Carla Whitlock serves as the Senior Apprenticeship Consultant with Apprenticeship Carolina covering Anderson, Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Newberry, Saluda, McCormick, Abbeville and Edgefield counties. A native of Liberty, South Carolina, Carla graduated from Liberty High School. It was during this time when Carla’s work ethic had already began to blossom. During high school, she wrote a weekly column for the local paper, The Liberty Monitor, and was hired as an intern for two summers with The Easley Progress, another local publication. Upon graduation from Southern Wesleyan University, Carla continued to work at Peoples National Bank in Easley.
From Peoples National Bank, Carla then worked with Elliott Davis, one of the nation’s largest CPA firms in the nation, as a staff accountant in the financial institutions group where she continued to cultivate her understanding of the importance of a company’s financial statements, financial ratios and pain points. She also served in a marketing and business development role while at the firm.
Carla’s career has included tax credits and economic development consulting, government relations (Federal and state), marketing and business development. Prior to joining Apprenticeship Carolina, Carla was a Project Coordinator with Pickens County, South Carolina, where she worked with agencies in the areas of economic development, tourism, transportation, and emergency management. Throughout her career, she has worked with a number of industries including manufacturing, financial services, energy, information technology and health care. Carla’s expertise has been featured during conferences and events hosted by the National Governors Association, Urban Institute, Appalachian Regional Council, US Department of Labor, NAACP, International Monetary Fund, SC ETV, Washington Press Club, nationally recognized economic development organizations and numerous trade associations. Carla has also been featured as a contributor in number of local, state and national publications for her work with Apprenticeship Carolina.
A graduate of the SC Technical College System Leadership Academy, Carla has also completed the National Basic Economic Development Course through the University of North Carolina.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Confident, Professional, Knowledgeable
Please tell us about your job.
As the Senior Apprenticeship Consultant, it is a privilege to work with some of South Carolina’s companies in order to develop their apprenticeship programs to create a workforce pipeline. The position also includes outreach to key stakeholders and trade associations across the state.
What is something that you love about your job?
I love that what I do has a positive impact for our South Carolina companies which leads to successful careers for citizens. All of this leads to stronger communities. Another part of my job that I enjoy is the opportunity to share the Apprenticeship Carolina™ story and the success of the youth apprenticeship programs. As a native of South Carolina, it is wonderful to see the opportunities that are available to our state’s young people.
What drew you to apprenticeship?
I was first exposed to the SC Economic Developers’ Association (SCEDA) while employed with Elliott Davis in a business development capacity. I was immediately amazed at the energy, passion and tenacity of their membership and became very curious about the workforce development and incentives process across the state. When I realized that through economic development, I could have a positive impact my home state, I was hooked!
What are some innovative and impressive workforce development programs currently emerging around the state?
One of the state’s most impressive workforce programs continues to be the youth apprenticeship programs. The cooperation with the local technical colleges and school districts for dual enrollment programs also continue to grow. Our college’s ability to deliver short-term certifications based on industry need continues to be impressive.