Orangeburg County School District’s new initiative, Professional Readiness through Educational Programs, will host its first Youth Apprenticeship Signing Day event on Monday.
As a registered employer with the Department of Labor and Apprenticeship Carolina, OCSD is providing four 11th-grade students the opportunity to demonstrate college and career readiness, while gaining authentic work experience and earning a paycheck for the next two years.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to partner with Apprenticeship Carolina and offer this wonderful experience to our students,” Superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster said in a release.
“It is not only our school system and community’s duty to prepare college-bound students for their success in higher education, but also our responsibility to ensure graduates are equipped with employable skills and a viable pathway for success in the workplace,” he said.
OCSD’s four apprentices include Marlee Gardner of North Middle/High School (automotive technician), Saniya White of Lake Marion High School (accounting technician), Maurice Tucker of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School (building maintenance) and Tamia Yarbrough of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School (accounting technician).
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OCSD’s Youth Apprentices are working part-time after school, with additional hours up to a full-time schedule during extended school breaks.
Student apprentices work under the supervision of district employee mentors who are helping them learn the essential skills necessary to demonstrate proficiency in work specific to their position.
Monday’s apprenticeship signing day represents the district’s desire to champion other employers to participate alongside the school system in “hire education,” a workforce readiness effort aimed to teach students the professional skills business and industry need.
“It is exciting to see Orangeburg County School District investing in its future workforce pipeline through registered youth apprenticeships,” said Joni McDaniel, Regional Workforce Advisor for the S.C. Department of Commerce. “Participating as an employer allows the district to demonstrate to business and industry their students are ready to begin their careers while taking relevant classes and participating in professional on-the-job training.”
The event will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, at the OCSD office, located at 102 Founders Court in Orangeburg.