment crisis, struggling industries and out-of-work citizens will benefit from this investment in South Carolina’s workforce.
The four-year State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation grants, totaling more than $99 million, were awarded to states that demonstrated a commitment to increasing their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The grants aim to develop partnerships with emerging industries, strengthen industry sectors hampered by the pandemic and align registered apprenticeships with other work-based learning opportunities.
“South Carolina continues to be a national trailblazer in growing registered apprenticeship,” said Dr. Tim Hardee, SC Technical College System President. “We are proud to be one of only 15 states to receive this grant award, and we look forward to expanding access to registered apprenticeship through innovative work with our 16 colleges across the state.”
Apprenticeship is a proven method that develops employees by combining on-the-job learning and job-related education. An apprenticeship program registered with USDOL shows an employer’s commitment to developing a high-quality workforce that meets nationally recognized training standards. Key components of a USDOL apprenticeship include competitive wages, structured on-the-job learning, mentorship, classroom instruction and industry-recognized credentials.
“We are excited to provide support for all registered apprentices, especially underrepresented populations, by increasing awareness of registered apprenticeship through strategic marketing, new resources in Spanish and an apprentice job and resource board,” said Amy Firestone, vice president of Apprenticeship Carolina. “We are also eager to meet SC employers’ needs in all industries, including those impacted by the pandemic, as we strive to modernize and diversify apprenticeships across the state.”
The SC Technical College System, comprised of 16 colleges located strategically across the state and two internationally-renowned statewide programs: readySC™ and Apprenticeship Carolina™, is dedicated to furthering economic and workforce development in South Carolina. As the state’s largest higher education system, the SC Technical System educates more of our state’s undergraduates than all the other public higher education institutions combined. Dedicated to making a quality higher education both accessible and affordable, the System plays a crucial role in educating and training South Carolina’s workforce for the in-demand, high-skilled jobs of today and tomorrow. Learn more about the System by visiting www.sctechsystem.edu.