January 25, 2019

Midlands Youth Apprenticeship Program Launches with Student Signing Day

In partnership with Midlands Technical College (MTC) and Apprenticeship Carolina, the Columbia Chamber is proud to announce 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, SC 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 program.

“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% (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,” continued Blackstone.

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.”

About Midlands Youth Apprenticeship Program
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 involved in MYA take normal high school classes and at the same time attend MTC two to three days a week in dual enrollment classes. Students will also have paid apprenticeships with participating area businesses. At the end of the two-year program, students will have earned a high school diploma, certification in a specific field from Midlands Technical College, credentialing from the U.S. Department of Labor and two years of paid work experience. This combination through MYA equips a student the skills and experience to make them ready on Day One to work in the specialized positions that companies require.

About the Columbia Chamber
The Columbia Chamber is a private, non-profit, partner-driven organization comprised of 1,500 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals in Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry and Richland counties. The Columbia Chamber serves as the voice of its partners and the business community at large on matters of economic, educational, social, cultural and political concern, as well as supports and promotes the success of its partners through networking, professional development, advocacy and leadership. The organization has represented the interests of the local business community since 1902.

About Midlands Technical College
Midlands Technical College (MTC) is a non-profit, six-campus, two-year public college serving Richland, Lexington, and Fairfield counties in South Carolina. MTC enrolls approximately 15,000 credit students annually making it the fifth-largest provider of higher education in South Carolina and one of the largest providers of transfer students to the University of South Carolina. The Corporate and Continuing Education (CCE) program is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the Southeast, with approximately 15,000 students and provides training to hundreds of area businesses each year. For more information, visit

About Apprenticeship Carolina
Apprenticeship Carolina™ is an integral part of the SC 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 Follow us on Twitter @ApprenticeshpSC or @Youth_AC.

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