AFL Pioneers Operational Workforce Program in Spartanburg

Spartanburg, SC – AFL has implemented a new Spartanburg County-based program in partnership with Byrnes High School and Spartanburg Community College’s Corporate & Community Education division. The “Operation Workforce Training Program” engages students to study manufacturing through coursework at SCC. By the end of the program, students may receive a high school diploma, state-certified WorkKeys score and a college certificate.

AFL is the pioneer of this program in Spartanburg County and is currently sponsoring 10 senior high school students who are taking an “Introduction to Manufacturing” class from SCC professors. As the class progresses, AFL has the opportunity to observe the trainings and help determine future curriculum and content.

“After evaluating the local manufacturing landscape for the past 24 months, we felt like we needed to do something different and innovative,” explained Ryan Burns, director of talent acquisition for AFL. “Competition for hiring local talent is tighter and tougher than it has ever been in my HR career. Fortunately, we were able to partner with local schools right here in our community to develop a program that is a win-win for everyone involved.”

To prepare for this program, Burns and his team interviewed plant managers, operations managers and engineering managers to gain a thorough understanding of entry-level manufacturing needs and AFL’s plans for the next 12-24 months. In fall 2017, more than 20 students from Byrnes High School toured AFL’s facilities. Through various interview panels, offers were made to 10 students. Once the students complete the course and graduate, AFL has the opportunity to interview and hire up to and including all 10 students as it feels fit the company culture, job needs and growth plans.

Burns continued, “We are extremely excited to work with SCC and develop and build relationships with students from Byrnes. They will gain much needed manufacturing skills catapulting them into our local workforce here in Duncan.”

School began January 10 and will end May 25. For additional information about AFL, including its products and services, visit

About Spartanburg Community College
SCC offers more than 70 academic programs of study including associate degrees, diplomas and certificates, plus University Transfer opportunities to four-year colleges and universities. SCC provides flexible class scheduling including day, evening, weekend classes with multiple start dates and more than 100 online classes through SCCOnline. Offering the lowest tuition in the region, convenient locations, and regional/national accreditations, SCC offers educational opportunities leading to high-growth, high-demand jobs. The SCC Corporate & Community Education Division provides job and career enhancement, workforce development and personal enrichment courses and training programs. For more information, visit

About AFL
Founded in 1984, AFL is an international manufacturer providing end-to-end solutions to the energy, service provider, enterprise and industrial markets as well as several emerging markets. The company’s products are in use in over 130 countries and include fiber optic cable and hardware, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectivity, test and inspection equipment, fusion splicers and training. AFL also offers a wide variety of services supporting data center, enterprise, wireless, and outside plant applications.

Headquartered in Spartanburg, SC, AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit

Ryan Burns
Director of Talent Acquisition

Corie Culp
Public Relations Manager