Manufacturers are continually seeking new ways to bolster their ranks and fill the talent gap. While many already have relationships with trade schools for college-aged candidates, they’re gaining momentum to engage students in the K-12 system with hands-on opportunities.
Apprenticeship Carolina, a division of the SC Technical College System, is one of the fastest-growing apprenticeship programs in the U.S. The Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeships program at Trident Technical College brings industrial apprenticeships and technical programs to high school juniors as young as 16 years old.
Melissa Stowasser, Dean and Director of High School Programs at Trident Technical College, said the school was approached by a German-based company in 2013 with the idea of starting an apprenticeship program for youth. They started the program in the fall of 2014 with six companies and 13 students.