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Two Surry-Yadkin Works Students Sign On for HVAC Apprenticeship with Surry County Schools

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Two recent high school graduates were honored at a Surry-Yadkin Works Apprenticeship signing. The students are getting paid, hands-on training in the HVAC field through an apprenticeship program with Surry County Schools coordinated by Surry-Yadkin Works.

Surry County Schools hired East Surry High School graduate Victor Hall and North Surry High School graduate Wyatt Edwards in June 2021. They completed the ISC 112 Industrial Safety course this summer at Surry Community College while working 20 hours per week with the HVAC department at Surry County Schools as pre-apprentices to learn about the career field. This opportunity is Hall’s second job experience with Surry-Yadkin Works and Surry County Schools. He served as a custodial intern at Dobson Elementary School during the Spring 2021 semester.

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. After signing as apprentices, Hall and Edwards will continue their education at Surry Community College. They will both earn Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology degrees (also called HVAC) for free while working part-time at Surry County Schools.

Dr. Travis Reeves, Superintendent for Surry County Schools, stated, "Surry-Yadkin Works has provided Surry County Schools with two remarkable young men who are enthusiastic about the work they are doing in our school system. For these two students, this apprenticeship opportunity can change their lives and the lives of their families. It will change the trajectory of what they can accomplish and the leaders they will become. These students are building relationships directly with our school communities while earning vital hands-on experience and learning trade skills in their classes. We are extremely proud of Victor and Wyatt and cannot wait to continue working with them as they grow into their new roles. I appreciate the collaboration with Surry Community College and ApprenticeshipNC to make this opportunity a reality for these two young men. I look forward to creating new apprenticeship programs for future students with the assistance of these great partners."

Surry-Yadkin Works Program Director Crystal Folger-Hawks added, “Surry-Yadkin Works is grateful to be a part of this very important work. Employers need good employees, and our students want to have a career pathway. This program allows students to learn and earn. The state ApprenticeshipNC program covers the cost of tuition for students, and they get hands-on experience at a local business. This is a win for the business, and a win for the apprentices. We are a proud sponsor of this program, and we welcome businesses to take part in this model to help fill their employee pipeline.”

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, and an additional 31 in the Fall 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.

Victor Hall, HVAC Apprentice with Surry County Schools
Victor Hall, a graduate of East Surry High School, signs on as an HVAC apprentice with Surry County Schools. This is Hall’s second position within the school system, after working in a janitorial internship through Surry-Yadkin Works in the spring.
Wyatt Edwards, HVAC Apprentice with Surry County Schools
Wyatt Edwards, a North Surry High School graduate, signs on as an HVAC apprentice with Surry County Schools, in conjunction with Surry-Yadkin Works.

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