SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — In August, KION North America participated in Charleston Regional Youth Apprentice Signing Day. With their families present, a total of 59 students gathered at Trident Technical College to sign their employment letters to become apprentices with Charleston-area employers. Joe Grant—a rising junior, has since completed his first month as an apprentice with the Summerville-based forklift manufacturer.
The program is open to high school juniors, seniors and graduating seniors, giving them the opportunity to earn while they learn through paid on-the-job training under the direction of an industry mentor. In addition to work experience, apprentices also take college courses related to their apprenticeship.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work for a global company at such a young age, while also furthering my education,” said Grant. “I’ve already gained valuable hands-on experience that I know will have a lasting impression on my future.”
Grant will receive two years of paid employment and mentoring from an industry professional, a high school diploma, one year of college credit from Trident Technical College at no cost to him, a completion certificate for coursework that may be applied to an associate degree and national credentials from the U.S. Department of Labor.
He will be exposed to various manufacturing processes related to the assembly of material handling equipment and learn assembly techniques for building electric- and propane-powered forklifts.
“This program is a win-win for KION North America and the participating apprentice,” said Jeff Peterson, production manager at KION North America. “He will gain invaluable work experience that will enhance his overall high school education with practical, real-life experiences, while KION North America aids in helping develop a stronger, highly-skilled workforce for the future.”
His curriculum will include: industrial safety; hands-on assembly; reading assembly work instructions; participating in quality audits; lean manufacturing techniques such as one-piece flow, 5S and Kaizen; problem-solving techniques; how to work with torque tooling and air-powered equipment; and performing product tests and final inspections.
KION North America Corporation
Headquartered in Summerville, S.C., KION North America Corporation is a member of the KION GROUP AG, one of the world's two leading manufacturers of industrial trucks. Their brand companies, Linde, Baoli and STILL serve the specific requirements of the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets with a comprehensive and complementary product portfolio. Their products are known for their innovative technologies, low energy consumption and low operating costs.