SCC Launches First Apprenticeship with Columbus Regional Healthcare System

Thursday, January 26th, 2023

Southeastern Community College (SCC), Columbus Regional Healthcare System (CRHS), Whiteville City Schools, and Columbus County Schools signed an apprenticeship agreement on Monday, January 23, 2023.  

The agreement was signed by Dr. Chris English, Mr. Jason Beck, Dr. Marc Wichard, and Dr. Jonathan Williams to provide apprenticeships in healthcare that will include Medical Laboratory Technology, Pharmacy Technology, and Clinical Medical Assistant.  

Apprenticeship in Medical Laboratory Technology 

Apprenticeships are amazing opportunities not only for our students but for our stakeholders as well,” said Kimberly Fine, Dean of Healthcare and Public Safety Training. “It gives students an opportunity to connect the classroom to the workplace, which enhances their education and allows them to grow both intellectually and professionally. This is a great opportunity for students to earn while they learn.” 

SCC is currently accepting applications for the pre-apprenticeship class/s that will allow students to meet the requirements to be able to apply to become a Medical Laboratory Technology apprentice at Columbus Regional Healthcare System in Fall 2023.  

“Medical Lab Techs are in great demand”, shared Fine. “They are behind the scenes and unsung heroes. They aid the physicians in diagnosing and recognizing diseases in patients. Their investigative work is critical and important to our industry.” 

Mr. Jason Beck, CEO of CRHS shared, “The demand for talent is exceeding the supply. How can we leverage the great things that are happening in Columbus County, the talent in the county, and create pathways to work in Columbus County? We’re excited about this partnership. We want to keep the talent local.” 

Antwan Pippen, ApprenticeshipNC Consultant shared, “This is a great opportunity for everyone involved. ApprenticeshipNC has been awarded $12 million by the state of North Carolina to pay for tuition.”  

Generational Gaps in Employment 

“We are so excited to celebrate our first apprenticeship program at SCC”, said Dr. Chris English, SCC President. “You must truly understand this partnership that we created has been crucial in our advancement and how we see Columbus County moving forward. This is so important to our students coming through our K12 system and creating a pathway to come to SCC to find employment.  

Employment in healthcare is expected to grow by 28% in the next few years – Much faster than all other occupations. (National State Boards of Nursing) Why? Because Baby Boomers are retiring out. Generation X is the smallest generation who are on the heels of the Baby Boomers retiring but staying engaged in employment longer. This trend creates stress on the healthcare system. Healthcare drives Columbus County. It’s the number one supporter of jobs in the county at 12%. Through apprenticeships and pathways, apprenticeships offer a 91% graduation rate of employment to the students. The employer is more likely to hold onto that apprentice.  

We want our students to learn, work, live, and play in Columbus County.”  

Learn More 

For more information on apprenticeships at SCC visit or contact Denise Young, Apprenticeship Coordinator at 

The college continues to work with employers to create apprenticeship opportunities in other areas.  

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