Cummins, Inc., a global manufacturer, distributor and service provider of diesel and natural gas engines, is partnering with Richland One to create its first-ever Youth Technician Apprenticeship Program that will train students and give them a head start in securing high-paying jobs in the diesel industry.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony announcing details about the partnership will be held Wednesday, February 15 at Heyward Career and Technology Center, 3560 Lynhaven Drive. Cummins executives are expected to make remarks at approximately 12:15 p.m., with the ribbon-cutting to follow at 1 p.m.
“Richland One’s diesel program at Heyward is honored to be the first and only Cummins Youth Technician Apprenticeship Program in the world,” said David Prigge, Heyward’s program consultant. “Cummins selected Heyward because it is the only NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation) certified diesel program in South Carolina.”
Students in Heyward’s Diesel Technology Program have already started taking classes to prepare and qualify themselves to participate in the Cummins Youth Apprentice Program.
Over the course of three school years, apprentices will spend approximately 600 contact hours in the classroom and 500 hands-on training hours at the Cummins Sales and Service Branch in Columbia with an assigned mentor. Students will learn how to rebuild and maintain Cummins diesel engines, which utilize the latest technology.
“Cummins is very happy to partner with Heyward Career and Technology Center to launch the Youth Technician Apprentice Program,” said Doug Dawes, Cummins executive director of service operations. “This program provides high school
students with the chance to build valuable skills in a technical field with extraordinary career opportunities. Our service technicians are a critical part of our business – they’re the experts who keep the equipment running that keeps America’s economy moving.”
The program is registered with Apprenticeship Carolina and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor. Program applicants need to have successfully completed the ninth grade with the required mathematics course and grade-point average.
Heyward Principal Dr. Sherry Rivers says the Youth Technician Apprentice Program is a perfect example of Heyward’s school-wide theme: “Preparing Tomorrow’s Professionals!” because it bridges the gap between high school and students’ career endeavors.
“It is practically impossible for students to learn the theory and technical skills with a high degree of competence just by coming to school each day,” said Rivers. “Working with certified industry professionals will give our students a ‘head start’ in the diesel field so that they can become successful professionals at an early age. We are very appreciative of this opportunity for our students be exposed to the ‘real world,’ and we anticipate great results for our students and Cummins, Inc.”
Media inquiries should be directed to the Richland One Office of Communications at 231-7504 or 231-7510.