Nearly a dozen local high-schoolers officially signed up Wednesday as apprentices with some Lowcountry manufacturing companies.
The 2014-15 Youth Apprenticeship Program in Manufacturing:
Michael Reynolds, Garrett Academy of Technology
Curtis Schall, Fort Dorchester High School
John Thames, Wando High School
David An, West Ashley High School
Joshua Nick, Wando High School
James Daniel, West Ashley High
Coleman Padgett, Goose Creek High
Christopher Dunn, West Ashley High
Joe Rojek, West Ashley High
Paul Thieman, Stall High School
Walter Newman, Fort Dorchester High
The 11 juniors and seniors from six Lowcountry high schools signed up as the inaugural class of the Youth Apprenticeship Program in Manufacturing. The program is in collaboration with Trident Technical College and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Organizers said that the apprenticeship program is intended to create a pool of skilled talent for manufacturers in the tri-county region.
Trident Technical College President Mary Thornley said the program offers a competitive edge for the region.
"It will provide a pathway for our youth and better prepare Charleston to compete not against Alabama and North Carolina but to compete in the global marketplace," she said.
The students will work as paid industrial mechanic apprentices at Bosch, Detyens Shipyards, Hubner Manufacturing, IFA Rotorion and VTL Group starting in August.
The students will also take high school classes in the morning and Trident Tech's industrial mechanics courses in the afternoon twice a week, officials said.
At the end of the two-year program, the students will earn a high school diploma, an Industrial Mechanics certificate from Trident Tech, a journeyman credential from the U.S. Department of Labor, and two years of paid work experience.