Kirsten is a Youth and Community Apprenticeship Consultant with Apprenticeship Carolina™ who helps grow youth apprenticeships in the Midlands, Orangeburg, and Denmark service areas and partnering with community-based organizations around the state.
Native of Savannah, GA, Kirsten has called SC her home since 2007 loving every minute of the hospitality and opportunity it has provided her. She has enjoyed working with businesses throughout her career in several different capacities including Human Resources, Analytics, Business Development, Career Development and more. Kirsten earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from South Carolina State University and a Master of Science in Marketing Research from Clemson University. Her passion is fulfilling needs to uplift others.
The Registered Program Specialist role is a fairly new role as Apprenticeship Carolina is growing. Kirsten enjoys the opportunity to participate in shaping this impactful position. Her previous experience in chartering a new sorority on her alma mater campus, building multiple businesses, and creating new organizational infrastructure uniquely positions her for this mission. Kirsten has a natural skill to implement the vision of great leaders; blazing a trail where there was previously no trail. She describes her greatest skill brought to the Registered Program Specialist role is the ability to understand reality from different perspectives. This skill brings compromise and translation between entities to demonstrate the value they bring one another in connecting. This skill was obtained through her extended professional experience in several different organizations, roles, and geographies. She has sat on both sides of business collaborations to be able to understand and speak each language.
Within her role, she educates community agencies and those interested in becoming an apprentice about registered apprenticeship, local technical college connection, and relevant workforce resources. In this capacity, she enjoys encouraging hope in opportunity and the value of knowing and growing one’s skills. Apprenticeships are important to her because throughout her life she has been given opportunities that would best be described as others “taking a chance” on her. With each chance given, she has stretched to achieve and exceed beyond expectations. Apprenticeships open opportunity that helps someone better themselves, their family, their company, and their community. It is an impact that humbles her to be a part of daily.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Responsible, Bold, Adaptable
Please tell us about your job.
The Registered Program Specialist role was created through the use of the American Apprenticeship Initiative grant awarded to Apprenticeship Carolina from the US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration in 2015; however it was developed well before out of employer needs post-registration. This role is a resource connector for the state in relation to Registered Apprenticeships. I provide technical assistance and resource connection to the technical colleges, potential apprentices, and employers with Registered Apprenticeship Programs. As well, I educate on apprenticeship and build relationships with organizations that work with career seekers and underrepresented populations. Currently, I serve 25 counties in this capacity; Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Clarendon, Charleston, Chester, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, Williamsburg, York.
What is something that you love about your job?
I love learning about all the various organizations and resources available to SC citizens and SC employers. We have a great state that is all about helping others.
What drew you to apprenticeship?
Previously, I worked with college students for the purpose of career development and loved it, but wanted to do more. Apprenticeships give those with the drive to learn and grow in a career the holistic opportunity to go from no knowledge to master level in their career of choice.
What is something that you enjoy or appreciate the most about being a Registered Program Specialist?
I equally enjoy sharing information about apprenticeships with potential apprentice and connecting entities that need each other, but do not know of each other.