Spartanburg Community College recently received a $526,225 grant from the Appalachian
Regional Commission (ARC), an allocation from Southern Appalachian Automotive Workforce,
that will be used for curriculum expansion at the Cherokee County Campus based on
Industry 4.0. The ARC grant will enable SCC students to access cutting-edge integrated
systems training in Cherokee County that will prepare them to gain employment in the
area's automotive sector.
Sometimes called "smart manufacturing" that involves state-of-the-art technology,
Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing
technologies. Intended to provide training for SCC students on new technology used
by the automotive industry, grant funds will purchase an Industry 4.0 system with
four modules: distributing, conveyor, joining and sorting, as well as two additional
modules. The project also calls for the purchase of two Coordinate Measuring Machines
and two Snap-On kits.
"This is a great opportunity for Spartanburg Community College and for Cherokee County,"
explains Jay Coffer, SCC's department chair of Industrial Technologies. "We estimate
that this new equipment will benefit 51 students and 19 workers. That's 70 people
who will earn associate degrees or certifications and 70 people with skills employers
All of the new equipment will be integrated in existing advanced manufacturing curriculum,
as well as used in the automotive, mechatronics and machine tool technology programs
offered by SCC. Additional modules, machines and Snap-On kits will allow SCC to offer
two new certifications in torqueing and precision measurements. Additionally, the
grant includes funding for training and certifying of seven instructors to train and
teach students on the equipment.
With 20 automotive-related industries in the Appalachian region, the certifications
and equipment training are in high demand by the automotive and automotive-related
industries. Two automotive industries started scholarship programs enabling Cherokee
students to gain experience while earning degrees. A third industry has expressed
interest in hiring students who graduate from the programs this project enhances.
Other area industries have also expressed interest in students trained on the new
That's good news for Cherokee County, and for SCC. "We have a goal to match the skills
employers need in their workforce with the training we provide our students," said
Coffer. "This project accomplishes that, and that's really exciting."
In addition to the ARC funds, local sources will provide $225,525, bringing the total
project funding to $751,750.