Spartanburg Community College (SCC) is seeking $160,536 in this year’s Cherokee County budget to help operate a manufacturing training facility on its Cherokee County branch campus.
SCC has requested the additional funding so it can operate its Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies (CAMIT) training facility. The $7.7 million college project will provide training to local workers in areas such as mechatronics, welding and industrial technology. It is scheduled for completion this summer.
Cherokee County has already budgeted $278,000 towards the new building.
But SCC President Henry Giles said he noticed the college’s request for $160,536 in additional money was not funded by county council when it approved the first two budget readings.
Giles said he believes the college’s financial need might not have been adequately communicated to county council. The president said he is hopeful the county will fund the extra college money before county council votes on the final budget during its June 15 meeting.
“Due to the type of programs offered, the CAMIT building will consume a lot of energy,” Giles said. “It is critical that we have additional money towards the operational costs. Otherwise, I don’t know what we will do to try and open the facility.”
The CAMIT training facility is expected to create 84 jobs and generate about $20 million in private investment when it is completed this summer.
The 84-jobs estimate is based on written commitments received from Timken, Suminoe and Core Molding Technologies in support of the CAMIT project. The three Cherokee County industries pledged to create the jobs through expansion over the next five years.
The school board recently voted to locate its new Cherokee Technology Center on the college’s branch campus.
County council member Steven Blanton said he hopes council will be able to fund the college’s $160,536 request since the CAMIT building will have a positive impact on education and economic development.
“Technical education is one of the best things we can invest in to support economic development in the county,” Blanton said.
County assistant administrator Holland Belue said county council will make the final decision on whether the college’s $160,536 request is added to the budget. “At this point, it has become council’s budget, not the administration’s,” Belue said.
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