Originally created 11/27/05

Program now offers vocational training



Vincent Callahan is pursuing his goal of a career in automotive maintenance.

Vincent, 17, of Aiken, said the Community Partners for Workforce Learning program at Aiken Technical College is allowing him to get a high school diploma and receive automotive mechanic training.

Community Partners, a cooperative effort among several area civic and educational organizations, began Aug. 29, said Shirley Von Beck, the program manager for health and human service programs at Aiken Tech.

The program has expanded to offer vocational classes to qualified low-income residents.

Expansion of the program, which previously offered only high school diploma equivalency test-preparation assistance, has been made possible under the federal Workforce Investment Act.

Kathie Fowler, the director of the college's One Stop Career Center, said students must provide information about their income to determine eligibility.

"It's open to anyone, and they can participate whether they qualify for the Workforce Investment Act or not," Ms. Fowler said.

Regina Dicks, the lead case manager for the Community Development and Improvement Corp., which is part of Community Partners, said the agency also will provide qualified students in the program with transportation and child-care assistance.

For more information, call 593-9954, ext. 1283.

Reach Nathan Dickinson at (803) 648-1395, ext. 109, or nathan.dickinson@augustachronicle.com.