New tech program opening up opportunities for students

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 7:40 PM EDT
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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A few North Augusta students are getting a certification that makes them employable while still in high school through a new course being offered in the county. 80 high schools across the U.S., Canada & Australia are taking part in the “Dell Tech Crew” program this year. Aiken County is the first in South Carolina to launch this program and the first here locally.

For students at North Augusta High School, they’re getting real hands-on experience. Doing something they love; fixing computers and other technology systems. Through a new course being offered in Aiken County Schools, students like Hugo Garcia are able to become Dell tech certified.

“I mean it was pretty exciting knowing that I was going to get it eventually and knowing that it would open up a lot of opportunities for me,” he said.

Garcia along with a few of his classmates recently became certified in just six weeks, something they say took hard work and of course a lot of studying.

“I had no idea I’d be getting into this is school,” he said.

“It’s very exciting and stuff, especially hands-on materials and stuff,” said One Bey, North Augusta High School junior.

“It’s really exciting because it opens up a lot of job opportunities in the tech field,” said Adyn Norris, North Augusta High School sophomore.

With their certification, they can now repair students laptops for Augusta area schools, order parts for systems, and contact Dell as a service technician among other things.

“I could start like a little business fixing desktops, laptops,” said Garcia.

Their teacher Michelle O’Rourke says the certification requires about 45 hours of training in the classroom and in the lab.

“They’re really exceeding my expectations,” she said.

Something she says sets them up for the future.

“It helps them build a resume while they’re in high school so they’re employable once they get that certification, they are marketable for jobs in the area and technology isn’t going away, there’s always going to be jobs for them,” said O’Rourke.

The course is being offered at North Augusta, Aiken, Ridge-Spring Monetta, and Wagner-Salley high schools. The North Augusta tech crew already completing 50 laptop repairs since the second week of school. And they already have students asking about the program for next year.

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