Published June 14, 2012
Spartanburg Community College said Thursday it is expanding workforce development offerings at its Cherokee County campus to accommodate the growing manufacturing industry.
The campus launched a new LEGO Robotics program with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math. Additionally, the Cherokee County campus is expanding its curriculum offerings to include SCC’s Mechatronics Technology I Certificate program.
“With large companies like BMW, Timken, Duke Energy and ESAB located in our own backyard, there are excellent job opportunities available to those who are trained for them,” said Daryl Smith, SCC director of the Cherokee County campus. “The Upstate has become and will continue to be a hub for technology and manufacturing-related businesses in the state, yet in many cases these companies are forced to hire employees outside of our region due to a lack of skilled workers locally. We also know that very few of our high school graduates are interested in pursuing careers in these fields, even though the job potential is great.”
Mechatronics refers to an interdisciplinary field involving control systems, electronic systems, computers and mechanical systems that integrates product design and automated manufacturing processes. Many positions now require mechatronics skills and problem-solving abilities for professionals who design, implement, manufacture, service and repair a wide array of equipment.
SCC’s Cherokee County campus will begin offering the mechatronics certificate program in the fall semester. The one-year program trains students for positions as maintenance technicians, entry-level mechatronics technicians and manufacturing associates with wages for these jobs starting at $20 an hour.
“Great jobs in manufacturing are available in our area but they require skills that many of our unemployed citizens do not have,” Smith said. “With SCC’s mechatronics certificate program, all it takes is one year of training for an individual to go from unemployed, or unhappy with their current job, to having gainful employment with future growth potential.”