Friday, August 15, 2014

Pickens County Businesses and Industries Invited to August 27 Workforce Opportunity Summit


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            8/14/2014

                                                                                      (By Lisa Garrett)

EASLEY --- Pickens County businesses and industries are invited to a workforce opportunity summit August 27 to discuss the skills and competencies needed to compete in today and tomorrow's workplace.

They also will learn how work-based learning and apprenticeships can supply their workforce needs.

Tri County Technical College, in cooperation with Alliance Pickens and Apprenticeship Carolina, will host a Workforce Opportunity Summit Wednesday, August 27, from 8 - 11:45 a.m. at the College's Easley Campus. 

The event will include industry roundtable conversations with instructors and officials from Tri County and the Pickens County Career and Technology Center to discuss the employee skills necessary for businesses to thrive over the next two to ten years. 

Cheryl Garrison, job placement coordinator in Career Services at Tri-County, will explain how the College's collaboration with industry leaders on curriculum changes and developing work-based learning opportunities (scholars programs, co-ops, internships and apprenticeships) have been the key to producing work-ready graduates.

Garrison said, "Collaboration and direct communication with industry partners inform us as to what they need, so we can create a program of study and produce job candidates who can go out and fill these positions."

  "Our goal is to provide the skilled workforce that local business and industry need to compete in today's marketplace.  Work-based learning opportunities and apprenticeships - for high school and college students -  are another route to building a sustainable workforce," said  Dr. Ronnie L. Booth, president of Tri-County.  "To meet current and future workforce needs, we must fundamentally change the way we go about educating our students.  The opportunity to gain workplace skills while attending Tri-County Technical College will prepare more and more people for the high-skills, high-wage jobs of now and the future."

In today's rapidly changing and competitive workforce, companies are relying more heavily on their greatest asset - their employees - to be successful and to grow their business.

  "Many organizations are using registered apprenticeships as an effective workforce development tool to grow the skills of their existing workforce," said Carla Whitlock, apprenticeship consultant in the Division of Economic Development & Workforce Competitiveness.

Apprenticeship CarolinaTM works to ensure that S.C. employers have access to the information and technical assistance they need to create demand-driven registered apprenticeship programs.  "We work directly with businesses and help construct customized programs for the companies at no charge," said Whitlock.

Ray Farley, executive director of Alliance Pickens, said, "We are very excited to co-host this event so that our existing industries can communicate what their workforce needs will be over the next several years to both our local technical college and school district officials.  This is a great opportunity to continue the dialogue that already exists to make sure our companies have the qualified employees they need."

The event is open to all Pickens County businesses.  For additional information or to register, contact Cheryl Garrison at (864) 646-1573 or



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