CLEMSON — Apprenticeship Carolina, an integral part of the SC Technical College System, announced Tuesday that the South Carolina Botanical Gardens established a registered youth apprenticeship program for landscape technicians. This represents South Carolina’s first youth apprenticeship program in horticulture.
“The South Carolina Botanical Garden is thrilled to have registered its youth apprenticeship program, which will create a pipeline of talent going forward,” said Patrick McMillan, South Carolina Botanical Gardens director. “A youth apprenticeship program further allows the garden to generate interest in horticulture as a viable career pathway.”
Apprenticeship Carolina is the U.S. Department of Labor’s official liaison for registering all apprenticeship programs — both adult and youth — in South Carolina. Since its inception in 2007, Apprenticeship Carolina has played a key role in growing apprenticeship participation across the state. The number of participating organizations has increased from 90 to just over 790, and the number of apprentices has grown from 777 to almost 16,000. Youth apprenticeship programs have also increased. Currently, 27 counties have a registered youth apprenticeship program and there are nearly 113 youth programs across the state.
The youth apprenticeship program at the South Carolina Botanical Garden will be one-year in length and combine on-the-job learning with job-related education. Students will take classes through the local high schools and CATE horticulture programs. Job fairs will be held this fall to recruit interested students.
An apprenticeship is a time-tested method of employee development that combines supervised on-the-job learning and job-related education. A program “registered” with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) shows an employer’s visible commitment to developing a high-quality workforce that meets nationally recognized training standards. Registered apprenticeship programs also enable employees to receive incremental wage increases as they demonstrate new competencies throughout the training program.
“Many local employers struggle to find the skilled workers needed to grow their business,” said Carla Whitlock, senior consultant for Apprenticeship Carolina. “Apprenticeship Carolina and the technical colleges across our state are dedicated to increasing the awareness and use of registered apprenticeships in South Carolina. We know from experience that apprenticeships can go a long way to bridging the skills gap so many companies face.”
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 www.apprenticeshipcarolina.com.
The South Carolina Botanical Garden is a diverse 295 acres of natural landscapes, display gardens, and miles of streams and nature trails. Together with distinguished education and outreach programs, a nationally recognized nature-based sculpture collection, and the Bob Campbell Geology Museum, the SCBG is a premier site for experiencing nature and culture. The South Carolina Botanical Garden is home to over 10,000 varieties of plants, an official American Hosta Society Display Garden, a 70-acre arboretum, miles of nature trails and streams, a butterfly garden, wildflower meadow and many specialty gardens. The Garden is also home to over 300 varieties of camellias, as well as an extensive collection of hollies, hydrangeas, magnolias and native plants. The SCBG hosts over 400,000 guests annually.
This story courtesy of the SC Technical College System.