PENDLETON --- Three quarters of the way through a 10-week South Carolina Manufacturing Certification (SCMC) class, Karahn Washington landed a job in manufacturing at Chomarat in Anderson. 

"I paid nothing out of pocket and got a new career that I love," said Washington, an International Business graduate from the College of Charleston, who discovered the world of retail wasn't a good career fit for him.

In January Washington was among the more than 200 area residents who had the opportunity to enroll in short-term job training programs through Tri-County Technical College's Corporate and Community Education (CCE) Division, thanks to scholarship money provided by the S.C. General Assembly.

The response was overwhelming.  Within two weeks the $335,000 allocated for in-demand, QuickJobs training in the areas of manufacturing, health care, and transportation and logistics was depleted.

Individuals who were unemployed, as well as underemployed, began to prepare for in-demand jobs that lead to a sustainable wage.

Scholarships of up to $2,000 per student were granted to successful applicants who attended the Career Expo in the Industrial and Business Development Center.  For programs whose tuition exceeded the $2,000 scholarship, Tri-County community partners, like AIM and Goodwill, paid the additional money to be able to train more individuals. 

Washington qualified for the scholarship and entered the SCMC program. Immediately he began to get a better understanding of manufacturing, he said.

SCMC is a quick, yet comprehensive training route for individuals seeking to enhance their skills and to secure full-time employment as operators in manufacturing or other organizations. "Our SCMC training provides individuals the opportunity to earn national credentials that manufacturing employers understand.  It shows that you have the skills sets to fill those in-demand jobs," said Rick Cothran, dean of the CCE Division.   

Washington attended classes five days a week after ending a third-shift temp job. It paid off.  He landed a full-time job as a SCRIM operator at Chomarat in Anderson. 

 "In my current job, I am able to work in teams, collaborate with co-workers and feel good about the work I am doing.  I feel accomplished," he said. 

 "SCMC works - it's great for anyone who wants to get a better job and develop your skills.  There are people at Tri-County who want to help," said Washington. 

 "We offer classes that help students obtain the skills that they need to enter the workforce. In addition to SCMC, individuals can be trained in as little as one week or up to 30 weeks based on the technical skills needed in each career," said Cothran.  He added that QuickJobs classes are designed to upgrade one's skills and can be completed in less than a year. For a list of programs, go to tctc.edu/Learn.