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News for Your Company from Tri-County Technical College Spring 2013

From the President


n recent months, several new industries announced they will open manufacturing facilities in our communities, creating hundreds of new jobs and increasing our tax base. A.I.D., McLaughlin Body Company, and Specialty Metal Fabricators are among those we are welcoming to the Upstate.

What’s Inside

The important role our College plays in supportDr. Ronnie L. Booth ing new and expanding industries cannot be overstated. Time and time again, industry leaders tell us we are a key factor in their decision to locate here, create new jobs, expand, or simply remain competitive. Known as Project Mustang before making a final decision to locate in Anderson County, McLaughlin Body Company took a tour of our new Industrial Technology Center in early January and were wowed by its advanced, state-of-the-art technology and real-world industrial environment. Immediately they realized we could create a pipeline of skilled workers to meet their needs.You will read more about the grand opening of the Industrial Technology Center in the other cover story in this newsletter.

Goodwill Helps Meet Workforce Needs With MSSC Classes 2 Scholars Program Is Intro to Lifelong Career Path


Bosch Selects Students for New Scholars Program


Crescent Students to Take Technical Classes At Anderson Campus 5

The high-skill, high-wage jobs offered by these industries and others provide great career opportunities for local citizens. With new opportunities come new challenges, which means we are working harder than ever to attract and retain students in our engineering and industrial training programs, particularly younger folks coming straight out of high school. Thanks to our great partnerships with local industry, we are making good headway. One of our strategies is to create highly visible and appealing work-based learning opportunities, including the BMW Scholars Program, the Michelin Technical Scholars Program, and the Schneider (Continued on page 6)

Rick Adkins, district director for Congressman Jeff Duncan, left, and Welding instructor Matt Woodall are seen in the new welding lab.

College Dedicates Industrial Technology Center


n his 23 years of teaching industrial electronics classes at Tri-County, Acting Dean of the Engineering and Technology Division Doug Allen says he’s never seen as many requests for technically-skilled employees as he has in recent months. Allen, speaking at a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the College’s new Industrial Technology Center (ITC), said the modern facility will help meet the growing needs of local industry.

The 43,000-square-foot ITC houses the Welding and Heating,Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) programs and was specifically designed to mimic a real-world industrial setting. It’s also being billed as a showplace by economic development prospects and local companies. “This is a milestone for us,” said President Ronnie Booth, as he compared the Pendleton facilities to the ITC located just five miles from the campus. “Students are learning to function in an industrial environment,” said Dr. Booth, adding that equipment that students train on in the ITC matches industries’ expectations of what graduates will use (Continued on page 5)

Adex Machining Technologies Tours EIT Classes


epresentatives from Adex Machining Technologies in Greenville toured the Engineering and Industrial Technology Division. Here, Trey Hendricks, of Greenville, an Engineering Graphics Technology major, seated, shows Thomas Prince, value stream leader, middle, and Charles Anthony, engineering leader, a prototype he made. Following the visit, John Norris received an e-mail from Prince, who stated, “It was a pleasure to see your program as well as meet your staff and students. The direction you are taking your program is definitely what Adex needs to see and will benefit us as well as others in the industry who are having a tough time finding qualified applicants.” Impact is published three times each year by the Office of the President and the Public Relations Department. Campus Contact Information P.O. Box 587, Pendleton, SC 29760 Pendleton Campus..................864-646-8361 Anderson Campus...................864-260-6700 Easley Campus............................ 864-220-8000 Oconee Campus........................ 864-886-4555 Toll-Free (864 area code).... 1-866-269-5677 TDD/Voice............................ 1-800-735-2905 Website .....................................

Goodwill Helps Meet Workforce Needs with MSSC Classes


oodwill Industries’ Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) certification program can be the answer for local industries looking for a pipeline of skilled entry-level technicians.

“It’s a business-driven training program,” said Becky Godbey, Goodwill’s vice president of career development services, about the organization’s nine-week training program that consists of a week of work-readiness training and a mix of industry-based basic skills training modules and work experience at local industries. “We are trying to address the economic issues by helping to meet our area’s workforce needs,” she added.

(TABE), were drug screened and submitted to a background check. Applicants also wrote essays about why they wanted to work in manufacturing. All of these were factors were considered in the selection process, said Godbey. “It’s a rigorous process, and we only selected the individuals who we believe can successfully complete the curriculum

Pictured here are several of the individuals selected for Goodwill “Completion of the class Industries’ MSSC certification program. gives them a certified production technician credential that meets industry standards,” and who have earned a silver (level 4) said Rick Cothran, dean of Tri-County’s ACT WorkKeys® credential.” Corporate and Community Education (CCE) Division. Instructors from CCE “In conjunction with Tri-County Technical teach the MSSC classes. Earning the College, we’ve been running the MSSC industry’s top national credential, MSSC training for more than a year with great certification, can give future and incumsuccess,” said Godbey. The program bent employees a competitive edge and modules focus on basic industry skills, will help to meet industry needs by such as safety awareness; quality aspreparing new workers for entry-level surance; manufacturing processes and production and fabrication jobs, said production; and maintenance awareCothran. ness. Participants also take a 30-hour work readiness (soft skills) class at the Sixteen under- or unemployed individubeginning. “It gives individuals the tools als were selected for the program’s latest for entering manufacturing jobs – that’s MSSC class taught by Tri-County CCE where the skills gap is. Industry needs instructor Tom Humphries. Participants folks with these specific skills and people were chosen from a pool of persons need jobs. Full-time employment is the who visited the Goodwill Job Connecultimate goal. Everybody benefits.” tion offices (located in Anderson and Powdersville) and those who expressed Goodwill pays for the Tri-County curan interest in working in manufacturing riculum training and 20 hours of work and/or applied at a recent job fair held at experience weekly. the College. To learn more about how to get involved They participated in information sessions with the Goodwill Manufacturing training and filled out applications. They also program, visit a local Goodwill Job Contook the Test for Adult Basic Education nection.

Tri-County Technical College does not discriminate in admission or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, qualifying disability, veteran’s status, or national origin.


Scholars Program is Intro to Lifelong Career Path


he top concern of today’s manufacturers is finding skilled workers, especially young people, who possess the technical (math and science), as well as the soft skills needed for today’s sophisticated workplace. Another concern is that high school students aren’t looking at manufacturing as an option when choosing career paths. There’s still a misconception that they would be performing menial tasks on an assembly line. Michelin representatives say the company’s more aggressive promotion of the Technical Scholars Program is a response to the nationwide skilled labor shortage all industry is facing today, as well as a way to change the misperception many young people have that manufacturing jobs are routine, low paying, and dirty.

“The image of manufacturing has not changed as rapidly as the reality has in our work place. We need a skilled workforce that is ready and able to work in a high-tech environment. Today’s manufacturing is safe, clean, and highly automated,” according to Steve Burry in Michelin’s Corporate Employee Relations Department. In an effort to combat these stereotypes, Michelin, like many other companies, has created a Technical Scholars program at area technical colleges to grow their own technicians. Thirteen Tri-County Technical College students have been selected for the scholarship program that covers the cost of tuition, fees and books. Scholarship recipients also gain on-the-job experience through part-time paid employment opportunities with Michelin. Good candidates for this program are students with strong math, science, and reading comprehension skills who are enrolled in Industrial Electronics Technology, Mechatronics Technology, or General Engineering Technology programs. To be eligible for consideration for the Michelin Technical Scholars Program, students must pass an aptitude test administered by Michelin officials and an interview with plant representatives.

Tri-County Technical College students have been selected for the Michelin Scholars Program that covers the cost of tuition, fees and books. “It’s a debt-free education for participants, along with the possibility of securing a $50,000 a year job as a reliability technician at one of Michelin’s plants following graduation. These are really good paying jobs with great benefits with the potential of other career opportunities,” said Burry. “It’s even more than that—it’s an introduction to a lifelong career path. You are almost guaranteed a job when you graduate. It’s a stepping stone,” said Jason Barnes, a technical business unit leader at the Sandy Springs plant and who is overseeing their mentoring experiences. “Scholars are paired with the most senior folks on crew during their 20 hours a week paid work experience. We go to great lengths to ensure safety and that they get the most out of this experience. There’s a long observation period so they can familiarize themselves with an industrial environment,” said Barnes. “Our current goal is to have 16 scholars in the pipeline in 2013,” said Burry. “We are preparing them for actual jobs—if they successfully complete the program and skills testing, they will likely be offered a full-time job,” he added. “It’s an industry-driven program. We are looking for high-tech reliability technicians with mechanical and electrical skills. All industry has this need and we are all pulling from the same pool of applicants. We all need high-level technical skilled workers,” said Burry.

According to Burry, “There were 1,800,000 college graduates in the U.S. in 2013 and only the top 10 percent will be hired in their majors. Twenty-three percent of four-year graduates go back to a technical college to earn a two-year degree to learn an employable skill.” A Workforce Development Team, consisting of representatives from Lexington, Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson counties, is working to change the public’s perception by partnering with technical colleges, school districts, and industry to showcase an accurate picture of modern manufacturing. “We want the best of the best of the best. It takes great people to make great tires,” said Burry. “To work in manufacturing, you have to have the right skill set, and Tri-County is providing that by helping to build our Technical Scholars program. But we’ve got to educate the parents. Many believe their child needs a four-year degree so they aren’t looking at other opportunities. The Michelin Technical Scholars program is a career path that offers a free education, benefits, job security, and a future with an amazing company. We are committed to investing in your children. It’s a win for the school districts, technical colleges, industry, and the community.” For more information, contact Cheryl Garrison at 646-1573 or 3

Bosch Selects Students for New Scholars Program


ichael Langer, a Mechatronics major, and Tyler Watkins, an Industrial Electronics Technology major, are the first two students selected for Bosch’s new Scholars Program.

The company is targeting Tri-County evening students in their last semester to join its new program. In addition to Michael and Tyler, the Anderson company has selected two current Bosch associates, Rodney Johnson and David Gilstrap, both machine operators, to join the program. Rodney is an evening Industrial Electronics Technology student who will graduate in the summer, and David, a Mechatronics major, will graduate in May. Scholars will work 40 hours a week, in addition to their coursework at Tri-County. They are full-time Bosch associates when they begin their training, which includes more than 300 hours of mentor training and 200 hours of classroom/lab training, said Doug Wilson, senior associate development specialist at Bosch. After completion of the fourmonth program and graduation from Tri-County, they will be assigned to a production department as entry-level technicians. “Usually, it takes five to six weeks to fill a technician job at Bosch,” said Wilson. “This co-op program will decrease the time it takes for us to hire because it creates a pipeline of qualified persons already pursuing a degree at Tri-County. This also ensures that we have multiskilled candidates for the technician openings.”

“This co-op program will decrease the time it takes for us to hire because it creates a pipeline of qualified persons already pursuing a degree at Tri-County.” ~Doug Wilson Senior Associate Development Specialist at Bosch 4

Michael is grateful for the opportunity. “Bosch is my choice of places to work,” said Michael, who graduates in May. “This is a huge opportunity for me, in terms of career growth, meeting new people, and learning something new every day on the job. I’ll be proud to work for Bosch,” said Tyler, who will graduate in August.

Doug Wilson, senior associate development specialist at Bosch, left, and Michael Langer

“May 6 will be their start date. I’m excited for them,” said Wilson, who says both excelled in the interview process. “There were five of us on the interview team. The interview is a mix of gauging soft skills and very technical skills. It’s meant to be rigorous. Applicants must be quick learners, work well under pressure, be able to work in teams, communicate well, and know how to resolve conflict, if necessary. Michael and Tyler impressed us in all categories.” “Both David and Rodney have a great work history with Bosch and have demonstrated a strong commitment by working full time and attending Tri-County simultaneously,” said Wilson. “David did very well during the interview concerning mechanical aspects such as hand tools, bearings, and pneumatics. Rodney demonstrated his strengths on the electrical side of the interview. He knew how to use Ohm’s Law as well as accurately measuring 3 phase high voltages.”

Rodney Johnson, left, and David Gilstrap both machine operators at Bosch

For more information, contact Cheryl Garrison at 646-1573 or

Tyler Watkins

Industrial Technology Center… (Continued from page 1)

on the job. “Students are proud of this facility.” The new facility that opened the first day of spring semester (January 14) is a far cry from the Welding and HVAC facility located on the Pendleton Campus since 1963. “Our vision was to make the ITC as close Dr. Booth was joined by College and community leaders to cut the to a manufacturribbon for the ITC. ing facility as we could, with safety as the utmost well as all-new gas packs for the heating concern in the lab areas,” said Allen. “The and air conditioning units in the HVAC facility is OSHA compliant, complete program. with all of the necessary signage in areas where Personal Protective Equipment Dr. Booth acknowledged community is required.” The floors are striped for partners, Lollis Metals, Lakeside Steel floor and forklift traffic, and the Welding and Machine, and McGee Heating and Air area has a state-of-the-art smoke extracConditioning, who have named rooms at tion system. the facility. This semester there are 105 Welding students and 50 HVAC students. “The welding booths were at capacity from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. on the Pendleton Campus. HVAC was also out of space,” Allen added. “There were 32 welding booths at Pendleton. We couldn’t meet industry’s demand for skilled welders. In the new facility, there are 48 booths, and we have the capacity for 72 students. A big change is the no-wait factor for using the welding booths,” he said. The facility includes an 11,000-squarefoot welding laboratory with 48 welding booths and a 4,000 square foot fabrication area, a 6,000-square-foot HVAC lab, three classrooms, an open computer laboratory, seven offices, and a faculty work area. In addition, there is approximately 8,000 square feet of space available for future program development. Existing equipment was refurbished and moved to the Center, and new equipment also was purchased, including a $58,000 robot and a $78,000 manufacturing cell for the Welding program, as

“We take pride in being sure we are preparing our graduates technically for what they will see in today’s workplace. We also are concentrating on the soft skills by embedding communications and problem solving into our courses. Graduates will be ready for the professional side of the job, as well as the technical side of the job,” said Allen. The ITC will allow the College to help industry with continuing education of their associates, said Dr. Booth. “There’s no space at the Pendleton Campus for classes so the Sandy Springs location will allow the College to keep the industry training programs centrally located in the service area, which is important to our students who enroll from all three counties and for the local industries served by the College.”

Crescent Students to Take Technical Classes at Anderson Campus


or the first time this fall, students in Crescent High School’s Electricity program can take dualcredit courses through the College.

Students will be able to take an Electricity course offered by Crescent for Technical Advanced Placement credit. Beginning in fall of 2013 (their senior year), they will take two Tri-County courses—AC/DC Circuits II and Digital Electronics—at our Anderson Campus. The following spring they will take Instrumentation and Solid State Devices, also at the Anderson Campus. “Crescent really wants the opportunity to expand its technical offerings, and its proximity to our Anderson Campus makes it feasible for them,” said General Engineering Technology instructor Amanda Orzechowski, who also serves as the liaison in this initiative. “This is a step toward a major expansion of our technical programs at the Anderson Campus,” added Orzechowski. By the time they graduate in 2014, these students can have 20 college credits, along with a certificate in Basic Electronics. These classes can go toward a earning a degree in Industrial Electronics Technology or Mechatronics, she said. For more information, contact Mandy Orzechowski at 646-1404 or

For more information, contact Doug Allen at 646-1408 or


Heavy Equipment Operator Classes Begin


he College’s Corporate and Community Education (CCE) Division launched its first Heavy Equipment Operator class since partnering with Blanchard Machinery, the exclusive Caterpillar dealer for South Carolina. The first students are set to complete the courses and enter the job market this month.

As the equipment technology in this industry improves, there is also a need for increased training, said Mary Corley, CCE’s highway construction program director. “The control mechanisms on today’s equipment are completely different than on older versions –instead of steering wheels, many now use joysticks. However, as a result of the agreement between Blanchard Machinery and Tri-County, students receive training on the most technologically advanced equipment on the market to ensure that they receive the skills they need in today’s workforce.” Students in the program learn equipment applications, attachments, operating controls, preventive maintenance requirements and basic operating techniques through a combination of classroom and hands-on training. Upon successful completion of the testing requirements for all modules, students receive NCCER certification in Core Curriculum and Level 1 Heavy Equipment Operations, as well as a 10-hour certification in OSHA Construction Standards. “Operator training and safety is priority number one,” says Mark Greene, vice president of Blanchard Machinery. “By training students on current technology and equipment, they are better served to further their careers, meet the challenging demands of the marketplace and to support our customers in South Carolina. We’re proud to partner with Tri-County Technical College and to contribute to the development of local students.” The Heavy Equipment training program was developed to meet the needs in the highway and heavy construction industry as workforce growth in the area of construction has been experiencing some improvement. Individuals completing the program will be able to serve multiple industry segments, such as industry construction, highway construction, general construction and complementary industries, such as aggregate mining and asphalt production. The Heavy Equipment Operator class is an open enrollment class. For more information, call (864) 646-1700 or toll free 866-269-5677, Ext. 1700, (within the 864 area code), e-mail, or visit us online at 6

Let Us Help You Find Your Next Great Hire

At the end of the Spring Semester, a new group of highly skilled employees entered the job market. Our graduates are in great demand by area employers, so don’t wait any longer to identify potential new hires for your company. Let our Career Services Office assist you in finding the right person to meet your employment needs. Contact Glenn Hellenga in Career Services at 646-1585 or NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE

P.O. Box 587, Highway 76 Pendleton, South Carolina 29670



Dr. Booth…

(Continued from page 1)

Electric Co-op Program. The combination of classroom training and real-world work experience is a sure-fire strategy for preparing students to be successful in the workplace. Because it takes time to break down generations-old stereotypes about the factory jobs of years gone by, we also have strengthened our partnerships with companies like Michelin Tire Corporation, who joins us in taking a joint message to public schools about today’s manufacturing careers offering great pay, benefits, and employment stability. Together we reach out to teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators, as well as students who are beginning to make career-related educational decisions. These initiatives are just a few of the many activities we engage in as part of our mission to promote the economic and lifelong development of the citizens of Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties. Our goal is to provide the skilled workforce you need to compete in a today’s marketplace. We can achieve nothing in isolation, so please do not hesitate to give us your ideas and feedback. It takes all of us working together to achieve success.

Ronnie L. Booth, Ph.D. President

2013 084 impact web  

Impact Newsletter

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