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Columbia Business Monthly

Midlands Youth Apprenticeship Program Launches With Student Signing Day

Jan 25, 2019 10:30AM ● By Kathleen Maris

In partnership with Midlands Technical College (MTC) and Apprenticeship Carolina, the Columbia Chamber announces the inaugural class of Midlands Youth Apprenticeship Program (MYA). The signing day took place on January 23 at 4:00PM at Midlands Technical College Northeast Campus, 151 Powell Rd., Columbia, S.C. 29203.

MYA is a program designed to help create a talent pipeline for area businesses while creating a viable work place path for students after high school. Students from Richland County School District Two applied for the program through MTC and were selected through an interview process with participating Chamber Partner businesses for specified apprenticeship programs.

“Finding a skilled workforce continues to be a challenge for certain industry sectors. From 2014 to 2024, the Midlands health care and social assistance industry should see an increase of 8,510 jobs, or 20.72 percent (from 41,075 to 49,585),” said Carl Blackstone, president and CEO of the Columbia Chamber. “The MYA program fulfills a need expressed by businesses for skilled workers and equips a high school student with a job that can provide a solid and stable foundation upon which to build a prosperous life.”

MYA Inaugural Class Participants and Companies:

Nephron Pharmaceuticals:

Jaelynn Allen-Scott, West Wood High School

Rashaun Walker, Spring Valley High School

Anarria Swinton, Ridgeview High School

Imani Belton, Ridgeview High School


PRISMA Health:

Emilie Spivey, Spring Valley High School

Courtney Lee, Blythewood High School


LTC Health Solutions: 

Iniesha Rochester, Ridgeview High School

In Hee Kim, Spring Valley High School


“MTC will give these students the best education in their technical areas, while our corporate partners will provide the scholarship dollars that ensure the cost of college is not a barrier to student success,” said MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames. “This first class of students is laying the groundwork for generations to come. Their success in the classroom and their careers will be an example of what happens when businesses like Nephron, PRISMA Health, and LTC Health Solutions invest in education. I commend these companies for moving early in the educational process to identify and develop the talent to fill their most critical positions.”

“South Carolina boasts one of the fastest growing apprenticeship programs across the nation and Apprenticeship Carolina has played a key role in this phenomenal growth,” said Dr. Tim Hardee, president of the SC Technical College System, which houses the internationally-renowned program. “We made a conscious decision to break down the traditional barriers to apprenticeship. Partnerships like the Midlands Youth Apprenticeship Program show that we’re redefining a centuries-old concept and making it something that has real value for business and industry.”

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