NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A new workforce training scholarship program will allow for many Trident Technical College students to take class without paying tuition and fees this coming Spring semester.

Governor Henry McMaster announced the Workforce Scholarships for the Future pilot program in November as a way to address South Carolina’s labor shortage.

The program will use $17 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund money to cover tuition and fees for students who enroll in workforce training programs at the state’s 16 technical colleges.

Most of Trident Tech’s associate degree, diploma and certificate programs prepare graduates to enter the workforce after program completion, so thousands of students will be eligible to receive a scholarship.

To be eligible, a student must be South Carolina resident and either be employed or be willing to take a free financial literacy course offered by Trident Tech or provide 100 hours of volunteer service to a nonprofit or public service organization. Students must also maintain a 2.0 GPA.

Eligibility is not based on income, but completion of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid is required.

Workforce Scholarship funds will be applied after other state and federal financial aid is awarded.

Funding for the pilot program is available only for spring semester 2022, which begins Jan. 10 at Trident Tech.

The governor has called upon the General Assembly to provide an additional $124 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to extend the program through June 30, 2024.