Apprenticeship program headed to the CSRA

SOUTH CAROLINA (WJBF) — Several educational and business entities are working to make sure South Carolina is career-ready with a new apprenticeship program.

“We have enormous assets in South Carolina that they don’t have in other places,” Governor Henry McMaster said.

McMaster, along with several business leaders and school leaders presented plans for the CSRA Apprenticeship Task Force.

“The task force currently includes a contemptible college, regional employers, workforce development entities, and some K through 12 partners, serving Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell, Edgefield, and Orangeburg Counties,” President & CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Stuart MacVean added.

The goal is to bring on about 300 people to make South Carolinians more prepared for the workplace. “This journey started about 18 months ago with a discussion that I was having with a number of individuals from the region about where are we going to find this workforce in the future,” MacVean recalled.

Participants will be able to work part-time, go to classes and school part-time, and get some on the job training for a new career. “We’ve just concluded an eight-month power program that we’ve tested through Aiken Technical College programs and they produced 10 nuclear operations staff that we’ve employed at Savannah River Site. We’ll take that and launch that into many more opportunities,” MacVean shared.

For those in school districts like Allendale County, officials say this is a gamechanger. “We are thrilled that Savannah River Nuclear Solutions have helped to develop a moldable blueprint that other companies, businesses, and industries can model by taking a forward-looking approach and investing in the future of our students.” Superintendent Dr. Margaret Gilmore added.

Within the next ten months, officials hope to have about 300 of those apprenticeship spots filled.