some input on curriculum that we weren’t really
sure about because it was a new program. They
pulled all of that together, and handled the logistics
around getting the program registered. We didn’t
have to go through the long, lengthy process that
we did when we started out back in 1988. Having
Apprenticeship Carolina help us through the process
was very beneficial. Now Apprenticeship Carolina
visits us on at least a quarterly basis and asks if
there is anything more they can do to help us, or
if there’s anything new we need. They’re flexible.
They’re responsive, and they’re committed to what
What are some of the financial incentives
that have helped your apprenticeship program over
We’ve received a tax credit ($1000 per
apprentice), and now we’re tapping into the
additional funding that’s available through the SC
Apprenticeship Initiative Grant. In addition, SC
lottery tuition assistance helps to offset some of
the costs. Of course, it’s always nice when we get
things paid for, but we don’t look at it from the
standpoint of what we could get back financially,
at least not in the short term.
When I talk to other companies about
apprenticeship, the first thing I tell them is,
“This is an investment in your future.” I spend
approximately $100,000 per semester with wages,
benefits, tuition and other costs. However, we see
this as a long-term investment in our company’s
future success. We’ve found that we have a loyal
workforce that stays with us. Our workforce knows
they can either move up through the supervision
and management roles, or they can become that
really high-skilled technical leader. They then can
pass that information back down to other operators
and other people. That’s the real payoff for us.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
You’ve mentioned working with your local
technical college. Could you tell us a bit more about
how NETC helps with the apprenticeship program?
NETC provides all the instructors for our
programs. We’ve also worked with them to revamp
their machine technology program so that it is
geared toward our apprenticeship program.