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Columbia Business Monthly

The Business Narrative: A New Agreement

Jun 07, 2024 08:59AM ● By Donna Walker

Converse University, Horry-Georgetown Tech Announce Transfer Agreement

(Dr. Marilyn Murphy Fore, HGTC President, and Dr. Boone Hopkins, Converse University President, officially sign the new articulation agreement. Photo provided)


Converse University and Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) have established a new block transfer articulation agreement allowing seamless credit transfer between the two institutions, facilitating student success and celebrating collaboration.


Leaders from both institutions held an agreement signing on May 30, 2024, on the HGTC campus.


Under the block transfer agreement, eligible students can seamlessly transition to Converse and pursue a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or Bachelor of Science degree in their chosen major.


The agreement allows HGTC graduates who have successfully completed an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or Associate in Applied Science degree in accounting or business administration and who fulfill the full the requirements outlined in the articulation agreement to enter Converse University with the General Education Program requirements already satisfied.  


“We are excited to build a strong partnership between Converse University and Horry-Georgetown Technical College through this transfer agreement,” said Converse University President Dr. Boone Hopkins.


“Our missions align with our commitment to empower students to become the transformative leaders and thinkers their communities need. We look forward to welcoming HGTC students as they join our Converse community to complete their bachelor’s degrees and embark on their career goals.”


HGTC graduates meeting the grade criteria with a grade of “C” or higher in relevant courses will be admitted to Converse with junior-level standing at registration and will have the opportunity to explore Converse’s diverse academic programs and engage in its supportive community, which embraces a culture of belonging and collaboration that ignites creativity, innovation, and transformation. 


The agreement between HGTC and Converse is not only about credit transfers; it represents a commitment to collaboration with a shared goal of enhancing students’ educational experiences.


“We are pleased to enter into this partnership with Converse University, which exemplifies our commitment to providing students with one of many pathways to further their education and achieve their career aspirations,” said Dr. Marilyn Fore, president of Horry-Georgetown Technical College.


“This agreement not only enhances the academic opportunities available to our graduates but also strengthens the ties within our educational community, paving the way for future collaborations and innovations. This partnership ensures our students have the support and resources needed to succeed at Converse University and beyond.”

Habitat Greenville Announces Leadership Change

After almost 16 years helping to transform affordable homeownership in our community, Monroe Free will retire as president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County in December.


His replacement will be LaTonya Phillips, a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience in leadership, training and development, team management, health care, and philanthropy.


“Habitat Greenville has impacted thousands of lives over the years,” Free said. “I am honored to have played but a small part in it.”


Free joined Habitat Greenville in 2009 after serving for more than 20 years in nonprofit leadership roles in his native Tennessee. Under his leadership, Habitat Greenville has been honored numerous times for its service to the community earning awards from the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and the SC Association of Nonprofit Organizations; expanded into Laurens County; started a Black Home Ownership program in 2023; added a second ReStore; began a robust home repair program; and celebrated its 300th and 400th homes built.


“We have accomplished so much with the support of our many great sponsors and volunteers,” Free said. “But there is much work left to be done and accomplished.”


Leading that work will be Phillips, who most recently held the position of Global Leader of the DEI Gender Employee Resource Task Group and was the Healthcare IT Customer Trainer at AGFA Healthcare. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated an ability to create positive change through both professional and volunteer work. 


Phillips serves on the boards of several organizations aside from Habitat Greenville including United Ministries and Greenville Women Giving. She has also served with the Interfaith Hospitality Network, Girlfriends Inc., and Jack and Jill.


For the past three years, she has served on the Habitat Greenville Board’s executive committee and has been the board chair for the past year. She will spend the next six months working alongside Free during the transition.


“I am beyond humbled to be getting this opportunity,” Phillips said. “Monroe has created an amazing legacy and organization. While I have been involved from a Board perspective, I look forward to immersing myself and learning more in this new capacity from our staff, volunteers, donors and the families we serve.”


Richard Hagins with US&S will become the new board chairperson.

JW Aluminum Achieves Aluminum Stewardship Initiative Performance Standard Certification

JW Aluminum, a leading producer of high-quality flat-rolled aluminum products, announced that it has achieved Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI) Performance Standard Certification across its entire operations.


The company's South Carolina and Arkansas plants are the first continuous cast rolling facilities in the U.S. to be certified to ASI's latest Version 3.0 standard.


JW Aluminum serves the building products, HVAC, and transportation markets. ASI is a global, multi-stakeholder nonprofit certification body that sets standards to promote sustainability throughout the aluminum value chain.


To be certified, JW Aluminum underwent rigorous third-party audits to assess its adherence to the ASI Performance Standard's robust environmental, social, and governance requirements and practices. 


ASI's Performance Standard V3 defines principles and criteria for sustainability factors like production and sourcing, including greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, material stewardship, human rights, and more.


“We are extremely proud to have achieved ASI Certification across all of our operations,” said Ryan Roush, chief operating officer of JW Aluminum.


“As a domestic aluminum rolled products producer, our business model is inherently circular, and our corporate culture fosters integrity and accountability in every facet of our operations. Customers in our core markets and our stakeholders share these values. We will continue to communicate our performance and hold ourselves to these high standards so we can all work together successfully and sustainably for years to come.”

Highway Work Zones in North and South Carolina Dangerous for Workers, Survey Finds

South Carolina can be an unsafe area for road construction workers, according to a new survey released by AGC of America.


The AGC of America's 2024 Work Zone Safety Awareness Survey, created in partnership with Carolinas AGCAGC of America and North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) highlighted the dangers of highway work zones for motorists and workers in North Carolina, South Carolina and nationwide.


Among the facts to come out of the survey:


  • 84 percent of contractors in North Carolina, 77 percent in South Carolina, and 64 percent nationwide, reported at least one crash in the past year involving a moving vehicle at highway work zones where they operate.
  • 56 percent of North Carolina contractors and 62 percent in South Carolina reported experiencing five or more crashes during the past twelve months, compared to only 33 percent nationally.
  • 24 percent of North Carolina contractors reported that a construction worker was killed in a crash in their work zones (none in South Carolina) while 29 percent of NC respondents and 27 percent of S.C. respondents who experienced crashes reported drivers or passengers were killed.


In response to the findings, North Carolina and South Carolina are enacting legislation designed to make the highways safer for road workers.


The South Carolina legislation, signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster, makes South Carolina only the third state in the country to require construction work zone training be included in the training all new drivers receive before they can obtain a driver's license. 


“We are excited to have worked with Rep. Gary Brewer and Sen. Ross Turner, our lead sponsors, to enact this legislation,” said Leslie Clark, Carolinas AGC COO and S.C. Divisions director.


“There's nothing more important than our members returning home safely to their families after working tirelessly to maintain, improve, and build our state's roads and bridges. We hope that all newly licensed drivers, after receiving this training, will understand the importance of safely navigating a construction work zone when they are operating a vehicle.”

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