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Workforce leader receives top advocacy award from Sumter Adult Education

Clark over 4-county program focused on helping talent pipeline

BY BRUCE MILLS bruce@theitem.com
Posted 7/15/20

A longtime partner of Sumter County Adult Education has earned the agency's annual top advocacy or supporter award.

Sumter Adult Education Director Sharon Teigue and her staff on Tuesday honored Areatha Clark, workforce development program chief, …

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Workforce leader receives top advocacy award from Sumter Adult Education

Clark over 4-county program focused on helping talent pipeline

Posted

A longtime partner of Sumter County Adult Education has earned the agency's annual top advocacy or supporter award.

Sumter Adult Education Director Sharon Teigue and her staff on Tuesday honored Areatha Clark, workforce development program chief, of regional-service agency Santee Lynches Regional Council of Governments with its Palmetto Adult Education Go Getter Award.

The award, in its 20th year, goes to an individual who routinely goes above and beyond the call of duty to support the local adult education program, Teigue said. In a typical year, the program serves about 2,000 students, ages 16 and older, she added.

Clark has worked 27 years at the regional COG, where she is also the deputy executive director, and her time has almost entirely been in the workforce development arena. The program area distributes about $2.2 million in federal funding to approved workforce initiatives generally through partners in the four-county region of Sumter, Clarendon, Lee and Kershaw counties.

Sumter Adult Education is one of those partners, and Teigue said she's worked with Clark for about 20 years. She noted that Clark has always included the adult education program in the regional agency's workforce development programming and has been a continual resource for grant opportunities and in-demand career pathways.

Teigue described Clark as "like a walking encyclopedia of federal regulations" and having a passion for services to youth.

"Areatha is one of those people who genuinely has such a heart for the youth that we serve," Teigue said. "Usually, when I am meeting with her that is what she is talking about: 'How we can come up with better ways to serve them, and what we can do to keep them on the right track.'"

A lifelong Sumter resident, Clark said she was honored to receive the award and has enjoyed the partnership with the adult education program.