Darlington County high school seniors sign up for internships and apprenticeships

March 14, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – For 22 Darlington County School District high school seniors, learning is about to begin outside the classroom.

The school district hosted its inaugural signing day ceremony Tuesday morning for the Key to Career program that allows high school seniors to take part in internships and apprenticeships.

Twenty students will take part in internships and two students will take part in apprenticeships with 16 participating Darlington County businesses and organizations, including the Darlington Raceway, Darlington County Sheriff’s Office and the cty of Hartsville.

Internships vary from working in the manufacturing industry and working in marketing and sales.

The program allows students to earn course credit for work-based learning that will count toward graduation.

Darlington County School District Superintendent Tim Newman said the internship and apprenticeship program can change the course of student’s lives because it can provide job opportunities for them after high school.

“Workforce development is a hot topic right now across the state obviously in Darlington County it is important as well,” Newman said. “It’s important to our businesses, but it’s important to the school district. All students need an opportunity to be successful after high school.”

Lamar High School student Keion Mack is interning at MKA Mechanical working with marketing, sales and transferring parts. Mack said he wanted to do the internship with sales and marketing because he thinks he may want to pursue a career in business after high school.

Mack said he started with DECA last year in school and decided wanted to get more hands-on experience with business.

The program took three months to plan, Newman said. Quinetta Buterbaugh started at the district as the business engagement coordinator in January, and the two began visiting businesses in the community to set up partnerships for the program.

Newman said it took a team effort from guidance counselors, career facilitators and Buterbaugh to get the program started.

In the next two to four years, Newman said, he hopes to see the program have 200 students taking part in the internships and apprenticeships. He also said he hopes to see high school juniors begin interning in years to come, as well as freshman and sophomores touring businesses across the county.