Contact:        Amanda Blanton, Director, High School Engagement and Outreach


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      


                                                                                               (By Rebecca Eidson)

Pendleton --- Beginning this spring, Belton-Honea Path High School students will have the opportunity to gain technical skills while exploring careers in manufacturing through a new certificate program to be offered by Tri-County Technical College.

“We want to help students understand that manufacturing careers offer great opportunities, challenging work, job stability and good salaries,” said Galen DeHay, senior vice president at Tri-County Technical College. “At the same time, our instructors will teach them marketable skills to take with them when they enter the workforce.”

High school seniors enrolled in the Manufacturing Works program will complete three college courses at Tri-County Technical College and have an opportunity for a paid summer work experience.  Belton-Honea Path High School is partnering with the College to launch the program in January, 2019.

“Manufacturing Works offers ways for high school seniors to gain college credit, work experience and earn a college certificate,” said DeHay.

Upon completion of the program, students will earn a certificate in Manufacturing Production I from Tri-County Technical College and be ready to enter full-time employment in manufacturing or continue their education to earn an associate degree in an engineering or industrial technology field.

The launch of Manufacturing Works coincides with the opening of a new Manufacturing Center at Belton-Honea Path High School where students can enroll in an Introduction to Manufacturing course as early as ninth grade.

“We expect this introductory class to be a feeder into our Manufacturing Works program, which will begin in students’ senior year,” said DeHay.

According to DeHay, students targeted for this program are those who do not have a solid career plan for what they will do after high school.  “We want to be sure those students are exposed to great career opportunities and gain valuable skills along the way,” said DeHay.

Belton-Honea Path is the first school to participate in Manufacturing Works but the College fully expects other high schools in the area to join the partnership and begin enrolling students for Fall Semester 2019.

“We have a great relationship with the public schools in our service area – Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties,” said Amanda Blanton, director of high school engagement and outreach at Tri-County Technical College.  “They are open to opportunities that help students gain exposure and skills to prepare for careers in manufacturing.  We work with them in a variety of ways. This is one more tool to help us reach more students who could benefit from a program of this type.”

Manufacturing Works is offered at no cost to students thanks to special funding from the S. C. General Assembly which covers tuition, books and materials.  “Our legislators recognize that this program is a tool to support workforce development,” said DeHay. “We’ve tried to remove any and all potential barriers for the students – the cost of tuition, books and materials will be covered through state workforce development funding awarded to Tri-County Technical College.  Transportation to our Pendleton Campus is already arranged.”

In addition to the Manufacturing Production I certificate, students will earn two industry-recognized credentials - OSHA-10 General Industry Standards certificate of completion and Lean Sigma Yellow Belt certificate of completion.

“These types of certifications give students marketable skills so they can get a job in manufacturing should they choose not to continue their education to the associate degree level at this time.  Sometimes they wait and come back to us later to earn a college credential,” said Blanton.

 “This program couldn’t have happened at a better time. Hundreds of new manufacturing jobs have come to Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties in recent years. There is a big demand for workers to fill good, well-paying jobs – particularly at the “middle-skills” level,” said DeHay. “Manufacturing Works is a win-win for students and for the companies who need employees to fill good jobs.”

“We applaud BH-P’s efforts to ensure every senior has a solid career plan before graduation,” added DeHay.