The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and Dominion Energy South Carolina co-hosted a “signing day” recently where Spring Valley High School Class of 2022 graduate Justin McElveen announced he will begin his career in Dominion Energy’s full-time apprentice lineman program. The ceremonial event commemorates a successful partnership between the South Carolina Chamber Foundation and Dominion Energy to create and expand pathways to recruit, employ, and retain underrepresented individuals in the Palmetto State.
The partnership was born from Dominion Energy’s support of the South Carolina Chamber Foundation’s new Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The center is focused on increasing inclusive employment pathways, which aligns with Dominion Energy’s goals to enhance its own workforce diversity and to ensure young adults are aware of the well-paying, secure jobs available to them without a college degree.
“The rigors of working as an apprentice lineman require a strong work ethic, physical strength, and technical aptitude, therefore, not everyone is cut out for it,” said Keller Kissam, president of Dominion Energy South Carolina. “For those who rise to meet the challenge, it can be a rewarding, well-paying career right out of high school to help provide a 24/7 critical service to our communities— without taking on college tuition debt. We are so proud Dominion Energy’s partnership with the Chamber Foundation has brought such an excellent young man like Justin McElveen into our workforce and creates an avenue to hire other qualified students who may not be aware of the career opportunities for them at Dominion Energy.”
McElveen, an 18-year-old from Columbia, is the first to secure a fulltime position in Dominion Energy’s apprentice lineman program through the partnership with the South Carolina Chamber Foundation. McElveen graduated from Spring Valley in May. His transition into Dominion Energy’s full-time apprenticeship program straight out of high school is a major accomplishment illustrating the opportunities that are available for committed, qualified students who are interested in a career which does not require a four-year degree.
“Justin’s success personifies exactly what we are trying to do at the South Carolina Chamber Foundation: create pathways to enhance diversity and inclusion and connect promising individuals to these opportunities,” said Cynthia Bennett, chief diversity officer of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. “We are already working to ensure the momentum continues to foster success for more workers and employers, including Dominion Energy, across South Carolina.”
McElveen was among more than 50 students who attended Dominion Energy’s Skilled Trades Day in March, hosted in partnership with the S.C. Chamber Foundation. The event supported the company’s commitment to developing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. Spring Valley principal Jeff Temoney attended the event with McElveen and witnessed first-hand the opportunities available for his students.
“Dominion Energy and the South Carolina Chamber Foundation are looking to bridge the gaps in the South Carolina workforce, and Spring Valley is eager to be an asset,” said Temoney. “Justin’s success is a prime example of what can be accomplished when we work together to create a workforce that reflects our vibrant and diverse communities better.”