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Spartanburg Community College and Michelin North America have teamed up to help Upstate residents looking for a manufacturing job.
The SCC Michelin Manufacturing Scholars Program offers “learn and earn” opportunities for those looking for training, certification and possible employment with Michelin. Applications for qualified candidates are being accepted, and classes in the program start May 14.
“It’s kind of a new idea, but it’s similar to an internship, with one semester of classroom experience teaching basic manufacturing skills. It’s designed to get people who haven’t been exposed to manufacturing to know there are jobs available in manufacturing and a good work environment,” said Jay Coffer, chairman of the SCC advanced manufacturing department.
Coffer said Michelin reached out to SCC about the partnership, as the company is one of many in the manufacturing sector across the Upstate looking to boost the eligible workforce.
“Qualified employees are really a challenge, not just at Michelin but at other companies as well,” he said. “I’m excited to say Michelin created this idea and came to us and wanted to partner up.”
Anna Padaetz, the facility personnel manager for Michelin’s heavy-truck and commercial tire plant in Spartanburg, said the program will provide a unique path into the manufacturing world.
“Michelin is offering to pay candidates for hands-on training, pay for their industrial education and then launch them on an industrial career,” she said in a statement. “We want our Upstate community to understand that when you join Michelin, you’re investing in a long-term career.”
Qualified candidates must:
Be 18 or older with a valid state ID
Have a high school diploma or GED
Have a bronze or better in WorkKeys
Have mechanical aptitude, ability and interest
Have reliable transportation and a reasonable commuting distance to the Michelin facility in Spartanburg
Complete a background check and pass drug screenings
SCC President Henry Giles said the college hopes this can help increase the manufacturing workforce in the Upstate.
“We are at a critical crossroads as baby boomers retire, leaving highly skilled positions vacant, while job seekers in our area are not pursuing the education and training required to fill these positions,” he said in a statement.
The program is set to include a semester-long training in the processes and values of manufacturing; paid work-based learning at Michelin for 28 hours a week; a Michelin scholarship covering tuition, fees and books; and nine credit hours that will lead to a manufacturing operators certificate from SCC and a potential Michelin job offer.
Coffer said he wasn’t sure how many students would sign up for the program, but he anticipates after the spring’s first group of students, more are likely to follow.
“I anticipate the number to be really high, and they’ve already dedicated to two cohorts (of students),” he said. “We’re going to start one in May, and we’re gearing up for one in August.”