SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — In conjunction with Apprenticeship Carolina and New America, KION North America participated in Trident Technical College’s two-day training event on November 18 and 19, 2019, designed to assist state and local communities in developing youth apprenticeship programs.

“The two-day training event showcased the strong benefits of the apprenticeship program for participating companies and the students,” said Jeff Peterson, director of manufacturing, KION North America.

This invitation-only event engaged partners from five states in a study-tour and workshop following the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA) Guiding Principles for High-Quality Youth Apprenticeship. The conference, which featured the Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeship Program as a national model, included panel discussions with employers, K-12 leaders and current/former youth apprentices and a tour of current youth apprenticeship employers. KION North America welcomed a total of 25 individuals from throughout the southeast, providing them with an introduction to KION North America and a tour of its 250,000 sq ft facility in Summerville, South Carolina.

“By participating in a plant tour, educators were able to hear from our industrial engineering apprentice, Drake Head, and see first-hand the projects that our apprentices are directly involved with,” added Peterson.

For the past three years, KION North America has hosted a total of five apprentices through the Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeship Program. As apprentices in this program, high school juniors, seniors or recent high school graduates gain a minimum of 2,000 hours of job-specific skills in their chosen education track and complete half of their Associate’s Degree from Trident Technical College – at no cost to them. 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.

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