In July, representatives from KION North America participated in Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeship Signing Day. Students gathered at Trident Technical College to sign their employment letters to become apprentices with Charleston-area employers. Marcus Gore—a recent graduate of West Ashley High School, has since completed his first month as an apprentice with the Summerville-based forklift manufacturer.
In the Youth Apprenticeship Program, students and recent high school graduates are selected by local employers as trainees in functions such as Automotive, Bookkeeping, Civil CAD, CNA/Pre-Nursing, Computer Programming, Culinary Arts, Emergency Medical Technician, Engineering Assistant/Technician, Hotel Operations, HVAC, Industrial Mechanics, Machine Tool Technology, Networking and Security/Pre-Law Enforcement. The program gives selected students the opportunity to earn while they learn through paid on-the-job training under the direction of an industry mentor.
While working part-time, the students are enrolled in entry-level and job specific courses at Trident Technical College that are funded by the Accelerate Greater Charleston 2 campaign, which is run by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.
As an apprentice in this program, Gore will gain a minimum of 2,000 hours of industrial mechanic skills and will be approximately halfway through his Associate’s Degree from Trident Technical College – at no cost to him.
Gore’s curriculum will include: industrial safety; hands-on assembly; reading assembly work instructions; participating in quality audits; lean manufacturing techniques such as one-piece flow, 5S and Kaizen; problem-solving techniques; how to work with torque tooling and air-powered equipment; and performing product tests and final inspections.
This is KION North America’s second year hosting youth apprentices. KION North America representatives believe that this program is one measure towards closing the gap that exists between the jobs of the future and the available workforce in our area.