Appalachian Regional Commission federal chair Earl Gohl traveled from Washington to present the grant and tour the college’s new Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies (CAMIT) training facility. The grant will be used to purchase specialized training equipment in preparing students for advanced manufacturing jobs with local industries and automotive suppliers.
This will allow the community college to meet demands for highly skilled workers and make job training accessible locally for Cherokee County residents. The automotive workforce allocation to the college means $8.5 million has been invested in the construction and equipment in the CAMIT training facility.
The funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission is part of a state and federal partnership to support economic growth in the region.
“The Appalachian region is the next great investment opportunity in America because of economic opportunities for health, education and economic development,” Gohl said. “We see community colleges as an important investment strategy in helping develop a trained workforce for companies.”
The CAMIT building includes nine flexible lab and classroom spaces for training in the areas of welding, industrial electronics, mechatronics, automated manufacturing and robotics.
County residents will be able to complete job training in automated manufacturing technology, mechatronics and machine tool technology without traveling to other Spartanburg Community College campuses.
Colleges, industries and public schools are involved in an ongoing effort to emphasize the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.
“For our nation’s young people, STEM education is a passport to a career full of exciting breakthroughs and solutions directly addressing global challenges current and future generations will need to address,” said Jeffrey Taylor, manager of engineering and maintenance at The Timken Company’s Gaffney Bearing Plant. “A STEM-focused education provides students the opportunity to play a role in a variety of industries, including the manufacturing industry.”
Spartanburg Community College and Appalachian Regional Commission officials announced the grant Thursday in the advanced manufacturing lab where students will begin using the new equipment next spring. For his part, acting county administrator Holland Belue is looking forward to how the CAMIT building and the school district’s high school career center will impact county residents in the next few years.
“I’m excited about everything that’s going on at the college campus,” Belue said. “This (CAMIT) facility is a game changer. We will be able to provide a trained workforce that is firstclass and have the ability to be competitive in the global marketplace.”
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