KION's David Brown and Jeff Peterson with apprentices Evan Quade, Taj'Jay Jackson and Drake Head
Representatives from KION North America recently participated in the Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeship Signing Day. Students gathered at Trident Technical College to sign their employment letters to become apprentices with Charleston-area employers.
Evan Quade and Drake Head, recent graduates of Ashley Ridge High School, and Taj'Jay Jackson, a recent graduate of Goose Creek High School, have since completed their first month as apprentices with the Summerville-based forklift manufacturer.
In the Youth Apprenticeship Program, students and recent high school graduates are selected by local employers as trainees in functions such as automotive, bookkeeping, civil CAD, CNA/pre-nursing, computer programming, culinary arts, emergency medical technician, engineering assistant/technician, hotel operations, HVAC, industrial mechanics, machine tool technology, networking and security/pre-law enforcement. The program gives selected students the opportunity to earn while they learn through paid on-the-job training under the direction of an industry mentor.
While working part-time, the students are enrolled in entry-level and job-specific courses at Trident Technical College that is funded by the Accelerate Greater Charleston 2 campaign, which is run by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.
As apprentices in this program, Quade, Head and Jackson will gain a minimum of 2,000 hours of job-specific skills in their chosen education track and will be approximately halfway through their associate's degree from Trident Technical College - at no cost to them.
Quade and Jackson's production curriculum will include industrial safety, hands-on assembly, reading assembly work instructions, participating in quality audits, lean manufacturing techniques, problem-solving techniques, how to work with torque tooling and air-powered equipment, and performing product tests and final inspections.
Head's industrial engineering curriculum will include understanding lean techniques, production efficiency, creating flowcharts, manufacturing processes and control systems, and elements of automation.
This is KION North America's third year hosting youth apprentices. 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.