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DOBSON – Surry-Yadkin Works, the first community-based internship program of its kind in North Carolina to cover a two-county region, is hosting a virtual kickoff on Tuesday, March 9th at 11 a.m. for anyone interested in learning more about this business and educational initiative.

To join the virtual meeting, enter bit.ly/SYWKickoff in your web browser to join the video conference. You may need to quickly download the Microsoft Teams app before joining the meeting.

Crystal Folger-Hawks, Surry-Yadkin Works Program Director, will provide an overview of the program, followed by presentations from students from Katie Kellam, Elkin High School, Certified Nursing Assistant at North Regional Hospital; Trevor Moxley, Starmount High School, Unifi maintenance intern; Chloe Hunter, East Surry High School, e-commerce intern at Leonard USA; and Carlos Salmeron, Mount Airy High School, construction intern at Smith-Rowe LLC.

Business partners will share their experiences with Surry-Yadkin Works, including Smith “Smitty” Williams, Human Resources Manager at Unifi, and Chris Lumsden, President and Chief Executive Officer of Northern Regional Hospital. Cecilia Holden, President and CEO of myFutureNC, a statewide nonprofit focused on education levels, will also be a speaker.

Surry-Yadkin Works kicked off the spring semester 2021 with 50 interns. The program is the joint effort of four public school systems in Surry and Yadkin counties, including Elkin City Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Surry County Schools, and Yadkin County Schools, and Surry Community College, to bring a unique approach to a regional internship program.

The funding is also a joint effort with pledges from the Surry District Commissioner and the Yadkin District Commissioner. An anonymous donor donated $ 100,000, prompted by a presentation about the program at an educational summit. Surry-Yadkin Works officially started on January 1st.

The first nurse apprenticeship program in North Carolina began with 13 interns at Surry-Yadkin Works who started as employees of the Northern Regional Hospital in January. Twelve of the students were hired as qualified nursing assistants, one is employed as a nurse.

The students are: Laney Cave, Carrie McKeaver, and Ashley Sewell of Surry Central High School; Jenny Cortes and Natalie Evans of Mount Airy High School; Tynlee Jones and Julie Marshall of East Surry High School; Katie Kellam of Elkin High School; Eryn O’Neal and Annsley Puckett of North Surry High School; Emily Santiago Orellana of Surry Early College High School; Anna Serrano from Starmount High School; and Reagan Wooten from Forbush High School.

This facility is part of the U.S. Department of Labor apprenticeship program and the state’s apprenticeship program through the NC Community College System Office, which combines a paid work-based learning experience with in-class academics leading to national certification. These students have the option of receiving free tuition fees for the Associate Degree Nursing program through Surry Community College, which enables students to become registered nurses.

Another 37 Surry-Yadkin Works interns work in companies and organizations in Surry and Yadkin counties. These students along with their high schools, jobs, and job titles are as follows:

Mount Airy High school: Raydan Hawks, Chatham Nursing & Rehabilitation, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Intern and Carlos Salmeron, Smith-Rowe LLC, Yard Crew Member.

North Surry High school: Luke Wagoner, Cedar Ridge Elementary, prison intern; Chris Parker, Vega Construction Company, Project Management Intern; Emma Crouse and Emily Johnson, Chatham Nursing & Rehabilitation, CNA interns; Weatherly Reeves, Interlam Design, Social Media Marketing Intern; Megan Angel and Cainan Dollyhigh, Johnson Granite AutoCAD operators; Caleb Doss, Johnson Granite, Manufacturing Intern; Mackenzie Yoder, Leonard USA, installation intern; and Leah Cain and Azeneth Espinosa, Surry County Schools, CNA interns.

East Surry High school: Ripley Cottrell, Shoals Elementary School, intern in custody; Chloe Hunter and Brianna Whitaker, Leonard USA, e-commerce interns; Hailey Flynn and Cassidy Hewitt, Surry County Schools, CNA interns; and Victor Hall, Dobson Elementary, a caretaker intern.

Surry Central High school: Morgan Dawson, Chatham Nursing & Rehabilitation, CNA Intern; Peggy Prevette, Shepherd’s House, Educational Intern; Carter Jones, Surry Communications, Supply & Storage Intern; and Tiffany Payne, Surry County Schools, CNA intern;

Surry Early College High school: Anahi Nunez, Altec, office intern; Estefania Camacho, Chatham Nursing & Rehabilitation, CNA Intern; Matthew Gillespie, Interlam Design, CNC programmer; Leslie Nguygen, REF Properties, Accounting / Office Assistant; Jesus Nava, Tampco, machine intern; and Leshawn Phillips, Workforce Unlimited, IT intern.

In addition, other students from Forbush and Starmount High Schools and Yadkin Early College High School are participating.

The students started their internship on January 11th and will work until May 14th. They receive high school or college credit for their employment and a monthly travel grant.

For more information on the program or the virtual kick-off event, please contact Crystal Folger-Hawks at 336-401-7820 or [email protected] or visit www.surryyadkinworks.org. can follow Surry-Yadkin Works on Facebook and Instagram @surryyadkinworks and on Twitter @SurYadWorks.

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