Dr. Kathy Dickson is an Apprenticeship Carolina Consultant and serves companies within the counties for York Technical College, Spartanburg Community College, and Trident Technical College.
Kathy is fairly new to Apprenticeship Carolina, having come onboard in October 2019. Prior to joining Apprenticeship Carolina, Kathy was a Business Consultant for the South Carolina Department of Employment & Workforce. In that role, she worked with and educated employers on the various workforce development programs and business solutions that served to meet their hiring and training needs. Kathy is a results-driven Organizational Excellence Professional who exemplifies an authentic passion for creating winning cultures of success for organizations and their members. She embraces the principles of Integrity, Respect, Diversity, Teamwork, Communication, and Innovation, as can be shown in her day-to-day actions and service to others. Kathy’s past work experiences have not only allowed her to serve and support a number of business entities and operations; but also, to better position herself to respond to their workforce and talent development needs.
A lifelong resident of South Carolina, Kathy completed undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. Kathy also holds a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources Development from Webster University. A dedicated professional and lifelong learner, Kathy most recently completed a Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University, of which she received Summa Cum Laude honors.
In her spare time, Kathy enjoys serving as a mentor to others, engaging in professional development opportunities, travelling, reading, and spending quality time with her family. She currently resides in Simpsonville, SC.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Authentic, Resilient, Forward-thinking
Please tell us about your job.
As an Apprenticeship Consultant, I assist employers in the Discovery, Design, and Delivery of registered apprenticeship programs. These three processes allow me to work with a diversified slate of businesses and employers across South Carolina. I work to enhance an employer’s understanding of how apprenticeships can serve to meet their workforce and talent development needs. Apprenticeship programs not only complement the growth and sustainability of employers, but they can also allow employers to stay on the cutting edge of investing in those who can take their business to the next level. Creating this level of awareness among employers helps to ensure they identify and retain the right talent.
What is something that you love about your job?
I like that I am able to help employers foster a mindset that allows them to think more strategically in how they can find talent and grow their own workforce. In knowing that each employer holds a different set of workforce opportunities, I enjoy the aspects of being able to work with them to develop an apprenticeship program that speaks directly to their workforce needs. As a forward thinker, I like putting employers on a path that can allow them to achieve a greater sense of security, success, and sustainability.
What drew you to the economic development field?
As one who has always been a champion for creating a better quality of life for others, I was drawn into the economic development field through previous job opportunities and work experiences. Through economic development, workforce programs can be formed to help individuals get the skills and education they need to obtain and maintain employment. Quality training programs (such an apprenticeships), coaching, and mentoring are needed to enhance the development of these skills. When facilitated correctly, these variables can enable individuals to achieve success, both personally and professionally. Having always embraced talent and workforce development, I enjoy working with others to create opportunities that revolutionize the way we engage and develop our current and future workforce.
What are some new and impressive apprenticeship or workforce development programs currently emerging around the state?
While there are a number of exciting things taking place in the world of apprenticeships, one that is gaining a lot of attention is pre-apprenticeship programs. Pre-apprenticeship programs are designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship program or another high-quality apprenticeship program. While pre-apprenticeship programs can serve as a bridge to career opportunities to those from underrepresented and/or underserved populations, a key thing to note is that they can also help to raise one’s confidence, self-esteem, and self-efficacy regarding employment. Through pre-apprenticeship programs, individuals can gain the necessary soft skills, technical skills, and academic credentials needed to be successful. It is programs like these that make it an exciting time to be a part of Apprenticeship Carolina.