District Celebrates Students, Paid Apprenticeships and Introduces New Aiken Works Lead
Following National Apprenticeship Week, the Aiken County Public School District is celebrating students who are currently participating in paid, registered apprenticeships with local businesses across Aiken County through the Aiken Works regional workforce development collaborative.
Aiken Works participating businesses and supporting corporate partners include, MTU, SC Works and the Lower Savannah Council of Governments, Security Federal, the Augusta GreenJackets, Beech Island Timber, Broome Automotive, AECOM, Allstate Insurance Takiyah Bryant, Gregory Electric, ASCO, Inc., WJBF News 6, Alison South marketing Group, the Aiken Standard, Atlantic Broadband, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Peach State Federal Credit Union, Bridgestone, Graniteville Specialty Fabrics and Dunkin Donuts.
The District also announced last week the addition of regional workforce development leader Larry Millstead as the new lead for the Aiken Works collaborative. Millstead served previously as business services and workforce development lead for the Lower Savannah Council of Governments, and as a workforce development specialist and career coach for Eckerd Connects, both of which actively support the District’s annual summer internship program and the Aiken Works initiative.
“Whenever I have talked with people over the last couple of weeks it has been hard for me to contain my excitement because I’m going to work with Aiken County Public Schools and I am going to be developing new opportunities for our students in Aiken County,” stated Millstead. “I am thrilled to be supporting students and working with area business leaders and I cannot wait to get started.”
Aiken Works has enjoyed tremendous success and outstanding community support since launching in 2016. The community workforce development collaborative continues to promote increased awareness and education to students, families, adult workers, teachers, school counselors and career development facilitators about the industries expected to be in highest demand of future employees in our area. These industries include the Energy sector, Cyber Technology, Industrial Manufacturing and Healthcare.
Aiken Works is also redefining and broadening the traditional definition of post-secondary success to include opportunities such as military service, technical school and a viable career with opportunity for advancement and continued education; and increase opportunities for students to engage in work-based learning in order to ensure that all students graduate with both a diploma and an employable skill set.
As an innovative workforce development solution, Aiken Works has attracted statewide attention through various awards. The collaborative was named a finalist for the prestigious 2017 InnoVision Innovation in Education Award and most recently shared the spotlight with partner the Alison South Marketing Group, which earned an award of merit in marketing communication for Aiken Works in 2018 from the International Association of Business Communicators of South Carolina (IABC).
“We are thrilled our Aiken Works community collaborative has been recognized for innovation and excellence,” stated Merry Glenne Piccolino, the District’s Director of Communications and Community Partnerships. “We look forward to continuing the work-based learning conversation with our community.”
Earning prestigious awards clearly illustrates the potential for Aiken Works as a driver of workforce development, but the most important goal of the collaborative is ensuring that more students in Aiken County Public Schools access real-world experience and cultivate the vital workplace skills that job creators will be willing to pay them for beyond their high school graduations.
“As community members, we share the responsibility of securing a viable community, and there is no greater manifestation of this responsibility than the preparation of a capable workforce,” stated Aiken County Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford. “Through Aiken Works, the Aiken County Public School District strives to produce competent graduates who will be solutions to our community’s workforce needs and challenges.”
LINK TO DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE: 2018 PR NAT APP WEEK NEW AIKEN WORKS LEAD