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NETC to receive funding to expand apprenticeship programs

Northeastern Technical College (NETC) will soon be eligible to participate in, and to expand, its apprenticeship program thanks to a $5 million federal grant awarded to the SC Technical College System by the US Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA).

The grant is designed to increase the number of manufacturing apprenticeship programs throughout the state, as well as, increase access to post-secondary training and credentialing for potential employees. Apprenticeship programs provide a unique opportunity for students to work and learn, giving students on-the-job training relating to specific careers in the industry, employee development, and other job-related education.

NETC was the first technical college in South Carolina to develop its apprenticeship program in 1988, with the highly successful INA Apprenticeship program, which is now entering its 28th year.

"Northeastern Technical College is proud of our apprenticeship students who learn skills that the job market increasingly demands," said Dr. Ron Bartley, NETC president. "The INA Apprenticeship Program is a great example of what can be achieved when employers use our college as a resource to train their workforce, according to their needs."

Currently, NETC has apprenticeship programs in place with INA/Shaeffler Group, Palmetto Brick, and Stanley/Black & Decker.

Dr. Bartley added that the college's apprenticeship program plays a key role in educating and training individuals to meet the workforce needs in high-demand, high-skill, high-wage jobs currently available in our area.

"The fastest growing job category is the middle-skills jobs that require an associate degree or certificate. These represent about 45 percent of the jobs, but only an estimated 29 percent of available workers have the skills," Bartley said. "Currently, there are openings in our area for these middle-skilled jobs, like technicians, but there aren't enough trained people to fill the positions."

NETC is looking at creating more apprenticeship opportunities in the future, with new programs in development in Marlboro and Dillon Counties.

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