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With the start of the fourth year of the region’s Youth Apprenticeship program, SunTrust Foundation made a considerable contribution of $20,000 to the program.
The morning of August 8, prior to 59 students signing a life-changing document, SunTrust Foundation presented a check to the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce for a two-year investment into the Youth Apprenticeship Program.
“The SunTrust Foundation remains committed to providing support for the Charleston Youth Apprenticeship Program that was started in 2014. What’s important to area employers is important to us,” said Mark Lattanzio, SunTrust Bank Charleston Region President. “The Youth Apprenticeship Program has grown exponentially in three years and is now becoming a national model. That’s no surprise since workforce development is a national crisis among employers looking for ways to better identify and grow talent.”
The Youth Apprenticeship Program is a partnership between the Charleston Metro Chamber, Trident Technical College and Apprenticeship Carolina. Participants will graduate high school with two years of paid work experience, 30 hours of college credit, credentialing from the U.S. Department of Labor and zero student loan debt.
“The SunTrust Foundation is proud to have provided the Charleston Metro Chamber the resources to provide these high school juniors and seniors books and tuition at Trident Tech. At the same time they are placed in paying jobs with area employers. These students will graduate high school with their H.S. diploma, two years real-world work experience, credentialization/licensing in their specialty and be well on their way toward an associate’s degree and most likely a full-time job offer. All debt free. That is a winning formula to build workforce development success in the Charleston region,” said Lattanzio.
The fourth year of the program launched with a Signing Day event on August 8 at Trident Tech where 59 high school students signed employment letters to become apprentices with Charleston-area businesses. Apprenticeships are offered in 15 pathways, including industrial mechanics, IT programming and hotel operations. Since Signing Day, more students have been hired as apprentices and the hiring process is continuing.
The event featured Dr. Amy Firestone from the U.S. Department of Labor, who announced that Charleston will host the first ever national high school apprenticeship study tour. “At the Department of Labor, we are strategizing about how we can close the skills gap and help young people move into careers debt free. You all have found the recipe for success here in Charleston,” stated Dr. Firestone.
The Chamber provides each Youth Apprentice a full scholarship covering classes and books, made possible through funding generated by the Chambers’s Accelerate 2 Campaign.
For more information, visit charlestonchamber.net/youthapprentice.
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