AFL announces new workforce training program in Spartanburg County

Under the program, high school seniors will study manufacturing through coursework at SCC and may receive a high school diploma, state-certified WorkKeys score and a college certificate.

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AFL's inaugural class of students participating in its new Operational Workforce Training Program. Photo Courtesy of AFL.

A new training program will prepare Upstate students for careers in manufacturing.

Spartanburg-based telecommunications giant AFL has launched “Operation Workforce Training Program” in partnership with Byrnes High School and Spartanburg Community College’s Corporate and Community Education division.

Under the program, high school seniors will study manufacturing through coursework at SCC and may receive a high school diploma, state-certified WorkKeys score, and a college certificate.

“After evaluating the local manufacturing landscape for the past 24 months, we felt like we needed to do something different and innovative,” said Ryan Burns, director of talent acquisition for AFL, in a statement. “Competition for hiring local talent is tighter and tougher than it has ever been in my HR career. Fortunately, we were able to partner with local schools right here in our community to develop a program that is a win-win for everyone involved.”

AFL said it is currently sponsoring 10 students who are taking an introduction to manufacturing class from SCC professors. The company said that as the class progresses, it will have the opportunity to observe the training and help determine future curriculum and content.

The program was developed after Burns and his team worked with plant, operations, and engineering managers to gain an understanding of their entry-level needs and AFL’s plans for the next one to two years.

In fall 2017, more than 20 Byrnes students toured AFL’s Upstate facilities. The 10 students were selected through various interview panels.

AFL said once the students complete the course and graduate, it will have the opportunity to interview and potentially hire all of them. The class began on Jan. 10 and will end May 25.

“We are extremely excited to work with SCC and develop and build relationships with these students from Byrnes,” Burns said. “They will gain much-needed manufacturing skills, catapulting them into our local workforce here in Duncan.”

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