SC's Competitive EDGE: Advanced Manufacturing

Tri-County Technical College Focuses on Youth Apprenticeship


Hoke Durham, United Tool and Mold Apprentice

Tri-County Technical College (TCTC), along with Apprenticeship Carolina™, works with several local manufacturers to offer apprenticeship opportunities in advanced manufacturing. For companies like United Tool and Mold, Greenfield Industries and others, training the next generation of skilled workers begins in high school.

Jeromy Arnett, production administration manager at United Tool and Mold in Easley, believes that the school-to-registered apprenticeship program is key to backfilling his company’s aging workforce. “We have to start early,” Arnett says. “This program builds the workforce of tomorrow.”

Hoke Durham appreciates the opportunity to be a part of that workforce. “The apprenticeship showed me what I wanted to do with my life,” said Durham. “I never thought I would start my career at age 16. I thought I would be flipping burgers as a teen. I never dreamed by age 18, I’d be an apprentice tool maker at United Tool and Mold while pursuing a degree at Tri-County Technical College.” A 2015 Scholar Technician scholarship from Alliance Pickens and the tuition reimbursement program at United Tool and Mold are enabling Durham to attend TCTC debt free while he studies Mechatronics.

Durham is a “shining example” of how youth apprenticeships can lead to a full-time job in manufacturing, according to Arnett. “He is the best employee we could ask for.”

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