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Press Release                                                                                                                                                   
December 8, 2023

(By Lisa Garrett)

ITW Hartness Technical Scholars Program Sets

TCTC Student Adam Roberts Up for Success

PENDLETON --- Twenty-year-old Adam Roberts says the skills he is learning as a full-time Tri-County Technical College (TCTC) CNC student, coupled with his work-based learning experience as an ITW Hartness Technical Scholar, are setting him up for success when he graduates.

“It’s been a great experience,” said the 2021 T.L. Hanna High School graduate who was selected as one of two TCTC students for the Technical Scholars program at the Greenville-based company which is a total packaging solutions provider with more than 100 patents and installations throughout the world.  “At times it doesn’t even feel like work,” said Roberts, who works on manual milling machines. “There is a lot of hands-on precision work which I enjoy.” Roberts works three eight-hour days a week at the plant and takes CNC classes at TCTC’s Industrial Technology Center in Sandy Springs. (Roberts was enrolled in TCTC CNC dual enrollment classes when in high school.)

ITW Hartness Technical Scholars must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA; be full-time students (12 credit hours); must work at least 20 hours per week at the facility; and complete the ITW Hartness aptitude testing.

“This was the first year that ITW Hartness opened its Tech Scholar program to TCTC students,” said Leanne Cobb, work- based learning coordinator for TCTC. “They were very eager to meet our students and quickly agreed to hosting an information session where they talked with our students about the company, the culture and environment, the Tech Scholars program and benefits, and the career paths this opportunity can put them on. Adam attended this presentation and took the initiative to introduce himself to Whitney Long, the company’s human resources manager, and followed through on applying for the opportunity. We consistently stress to students the importance of taking advantage of opportunities to meet the right people and to be proactive in building your professional network. Adam took this advice and it paid off for him in the form of an amazing work opportunity that not only pays a competitive wage but also pays tuition expenses, puts into practice what he learns in the classroom, and allows for him to strengthen his technical skill foundation and build more complex skills that will make him a top candidate in the job market,” she said.

Long said not only was she impressed with Roberts’ skills and his dedication to the craft, but also his persistence.

She said days after his interview for the scholars program, he stopped by the ITW Hartness table at the TCTC career fair to express his interest again. “He wants to be here.  Those are the students we want,” she said. 

The scholars program allows students to learn by doing, said Long. They also gain exposure to the business’s diverse culture and work side-by-side with experienced leaders who serve as mentors, she added.

“The Technical Scholars program, in its second year, is a way to build our workforce,” said Long. “These students want to learn; they are very moldable.  They want these opportunities. Our scholars take what they learn in class and apply it here in the plant. The program is an investment in our company.”

 ITW Hartness Technical Scholars have the opportunity to apply for a full-time position when they graduate. “They now have the experience and the exposure to go on and become successful in their careers at ITW. But their work experience and their technical education set them up to succeed wherever they go,” Long added.

Another bonus is Roberts will graduate debt free, thanks to a workforce scholarship.  ITW pays the remainder of the balance along with book reimbursement. 

“It’s a great deal,” said Roberts.

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, industrial electronics, 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