FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       7/12/2018

                                                                                                (By Lisa Garrett)

WESTMINSTER --- The projected opening date for Tri-County Technical College’s new Oconee Campus is early August with classes starting August 20.

Contractors are putting the finishing touches on the 37,000-square-foot campus, located at the Oconee Industry and Technology Park at 552 Education Way in Westminster.

Registration is underway for fall semester classes. Contact the Admissions Office on the main campus at 864-646-1500.

Tim Jared will serve as Oconee Campus Coordinator and is the main point of contact.  In this managerial role he will oversee daily operations and support resources for students, as well as faculty and staff.  He also will serve as interim student success coach helping students with advising, orientation and career counseling.

Cyndi Watts joins him as a full-time generalist, who will be the contact for students and visitors and will help students with the intake process.  She also will be a resource for financial aid information, admissions and registration. 

“We are excited to have two experienced College employees who have a passion for working with students joining our community campus team to serve the Oconee Campus,” said Dr. Brian Swords, senior director of community campuses and training centers for the College. “Tim and Cyndy have strong ties to the Oconee area and are excited to get started.”

Credit program offerings include the first two semesters of Industrial Electronics Technology, Mechatronics, Technical Operator 1 and 2 (Certificate), CNC Programming and Operations (Degree), Manufacturing Management and Leadership (Degree), Business Administration (first year - core curriculum) and University Studies (Certificate). Corporate and Community Education offerings include South Carolina Manufacturing Certification, CNC Machine Operator Training, Mechatronics and other career certificates such as ISO 9001, Lean Manufacturing and OSHA.

In addition, high school students can enroll in technical career pathways classes as well as dual enrollment (university transfer) courses.

Program offerings were specifically selected based on jobs that are available in Oconee County, said Mandy Elmore, dean of the College’s Engineering and Industrial Technology Division.  “Our curriculum offerings are industry driven.  We engaged with members of our advisory committee as well as our community partners in economic development and manufacturing in the area.  It was a big collaborative team.”

At the campus’s groundbreaking last summer, Tri-County President Ronnie L. Booth said, “This is a big day in the life of the College. It’s all about one goal – to serve the needs of Oconee County  This facility will help us take care of our industry partners and to recruit more companies like Baxter Industries (Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering and its subsidiary Baxter Industries,” he said.

The Oconee Campus is the first building to be constructed on the site of the Oconee County Workforce Development Center.  The Oconee Industry and Technology Park will co-locate the Oconee Campus, a new Career Center servicing the Oconee County School District, and industry.  The result will be a unique center for technical education, work-based learning, and economic development. The project is a partnership between the College, the School District of Oconee County and Oconee County. 

            “A big piece of this is sharing the property and co-locating with the school district -- sharing facilities to make the best use of your tax dollars.  We envision students walking out of the classes down the sidewalk to an apprenticeship and finding a permanent working home.  Oconee has a lot to be proud of,” said Dr. Booth.

"In a couple of years, the Career Center is planned for the site.  We can't find an example of these three entities in the same location anywhere," said Dr. Swords.  "This is a new model which has opened the doors for discussions on partnerships, operational pieces, and pathways," he said.