Southwire’s 12 for Life® Opens New Industrial Maintenance Lab in Partnership with Carroll County Schools

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Sep 21, 2023

Southwire’s 12 for Life® is pleased to partner with Carroll County Schools to open a new Industrial Maintenance Lab to its students.  

“The Industrial Maintenance Lab is a great opportunity for our students to be able to pick up a skilled trade that is in high demand — not only by Southwire but also for all industry needs,” said Derrick Autrey, plant manager of Southwire’s Copper Rod Plant and former plant manager of  12 for Life in Carrollton, Ga. “The students that complete this training and receive the lab certification can take the skills they learn to any industry and have a distinct advantage. I’m excited to see what the future holds with this addition to the facility.” 

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12 for Life, a collaborative partnership that began between Southwire and Carroll County Schools in 2007, provides classroom instruction, on-the-job training, key work and life skills, mentoring and employment opportunities. Through the program, students are motivated to stay in school, graduate and move ahead to become successful, productive members of the communities in which they live. Due to its growth and success in the west Georgia area, a second site for 12 for Life was added at Southwire’s campus in Florence, Ala., in 2010.

"12 for Life has proven to be a gamechanger for our students," said Scott Cowart, superintendent of Carroll County Schools. “They have the opportunity to get experience, learn job skills, earn a paycheck and have a job waiting for them when they graduate. Southwire and other local industries have a critical shortage of skilled industrial maintenance technicians, and this expansion allows our students to be trained to help meet this need. It's a win for everyone."

To prepare students for a future career in industrial maintenance, 12 for Life recently started offering training opportunities that cover various industrial maintenance topics, including pneumatic systems, mechanical systems, electric motors and more. Students who participate in industrial maintenance courses will receive both computer lessons and hands-on training with several machines.

“The words ‘exposure’ and ‘engagement’ come to mind when describing the purpose of 12 for Life’s Industrial Maintenance class,” said Joel Grubbs, 12 for Life site supervisor for Carroll County Schools. “In January, we started class with 15 students, and we quickly observed how eager they were to learn the skills necessary to secure a job in the field of industrial maintenance. Offering this lab to our students exposes them to that career path, and they are seeing for themselves that the technology skills they learn in the lab allow them to repair and maintain the machinery that they’re using as operators.”  

To learn more about 12 for life, click here. For more information about Southwire’s commitment to its Giving Back, visit