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Two Surry-Yadkin Works Students Hired for HVAC Pre-Apprenticeship with Surry County Schools

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Two recent high school graduates are getting paid, hands-on training in the HVAC field through a pre-apprenticeship program coordinated by Surry-Yadkin Works.

Surry County Schools has hired East Surry High School graduate Victor Hall and North Surry High School graduate Wyatt Edwards. They are taking the ISC 112 Industrial Safety course this summer at Surry Community College and working 20 hours per week with the HVAC departments at Surry County Schools to learn about the career field. This opportunity is Hall’s second job experience with Surry-Yadkin Works. He served as a custodial intern at Dobson Elementary School during the spring semester.

Dr. DeAnne Danley, Assistant Superintendent for Surry County Schools, stated, “Surry-Yadkin Works serves as the perfect real-world counterpart to our strategic plan ‘Designing Dreams, Growing Leaders.’ These students are embracing leadership roles within their communities, and we're grateful to our local businesses for supporting our youth. We are extremely proud of Victor and Wyatt and cannot wait to work alongside them as they grow in their new roles."

This special opportunity is a part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship program and the state’s ApprenticeshipNC program through the N.C. Community College System Office that combines a paid work-based learning experience with classroom academics leading to a national certification. If selected as an apprentice, the students will continue their education at Surry Community College and earn an Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology degree (also called HVAC degree) for free while working part-time at Surry County Schools.

“Surry-Yadkin Works is proud to sponsor the HVAC Pre-Apprenticeship program because it gives youth an opportunity to try out a career field during the summer and see if it’s a good fit before they start taking courses in the fall,” said Surry-Yadkin Works Program Director Crystal Folger-Hawks. “It also allows businesses to see if the employees are a good fit. The students will earn a wage during this process making it a win-win for all. We have decided to be the official apprenticeship sponsor making it easy for any other local business to be a part of this program. It’s a huge bonus since there is no cost to the business. ApprenticeshipNC and the North Carolina Community College System pay for all of the related educational components for the students.”

Surry-Yadkin Works is the first community-based internship program of its kind in North Carolina covering a two-county region. This innovative business and education initiative hit the ground running with 50 students being placed in internships for the Spring 2021 semester. The program is the collaborative effort of four public school systems in Surry and Yadkin counties including Elkin City Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Surry County Schools, and Yadkin County Schools, as well as Surry Community College, to create a unique approach to a regional internship program.

The funding is also a joint effort with commitments from the Surry County Commissioners and the Yadkin County Commissioners. An anonymous contributor donated $100,000 prompted by a presentation about the program at an educational summit. Surry-Yadkin Works officially began on January 1, 2021.

For more information about the program, contact Crystal Folger-Hawks, Surry-Yadkin Works Program Director, at (336) 401-7820 or folger-hawksc@surry.edu or visit www.surryyadkinworks.org. You can also follow Surry-Yadkin Works on Facebook and Instagram @surryyadkinworks and on Twitter @SurYadWorks.

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