The Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeship (CRYA) program celebrated career education with hundreds of students, business leaders, educators and special guests at the Signing Day 2019 breakfast held Tuesday at the College Center on TTC’s Thornley Campus in North Charleston.
The breakfast, sponsored by Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA), began with opening remarks from PAYA’s Senior Policy Analyst Taylor White. The event was highlighted by a panel discussion facilitated by TTC President Mary Thornley with former youth apprentices Dakota Duncan (graduate of Berkeley High School), Jessica Garcia (graduate of Fort Dorchester High School), Charles Gries (graduate of Charleston Charter Math and Science) and Ty’Celia Young (graduate of Garrett Academy of Technology), who discussed how their apprenticeships changed their lives.
The discussion was followed by remarks from State of South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette, U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Karen Dunn Kelley and White House Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology Policy Michael Kratsios.
Following the program, youth apprentices officially signed with their employers representing Automotive, Bookkeeping, CNA/Pre-Nursing, Culinary Arts, Cybersecurity, Emergency Mechanical CAD Technician, Engineering Assistant, Hotel Operations, HVAC, Industrial Mechanics, Machine Tool Technology, Medical CAD, Medical Office Assistant, Networking, Security/Pre-Law Enforcement and Welding.
Through CRYA, Trident Tech connects qualified high school students with participating employers. The employers interview and hire the students, who then begin employment while taking high school and college courses. At the completion of the apprenticeships, students will have earned a high school diploma, a TTC certificate, a journeyman credential from the U.S. Department of Labor and two years of paid work experience.
All costs associated with the program, including tuition, books and most materials for apprenticeship-related courses at Trident Technical College, are covered while apprentices are working for a participating employer. Currently, there are over 160 business partners who have or are interested in hiring youth apprentices for the 2019‐20 academic school year.