Category: News

Give to The Greenwood Promise this Giving Tuesday

The Greenwood Promise is a last-dollar, tuition-assistance program for the students of Greenwood County.  We have been funding our students since 2017, removing the financial barrier that holds so many back from attending a post-secondary institution.  We are proud to announce that Greenwood County’s post-secondary enrollment has increased, passing the State of South Carolina’s average for the first time ever!  In 2020, we will begin campaigning for Phase 2, which will begin funding the last 2 years of a 4-year degree at an SC Public College or University.  This guided initiative is truly moving the needle for not only our students but for our entire community!

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The Greenwood Promise by the Numbers

We wanted to share some recent statistics and graphs we had about the current progress of the Greenwood Promise. Keep in mind for all of the below graphs, that the Greenwood Promise began funding in Fall 2017 for Phase 1. Phase 1 includes tuition assistance for students to obtain a certificate, diploma, or associates degree from Piedmont Technical College (PTC) or one of the other SC technical colleges if a particular major is not offered at PTC.

The below graphs show what has changed in 2017 and 2018 because of the effects of the Greenwood Promise.

The above graph shows that from 2016 to 2017 and 2016 to 2018 Greenwood County fulltime enrollment at Piedmont Technical College increased by 93.5% and 100% respectively. The long term impact this increase in educated persons will have in Greenwood County is going to be significant.

The above graph shows that Greenwood County High School Graduate enrollment in Piedmont Technical college per year has increased 28% from the prior 4-year average and increased 39% from 2016 to 2017.

This graph shows that Greenwood County for the first time surpasses the South Carolina state average for enrollment in Post-Secondary education in 2017. This just goes to show the effect that the Greenwood Promise has had on enrollment and retention already.

Student of the Month: Noel Johnson

Noel Johnson is our November 2019 Promise Student of the Month. Noel is a student at Piedmont Technical College who will receive a Human Resources Certificate in December. The Greenwood Promise had the pleasure of Noel speaking at our Donor Appreciation Dinner, and recently, she has been chosen to speak at Piedmont Tech’s graduation. Noel has truly been a Rockstar for The Greenwood Promise, and we could not be happier that upon graduation, she will remain in Greenwood and will be working part-time, 3 days a week starting out, at WCTEL. Her appreciation of The Promise, especially the financial contributions of our donors, speaks to our mission and vision to educate our students with the hopes of them remaining in Greenwood County as residents, contributing to the vitality of our community. Noel, on behalf of The Greenwood Promise and our supporters, CONGRATULATIONS on graduating from Piedmont Tech! We are all so proud of you!

“I want to thank you again for the opportunity to speak at the donor appreciation dinner as Mr. Russell has recommended me and I have accepted to speak at graduation next month. I also was surprised to find out yesterday that I am the Greenwood County, County award winner. None of this would be possible without the financial contribution that The Greenwood Promise made to my education. For me it just wasn’t just a financial investment; it was an investment in me and my future”. -Noel Johnson

Index-Journal: Greenwood Promise called generational gift at donor function

By ADAM BENSON abenson@indexjournal.com

The Greenwood Promise assures that eligible graduating high school students will be able to attend Piedmont Technical College for two years at no cost to them.

But ask 20-year-old Noel Johnson what the program means, and she’ll use another word: Miracle.

“Going to college, I knew a four-year degree wasn’t for me. It was a fear of how I was going to pay for college that scared me,” Johnson said. “That’s where the Greenwood Promise came in and removed the financial burden for me.”

Fresh off being named a Piedmont Tech honor student, Johnson plans to pursue a career in human resources, eventually giving back to the program that removed a barrier otherwise keeping her from personal success.

Since beginning with the Greenwood County graduating high school class of 2017, enrollment metrics have increased dramatically — a phenomenon many officials attribute to the innovative philanthropic program.

In 2016, 175 Greenwood County high school graduates were enrolled at Piedmont Tech. That figure jumped to 243 in the inaugural year of the Promise and hovered at nearly the same number in 2018 with 236.

Read the rest of the article on the Index-Journal

Greenwood Promise receives new commitment with Mumford Industries

Jul 12, 2019 – The Greenwood Promise received a new commitment, with Mumford Industries pledging its support to the program with a $10,000 pledge. Mumford Industries, Inc, serving manufacturers for 24 years, is one of the leading full-service recycling companies in the Southeast. Located in the quiet community of Ninety Six, SC, Mumford Industries is committed to supporting the economy, families, and students of Greenwood County. As the Promise begins its campaign for Phase 2, their pledge exemplifies the community’s belief in the importance of education and providing a skilled and educated workforce for families and industries in Greenwood County. The Greenwood Promise is an educational initiative aimed at increasing the economic growth of Greenwood County by promoting post-secondary education and thereby ensuring a skilled and educated workforce. Enrollment of Greenwood County students at Piedmont Technical College is consistently increasing, demonstrating the county’s support of a community that stands behind education. This initiative enables Greenwood County to be a viable competitor in both industry and community attractiveness by promising all eligible Greenwood County high school graduates tuition assistance. The program supports an associate’s degree and hopes to provide the opportunity for advancement to a four-year degree for those with the academic ability to succeed.

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Cardinal Health pledges to The Greenwood Promise

Jun 10, 2019 – The Greenwood Promise received a new commitment this week, with Cardinal Health pledging its support to the program, with the completion of a $50,000 pledge, starting with a $10,000 donation.

With the transition of ownership from Medtronic to Cardinal Health, Cardinal Health, through the hard work and diligence of the team in Greenwood, was able to work with their Corporate leadership to continue their support. The Promise and Cardinal Health, namely the local team in Greenwood, could not be happier about the re-establishment of this pledge and relationship. As the Promise begins its campaign for Phase 2, their pledge exemplifies the community’s belief in the importance of education and providing a skilled and educated workforce for families and industries in Greenwood County.

The Greenwood Promise is an educational initiative aimed at increasing the economic growth of Greenwood County by promoting post-secondary education and thereby ensuring a skilled and educated workforce. Enrollment of Greenwood County students at Piedmont Technical College is consistently increasing, showing

This initiative enables Greenwood County to be a viable competitor in both industry and community attractiveness by promising all eligible Greenwood County high school graduates tuition assistance.

The program supports an associate’s degree and hopes to provide the opportunity for advancement to a four-year degree for those with the academic ability to succeed.

Read more

Greenwood Edge inaugural class completes program

May 24, 2019 – The inaugural class of graduates from the Greenwood Edge program received their certificates May 14 at a special ceremony at Piedmont Technical College (PTC) in Greenwood. In all, 19 students received certificates in a number of manufacturing disciplines through the collaborative scholarship program sponsored by the Greenwood Promise and the county’s school districts.

“These students have accomplished a great deal,” said PTC Training Coordinator Trish Buis. “We have a lot of companies where people start out as material handlers and work their way up. There are lots of opportunities with these certifications.”

Greenwood Edge ultimately is designed to help expedite graduates’ movement either directly into the workforce or into technical education focused on manufacturing. In Greenwood, approximately one in four jobs are in manufacturing. Students who successfully complete Greenwood EDGE are guaranteed a job interview with one of the sponsoring companies.

Of the 19 students, 14 received PTC’s Manufacturing Production Technician Certificate, and seven received the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician Certificate. Several students earned multiple certifications out of 11 disciplines offered through the program, including MSSC Quality Practices and Measurement, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10 General Industry, and SC Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP) Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt.

At the same event, Greenwood Edge welcomed its incoming Class of 2020 with an official signing ceremony. Fourteen students ― five from Emerald High School, four from Greenwood High School, one from Lighthouse Christian School and four from Ware Shoals High School – signed commitments and were presented Greenwood Edge ball caps and other gifts provided by corporate sponsors Lonza, Fujifilm, Ascend, Monti and Greenwood Mills.

In welcoming remarks, PTC President Ray Brooks commended the newest cohort of signees for taking this first step in their career trajectory.

“You are taking a step to move forward with a career though you don’t know where it’s going to end up. The first step is the hardest,” he said. “I encourage you to continue to dream and work hard.”

Taiese Kidd, human resources manager at Fujifilm, acknowledged that three Greenwood Edge signees are working with Fujifilm, and one just graduated.

“We look for mature, flexible, reliable students who would take this opportunity seriously,” Kidd said, adding that while Fujifilm provides the training, the signees are responsible for bringing drive and determination. “You all have fantastic opportunities in front of you. Embrace them.”

Greenwood County Council Chairman Steve Brown also was on hand to applaud the graduates and new signees.

“We celebrate you as participants in this program,” he said. “Celebrate yourself. Be proud of what you have accomplished at this point. … Greenwood County will be better because of what you are doing today.”

After the induction, two Greenwood Edge graduates – Seth Alexander of Ware Shoals High School and Kayla Harrison of Greenwood High School – gave remarks and answered questions about their experiences. Alexander worked with Fujifilm and Harrison with Lonza.

“I was able to see how the manufacturing process worked at multiple plants,” Alexander said. “I will continue to work at Fujifilm and take some more classes at Piedmont Tech.”

Harrison is the only female in the inaugural cohort and plans to continue working at Lonza.

“This program gives me a chance, while still being at a young age, to gain career experience while still in high school,” she said, adding that she also will continue her education.

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Greenwood Promise receives donation from Fuji Film

Apr 29, 2019 – The Greenwood Promise received a donation towards an original pledge commitment this week, with Fuji Film Manufacturing USA continuing its support to the program.

Todd Croker, President of Fuji Film Manufacturing USA, has been a loyal supporter of The Greenwood Promise, pledging $100,000 in 2016. Their annual donation of $20,000 has been critical in moving The Promise through Phase 1 and will support the initiative of the program into Phase 2. Mr. Croker and Fuji Film Manufacturing USA are invested, not only in The Greenwood Promise but in showing support of Fuji employees and their children, who are currently benefiting or will benefit from the tuition-free path of the program. This support is evident in Mr. Croker’s request to invite some of Fuji’s employees and their children, who are current Greenwood Promise students at Piedmont Technical College, to participate in the annual donation event.

The Greenwood Promise is an educational initiative aimed at increasing the economic growth of Greenwood County by promoting post-secondary

education and thereby ensuring a skilled and educated workforce. The program supports an associate’s degree and will start fundraising for Phase 2, which will provide the opportunity for advancement to a four-year degree for those with the academic ability to succeed, in the coming months.

This initiative enables Greenwood County to be a viable competitor in both industry and community attractiveness by promising all eligible Greenwood County high school graduates tuition assistance.

Read More

Reagan Flooring pledges support to Greenwood Promise

Apr 2, 2019 – The Greenwood Promise gained another new supporter and commitment this week, with Reagan Flooring, LLC, pledging its support to the program.

Jimmy and Cindy Logan, Owners of Reagan Flooring, LLC, pledged $3,000 to the campaign. This pledge brings the Greenwood Promise closer to its Phase 1 goal of $5 million, which continues to provide post-secondary education to all students in Greenwood County. “Reagan Flooring is proud to support the Greenwood Promise and the students of Greenwood County. The best part is that an investment in The Promise stays right here locally, in Greenwood”, stated Jimmy Logan, on choosing to support The Greenwood Promise.

The Greenwood Promise is an educational initiative aimed at increasing the economic growth of Greenwood County by promoting postsecondary education and thereby ensuring a skilled and educated workforce. The average number of Greenwood County students attending a post-secondary institution has risen to 71 percent, passing the state of South Carolina’s average, which is 69 percent.

The program supports an associate’s degree and hopes to provide the opportunity for advancement to a four-year degree for those with the academic ability to succeed.

Read More