Columbia Housing Announces First Registered Apprenticeship of Its Kind in South Carolina

September 8, 2021

PRESS RELEASE: Columbia Housing, Midlands Technical College, Apprenticeship Carolina

September 8, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Columbia Housing, Midlands Technical College and Apprenticeship Carolinaâ„¢ announced today that the agency has established a registered apprenticeship program for maintenance technicians, the first apprenticeship program of its kind in the state.

"Columbia Housing is excited to be providing apprenticeship opportunities for our maintenance technicians," said Ivory Mathews, chief executive officer for Columbia Housing. "This registered apprenticeship program is the first of its kind in South Carolina and clearly demonstrates our commitment to quality and training. In addition, it showcases the importance we've placed on investing in our employees."

An apprenticeship is a time-tested method of employee development that combines supervised on-the-job learning and job-related education along with a scalable wage. As part of Columbia Housing's registered apprenticeship program, apprentices will participate in a two-year program. Midlands Technical College will provide the customized job-related education component of the program. After successfully completing the program, apprentices will earn a nationally recognized apprenticeship credential from the U.S. Department of Labor.

"Midlands Technical College is looking forward to working with Columbia Housing to build its talent pipeline through this unique partnership," said Dr. Ron Rhames, president of Midlands Technical College. "We know that a registered apprenticeship program is an effective and proven workforce development tool. It's an opportunity to develop talent, enhance quality and build relationships that can benefit both the apprentice and the agency for years to come."

Since its inception in 2007, Apprenticeship Carolina has played a crucial role in growing apprenticeship participation across the state. As a result, the number of participating organizations has increased from 90 to 1,186 currently, and the number of apprentices has grown from 777 to more than 36,000 total apprentices.

"We are always looking for new and innovative ways to help companies build their workforce," said Dr. Amy Firestone, vice president for Apprenticeship Carolina. "Apprenticeship Carolina and South Carolina's technical colleges are committed to growing registered apprenticeship programs across the state. An apprenticeship program is a win-win situation because it provides a company with a valuable workforce solution and offers the apprentice a clear pathway to a rewarding career."