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New workforce development program set to launch in Oconee County

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The Oconee Economic Alliance and the School District of Oconee County are pleased to announce the creation of a new and exclusive initiative, Oconee County’s NOW Program. NOW, Nurturing Oconee’s Workforce, is a unique program that will prepare selected Oconee students for tomorrow’s jobs, as well as give Oconee County a competitive economic development edge.

The program was created to ensure students enter the workforce ready and marketable to employers. Participation in the program will also provide students an employment advantage over their classmates.

“The NOW Program is unique to Oconee County and was created as a collaboration between the school district and the Oconee Economic Alliance,” said Richard Blackwell, executive director of the Oconee Economic Alliance. “Local industries need well-prepared employees and Oconee County graduates need access to good employment opportunities. This program is a win-win for all parties involved.”

The NOW Program will begin this fall with 30 juniors- 10 students from each high school in the county. Participants will attend monthly off-campus meetings that address advanced employment skills. They will also be provided opportunities for industry exposure and networking, sometimes one-on-one, with Oconee County’s top manufacturing employers.

“Our goal as a district is to partner with families to develop responsible, productive citizens. We are excited about the NOW Program because it will provide opportunities for our students toward that goal,” said Michael Thorsland, Superintendent of the School District of Oconee County. “We look forward to working with the Oconee Economic Alliance and local industries to develop and expand this unique program. We are proud of the collaborative efforts in this area that allow us to work together to create solutions to solve the big problems our students and industries face.”

NOW Program participants will be selected in September and the kick-off event will take place in early October. To apply for the NOW Program, please visit



Oconee Economic Alliance The Oconee Economic Alliance is a public-private nonprofit effort to accelerate job creation and capital investment, increase per capita income, diversify the local tax base and generate awareness of Oconee County, South Carolina as a business location. To learn more, please visit

School District of Oconee County The School District of Oconee County (SDOC) is located in the Upstate of South Carolina. It serves 10,500 students with 949 certified staff in 16 schools. The miss of the SDOC is to develop productive citizens who are life-long learners by providing exemplary educational experiences for all students. The SDOC is accredited by AdvancED.

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