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Spartanburg Community College welcomed about 250 high school students Friday for a concert and college-encouragement event.
The college, in partnership with Country Music Television, hosted two country music artists and a day of college prep events for students from Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties. The CMT Empowering Education program encourages residents to either attend college or go back to school to help fill workforce needs in rural America
"Our goals align perfectly — empowering students of all ages to attend college, and then working with students to develop and execute a plan for their education and career," said SCC President Henry Giles in a statement.
Friday's event featured information sessions for students to learn more about programs SCC offers. Four college students talked about their experiences at SCC during a panel discussion about why they chose SCC and what benefits they've seen so far.
SCC faculty members hosted sessions on advanced manufacturing, logistics, marketing, coding, culinary arts, engineering, graphic arts, health care, horticulture and machine tool technology
Courtney Cole, a CMT musician, was the concert headliner. Maria Puckett, a former "American Idol" finalist and SCC electronic engineering technology student and BMW Technical Scholar, was the opening act
"Although the number of available jobs is on the rise nationally, many go unfilled due to the lack of applicants with the necessary skills or credentials, and rural areas are among those which struggle the most," said Lucia Folk, CMT vice president of public affairs, in a statement. "Through this initiative, we're working in smaller communities to highlight the available tools and the resources needed to earn degrees and certificates."