Manufacturing Works Third Cohort With Ross Hughes And Elizabeth Wallace DSC4571

Press Release                                                                                                                                                   
March 22, 2024

High School Seniors Gain Technical Skills, Explore Manufacturing

Careers Through Manufacturing Works Program

PENDLETON --- Seven weeks ago, 15 Anderson County high school seniors entered Tri-County Technical College’s (TCTC) Manufacturing Works program, a registered pre-apprenticeship with Apprenticeship Carolina that allows them to gain technical skills while exploring careers in manufacturing.

After completing the training on March 14, these students, who before never considered college, now have a clearer picture of what they would like to do after graduation. The majority say they will enter the manufacturing sector and/or continue their education at TCTC.

College officials and business and industry partners gathered March 15 to celebrate the students who successfully completed the Manufacturing Works program. This is the third cohort of the program that was piloted in 2022.

“Manufacturing Works is more than a name: it’s a complete sentence,” said Jennifer Hulehan, dean of the Academic and Career Foundations and Arts and Sciences Divisions. “Manufacturing works. It works for Anderson County, its employers, and its residents. It works for the 177-plus manufacturers in the Anderson County area; it works for our students who are prepared for entry-level work in a field that provides family-sustaining wages and job stability. It works by offering opportunities for career growth and advancement in partnership with training and education through TCTC.”

“By completing this program, you are now equipped for your next steps after graduation. You might decide to participate in a registered apprenticeship program, find a job in manufacturing (or another field), or you can continue your education and training at TCTC,” said Elizabeth Wallace, a TCTC instructor with Manufacturing Works.

Students enrolled in Manufacturing Works attend weekly classes at Tri-County’s Anderson Campus. Each student earned an OSHA 10 card and a yellow belt in lean six sigma, learned technical skills that are useful in today’s manufacturing environment and were introduced to the fundamentals of lean manufacturing. They completed a resume, cover letter, and participated in mock interviews with TCTC’s Career and Employability Resources team. They also practiced their employability skills in interviews with TCTC employer partners, First Quality and Arthrex, who are corporate sponsors of the program.

“The employer partners were so impressed by your interviews that they are talking to many of you about working at their companies in the future,” Wallace said to the students.

“The skills and industry certifications you have earned make you a great future employee - the kind that Anderson employers want,” added Wallace.

A unique aspect of Manufacturing Works is that the program itself is a simulated workplace environment, said Wallace.  “Within this environment, you demonstrated employability skills in an environment designed to mimic the workplaces of our employer partners. The skills that you learned were identified by these partners themselves as ones that are most important,” she said. These skills included self-management, reliability, personal responsibility, communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and a willingness to learn.

By demonstrating these employability skills in a simulated workplace environment, students earn a stipend of up to $600. The stipend is made possible by funding provided by the Development Corporation of Anderson County. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible for registered apprenticeship programs at companies like Arthrex and First Quality.

Tuition funding came from the South Carolina Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Initiative grant. A participation stipend was funded by the Tri-County Technical College Foundation, the S.C. Department of Commerce and the Development Corporation of Anderson County.

“Be proud of yourselves for taking a chance and completing this program. Remember, no matter where you end up next, you will always have a team of people supporting you at TCTC,” said Wallace.

For more information about Manufacturing Works, go to  

About Tri-County Technical College
Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, business administration, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit