Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Name Reflects Center’s New Direction as Workforce Developers


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            7/2/2012

                                                                                                (By Lisa Garrett)

            PENDLETON --- Since 1990 Tri-County Technical College's World Class Training Center has been providing relevant, effective training to industries and individuals in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties.  The Center was established to provide companies with the training needed to survive and thrive in today's competitive global economy.

            Its mission is still the same but its name is changing to the Center for Workforce Excellence, said Director Richard Parker.  "Our new name reflects the higher level of training we are able to offer industries whose associates require demanding technical skills.   Over the past few years we have moved to align our programs with current industry needs and we believe the name change reflects our new direction as workforce developers," said Parker.

            Today's manufacturing workplace requires its technicians to have a broad mix of skills to meet the demands of modern integrated electromechanical systems. One of the Center's newest and most relevant training programs is Mechatronics, which integrates electronics and mechanical competencies for the industrial maintenance occupations, said Parker.  "We have purchased the latest Siemens equipment for our labs and are developing curricula to train area maintenance personnel on the newest technology.  Our training equipment replicates workplace systems so students are trained on what they will be operating and maintaining in the workplace," he said.

            A new program, coming soon at the request of industry, is a CNC machining program to support area machining operations.  Participants who complete this 500-hour program will earn The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) certification.  NIMS is the nation's only ANSI-accredited developer of precision manufacturing skill standards. "The ultimate goal often is to earn a CNC degree, but many need courses to get into the workforce or to acquire basic skills, and that's where we come in," said Parker.

            The Center also has partnered with the experts at the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership to provide the highest level of training available in the areas of Lean Manufacturing, Quality Management and Process Improvement, including Lean Six Sigma.

            Pulp and paper production classes, to include operator and maintenance training, will begin this summer thanks to a $281,852 training grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.  Tri-County and York Technical College received grant funds to meet the workforce needs of the local paper-manufacturing workforce.

            Over the past three years, nearly 300 individuals have passed the Manufacturing Skills Standard Council (MSSC) exam and gained the Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification which enables workers to build the core knowledge and skills needed in today's advanced manufacturing workplace.  The certificate program is based on the MSSC standards and is delivered in a combination of instructor-led and computer-based instruction.  The training curriculum covers safety, quality practices and measurement, manufacturing processes and production and maintenance awareness.

            A second Logistics certification will follow for persons employed in warehousing materials handling.  "Often industries will accept the CPT certification in lieu of one year of work experience when someone applies for a job," added Parker.

            "Finally we are ramping up work on the ACT WorkKeys and KeyTrain programs to increase the basic skills of area workers and to help organizations match open positions with candidates having the necessary skills to succeed," he said.

            "We change as the workplace changes and we modify our course offerings.  We are continuing our commitment to continuously improving the quality of our programs and services," he said.



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Rebecca Eidson
Public Relations and Communication Director

Lisa Garrett
Public Relations Associate