BHS launches youth apprenticeship program

  • Barnwell High School students Nicholas Waller and Delonte Wright (seated, center) are joined by family, school officials and representatives of Swiss Krono on Oct. 31 for a Youth Apprenticeship Program Signing Day.

Barnwell School District 45 is excited to announce the creation of a youth apprenticeship program through a partnership with Swiss Krono and Apprenticeship Carolina.

As the first registered youth apprenticeship program in the county, it provides students with opportunities to connect classroom experiences and knowledge to career-based internships. The youth apprenticeships are possible for both juniors and seniors.

Swiss Krono has worked with Barnwell High to create an Industrial Maintenance Technician position and a Production Operator position. To be eligible for the Industrial Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship, students must be enrolled in or have completed Barnwell High School’s Project Lead the Way Computer Integrated Manufacturing course. To be eligible for the Production Operator Apprenticeship with Swiss Krono, students must have completed at least one Industrial Technology course and be enrolled in a second.

Nicholas Waller and Delonte Wright are the school’s first two apprentices.

Nicholas Waller is the Industrial Maintenance Technician Apprentice. He is the son of Tracy and Dawn Waller.

While a student at Barnwell High School, Nicholas has been inducted into the Beta Club and National Technical Honor Society. He is also on the golf team, a member of the Scarlett Knights, and participated on the prom committee. Outside of school he has held a part -time job at Russell’s Pizza and has excelled in Boy Scout Troop 392.

After high school he plans to earn a Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering with hopes of attending USC Aiken or USC Columbia. Nicholas aspires to be an ethical hacker or pursue a career in process control.

Delonte Wright has been named the Production Operator Apprentice. He is the son of Arnetta Wroten.

While a student at Barnwell High, Delonte has competed in cross country, track and field, and basketball. He is a two-time Runner of the Year, has competed at State and Lower State, and was a member of the 2016 region championship cross country team. Outside of school he works a part-time job at IGA.

After high school he plans to earn an Associate’s degree in aviation maintenance technology with hopes of attending Middle Georgia State University. Delonte is interested in pursuing a career in aviation technology.

Both candidates excelled throughout the rigorous selection process which included creating professional resumes and successfully interviewing with a panel of Swiss Krono executives. According to BHS Principal Franklin McCormack, “The six candidates that met the criteria and applied for the two apprenticeships represented Barnwell High School well, and we are certainly proud of each of them. Unfortunately, Swiss Krono only had two slots so it was surely a tough decision. Both Delonte and Nicholas are excellent choices and will set the bar high for future apprenticeship opportunities.”

Nola Grant, Director of Human Resources for Swiss Krono USA, said, “We are excited to foster this Apprenticeship Program with Barnwell High School. Such an opportunity allows Swiss Krono to create a pipeline of talent with these students and the local community.”

Barnwell District 45 cannot express enough our sincere gratitude to Swiss Krono and the commitment and vision of its Administrative Staff. In addition to Swiss Krono, our district is extremely appreciative of the assistance provided by Apprenticeship Carolina, the South Carolina Alliance and the S.C. Department of Commerce to ensure the establishment of this program. The district is hopeful this partnership will be the first of many Youth Apprenticeship Programs at Barnwell High School and in other schools across the county.

According to Grant, “The experience, skill sets and relationships built through this program will serve as a major advantage to the community. Local talent will have the opportunity to land great paying jobs without having to leave looking elsewhere for decent work.”

“Finding innovative ways for students to become career ready is critical for our community to thrive in the 21st Century. The partnership between Barnwell High School and Swiss Krono will ensure our students are attaining the career- and technology-oriented skills set forth in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate,” said McCormack.