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ReWa, Southside High join forces to launch innovative workforce readiness program

ReWa, Southside High join forces to launch innovative workforce readiness program

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Administrators at Southside High School (Southside) announced this week that the school is joining forces with Renewable Water Resources (ReWa) to launch a new joint workforce-readiness program focused on bridging awareness of utility sector job opportunities with workforce preparedness and training opportunities.

The program, known as “Experience ReWa: Southside,” will shepherd the development of inclusive, hands-on learning opportunities, from internships to guided training programs, to be made available to all of Southside’s students. These efforts will integrate the core components of ReWa’s new strategic approach to ensuring a strong and engaged workforce in the future with Southside’s growing prominence in South Carolina as an academic innovator.

“Experience ReWa: Southside” will feature a tiered career development program that offers incoming freshmen students access to a four-year program with progressive learning and training opportunities across their high school career, combined with more exclusive co-operative intern programs for all sectors of ReWa.

ReWa professionals will be available to present career possibilities in classrooms throughout the academic year, in addition to creating specific outreach opportunities for parents, teachers and counselors interested in learning more about the organization and its growing slate of educational opportunities.

“For years, I have driven by ReWa on my daily commute, never realizing what a strong partner we had right in our very own backyard,” Dr. Andre M. Dukes, Principal, Southside, said. “Our community is ready to embrace the diversity and inclusion that ReWa has to offer our students, faculty and staff.”

The partnership emerged through a series of conversations on workforce initiatives with officials from the South Carolina Department of Commerce (SCDC), which supports Greenville County’s Regional Education Center Advisory Board (RECAB). Both Dukes and Kaye Davis, ReWa’s Director of Human Resources, serve on RECAB.

“This program affords students the opportunity to access work-based learning experiences that will help us create an intentional workforce roadmap for the next generation of talent,” Jay Blankenship, SCDC’s Greenville Regional Workforce Advisor, said. This is a great example of local partners coming together to strengthen an untapped industry sector.”

ReWa plans to grow the “Experience ReWa” program to include more educational partners throughout its entire service area, which covers five Upstate counties and serves a population of more than 500,000 people.

“This initiative is a critical path to take, not only for ReWa and the local community, but also for the U.S. water and wastewater industry as a whole,” John Crawford, Chair of ReWa’s Board of Commissioners, said. “And that makes Southside a very special partner in helping us secure a strong future of clean water for generations to come.”

For Joel Jones, ReWa’s Chief Executive Officer, the “Experience ReWa” program represents the core elements of the regional utility’s mission.

“Here at ReWa, we pride ourselves on doing the right thing, but doing so with a focus on responsibility, service and innovation,” Jones said. “The only way that we can really achieve that mission is to work with others to bridge the gaps. If we can build a bridge to the future at the same time, then that’s where the real change will happen.”

To learn more about “Experience ReWa,” visit www.rewaonline.org.

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Renewable Water Resources (ReWa) recently welcomed Southside High School as the newest partner in the regional utility’s “Experience ReWa” educational outreach program. Students will earn valuable experience through access to career development and immersive learning opportunities with ReWa’s award-winning team of industry-leading experts.

Pictured, from left, are: Wes Wessinger, Talent Development Specialist, ReWa; Dr. Patricia Drummond, College and Career Counseling Services, Southside; Dr. Stephanye Zimmerman, Director of Counseling, Southside; Dr. Andre Dukes, Principal, Southside; Bertha Enriquez, Human Resources Manager, ReWa.


ABOUT RENEWABLE WATER RESOURCES (ReWa):

Since 1925, ReWa has been committed to providing high-quality wastewater treatment services to the Upstate of South Carolina while promoting a cleaner environment, protecting public health and the water quality of Upstate waterways, and developing the necessary sewer infrastructure to sustain our community, protect our environment and support the economy. Serving a population of more than 500,000 in Greenville County, as well as portions of Anderson, Spartanburg, Pickens and Laurens counties, ReWa’s mission is to improve our community’s quality of life by transforming wastewater into renewable resources through responsible and innovative solutions, all while recycling more than 40 million gallons of wastewater each and every day. To learn more about ReWa, visit www.rewaonline.org.

ABOUT SOUTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL:

Southside (Southside) High School is one of the smallest public high school within Greenville County School District with an enrollment of 1,080 students. Its International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program serves approximately 21.5 percent of eligible students. In addition to IB, it also boasts a number of impressive academic programs, including Advanced Placement (AP), Honors, Dual Credit, CTE, ML, SPED, and College Preparatory, among others. All of these programs are designed to meet the unique and individual needs and interests of each student. To learn more about Southside, visit www.greenville.k12.sc.us/shs/

ABOUT RECAB: The Greenville County Regional Education Center Advisory Board provides guidance and oversight of educational initiatives in Greenville County whose mission is focused on ensuring South Carolina’s workforce continues to be among the nation’s best. The board works with business and education communities to collaborate on workforce preparation initiatives that align with industry demands.

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