Horry-Georgetown Technical College is building two new advanced manufacturing centers to house programs designed to fit the needs of industrial companies such as Mercedes, Boeing, Peddinghause and Conbraco.
The groundbreaking for the $7 million manufacturing center on Allied Drive in Conway is next week, and the district is still waiting on funds for another new building in Georgetown, said college spokeswoman Mary Eaddy.
The new buildings will house equipment for machine tool technology, welding and advanced welding, robotics, mechatronics, and other types of programs, said Eaddy.
Honestly, the whole initiative behind this is improving the skill sets of our student graduates, doing more to help industry expand. Brandon Haselden, department chair of advanced manufacturing and industrial technologies at HGTC
“There will be a variety of programs and more of an integration of skills,” she said. “For example, if an industry comes and wants a tailor-made program that may include robotics and mechatronics but they’re not interested in machine tool, they can work around those requirements for the industry to get a training program up and running faster for them.”
Brandon Haselden, department chair of advanced manufacturing and industrial technologies at HGTC, said companies are having a harder time getting employees with skills in fields such as robotics, mechatronics and machine tool technology.
“Honestly, the whole initiative behind this is improving the skill sets of our student graduates, doing more to help industry expand,” said Haselden. “At the end of the day, as industry becomes more efficient, implements new technologies, increases the bottom line, they then in turn hire more of our student graduates, and in the end both of us are succeeding together.”
We really need more professors in the welding and machine tool area and advanced welding. Spokeswoman Mary Eaddy
Eaddy said she didn’t know how many students would enroll, but said there’s a “high interest” in the program.
“We’ll need more professors because the programs are filling up very, very fast,” she said. “We really need more professors in the welding and machine tool area and advanced welding.”
The programs that will be housed in the manufacturing centers are attractive not only to high school students but also veterans, Eaddy said.
“They’re looking for an opportunity to use technical skills to make a living for themselves and their families,” she said. “At the rate the salaries are for these kind of programs, they are really zeroing in on these programs.”
Eaddy said she doesn’t know exactly when the Conway building will be finished, but the school expects to hold classes there by the fall of 2017.
In Georgetown, the school has secured 75 percent of the funding for the $12 million, 30,000-square foot project, said Gregory Mitchell, vice president for workforce development and provost for the Georgetown and Grand Strand campuses.
It’s game changer for these communities. Gregory Mitchell, vice president for workforce development and provost for the Georgetown and Grand Strand campuses
The Georgetown location is being funded in part by a $2 million federal grant, $5 million in state money, funds from Georgetown County and the Georgetown County School District, said Mitchell. Classes should begin in spring 2018.
“It’s game changer for these communities,” he said. “When businesses and industry are vetting these communities, one thing they want to know is ‘where are their trained personnel going to come from?’ It’s going to move things in a more progressive way to be available to support industry that’s supporting Boeing, BMW and Mercedes Benz in that Charleston region.”
We’re excited about where we’re going and we’re definitely excited about the future of Georgetown County as well as Horry County. Gregory Mitchell, vice president for workforce development and provost for the Georgetown and Grand Strand campuses
The Georgetown campus will house four programs: advanced manufacturing, machine tool, robotics and mechatronics, he said.
“They’re on the coast; it’s a great place to live and raise a family. They’ve got great public schools, got a great community college, so this is definitely a game changer here,” said Mitchell. “We’re excited about where we’re going and we’re definitely excited about the future of Georgetown County as well as Horry County.”
Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian