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Date: October 22, 2020
Contact: Karen Potter, or (864) 314-2520

Tri-County Technical College and Arthrex sign first youth apprentice

Pendleton, SC – The SC Upstate Regional Youth Apprenticeship at Tri-County Technical College formally launched today with the signing of the program’s first youth apprentice. Sixteen-year-old Austin Shingleton of Anderson will attend classes at both T.L. Hanna High School and Tri-County Technical College while working part-time at Arthrex, Inc., as a CNC machine operator youth apprentice starting October 26.   

While there are many registered youth apprenticeship programs across the state that combine on-the-job training with job-related education, what makes Tri-County’s program unique is that it doesn’t necessarily end when the student graduates from high school. Instead, the student can continue working part-time while completing their associate degree at Tri-County. 

“At Tri-County, we promote economic diversity and prosperity in the communities we serve, and we measure our success by our ability to ensure students earn a high-quality credential that leads to a family-sustaining wage,” said Galen DeHay, Ph.D., president of Tri-County Technical College. “Research shows that a college degree leads to better paying jobs and greater job security. By working together with local businesses like Arthrex, we can ensure our students have the opportunity to earn not only a meaningful degree but a meaningful career that can improve their economic status.”

For employers like Arthrex, the SC Upstate Regional Youth Apprenticeship at Tri-County Technical College has the potential to create a crucial recruitment pipeline, expand community partnerships, and help influence, mold and shape future employees.

“Apprenticeship programs, like our partnership with Tri-County, provide a valuable opportunity to immerse talented students into our culture and workforce while educating them on how to succeed in the highly competitive medical device industry. Moreover, these programs are a way for us to streamline our hiring process and attract and develop the very best team members,” said Chris Johansen, director of operations for Arthrex Manufacturing Incorporated – South Carolina.

The SC Upstate Regional Youth Apprenticeship at Tri-County Technical College is funded by a grant from the US Department of Labor administered through Apprenticeship Carolina, a division of the S.C. Technical College System that seeks to lead South Carolina in registered apprenticeship programs that help businesses and communities thrive economically. Grant funding is used to cover student tuition costs and student support services, as well as a youth apprenticeship coordinator position dedicated to the Tri-County area.

“Apprenticeship Carolina was one of only 14 organizations in the nation to be awarded a Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand youth apprenticeship,” said Amy Firestone, vice president of Apprenticeship Carolina. “Tri-County is one of the primary colleges participating in this grant. We are proud to support their program and the work that they are doing to build a solid workforce pipeline and enable the state to remain competitive in attracting business and industry.”

Tri-County is currently in discussion with a number of local businesses regarding youth apprenticeship opportunities and is developing youth apprenticeships in partnership with Career and Technology Centers in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties. The goal is to establish 10 youth apprenticeships within the first year and a total of 100 youth apprenticeships by the end of 2024.

“Apprenticeships are hands down one of the most productive workforce development tools for our state,” said Dr. Tim Hardee, president of the S.C. Technical College System. “We are proud to support the SC Upstate Regional Youth Apprenticeship at Tri-County Technical College and look forward to seeing the program grow and our state’s workforce pipeline strengthened.”


About Tri-County Technical College
Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, industrial electronics, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit

About Arthrex, Inc.
Arthrex, Inc., headquartered in Naples, Florida, is a global leader in orthopedic surgical device design, research, manufacturing and medical education. Arthrex develops and releases more than 2,000 new products and procedures every year to advance minimally invasive orthopedics worldwide. For more information, visit

About Apprenticeship Carolina
Apprenticeship Carolina™ is an integral part of the S.C. Technical College System that works to ensure all employers in South Carolina have access to the information and technical assistance they need to create demand-driven registered apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeship consultants are available to guide companies through the registered apprenticeship development process from initial information to full recognition in the National Registered Apprenticeship System. These services are available to South Carolina employers free of charge. Interested employers are encouraged to contact Apprenticeship Carolina™ at (803) 896-5287 or to visit

About the S.C. Technical College System
Comprised of 16 colleges located strategically across the state and two internationally-renowned statewide programs, readySC™ and Apprenticeship Carolina™, the S.C. Technical College System is dedicated to furthering economic and workforce development in South Carolina. As the state’s largest higher education system, the S.C. Technical College System educates more of our state’s undergraduates than all the other public higher education institutions combined. Dedicated to making a quality higher education both accessible and affordable, the System plays a key role in educating and training South Carolina’s workforce for the in-demand, high-skilled jobs of today and tomorrow. Learn more about by visiting