GAFFNEY — Spartanburg Community College recently received a $526,225 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), an allocation from Southern Appalachian Automotive Workforce, that will be used for curriculum expansion at the Cherokee County Campus based on Industry 4.0. The ARC grant will enable SCC students to access cutting-edge integrated systems training in Cherokee County that will prepare them to gain employment in the area’s automotive sector.
Sometimes called “smart manufacturing” that involves state-of-the-art technology, Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. Intended to provide training for SCC students on new technology used by the automotive industry, grant funds will purchase an Industry 4.0 system with four modules: distributing, conveyor, joining and sorting, as well as two additional modules. The project also calls for the purchase of two Coordinate Measuring Machines and two Snap-On kits.
“This is a great opportunity for Spartanburg Community College and for Cherokee County,” explains Jay Coffer, SCC’s department chair of Industrial Technologies. “We estimate that this new equipment will benefit 51 students and 19 workers. That’s 70 people who will earn associate degrees or certifications and 70 people with skills employers need.”
All of the new equipment will be integrated in existing advanced manufacturing curriculum, as well as used in the automotive, mechatronics and machine tool technology programs offered by SCC. Additional modules, machines and Snap-On kits will allow SCC to offer two new certifications in torqueing and precision measurements. Additionally, the grant includes funding for training and certifying of seven instructors to train and teach students on the equipment.
With 20 automotive-related industries in the Appalachian region, the certifications and equipment training are in high demand by the automotive and automotive-related industries. Two automotive industries started scholarship programs enabling Cherokee students to gain experience while earning degrees. A third industry has expressed interest in hiring students who graduate from the programs this project enhances. Other area industries have also expressed interest in students trained on the new technology.
That’s good news for Cherokee County, and for SCC. “We have a goal to match the skills employers need in their workforce with the training we provide our students,” said Coffer. “This project accomplishes that, and that’s really exciting.”
In addition to the ARC funds, local sources will provide $225,525, bringing the total project funding to $751,750.
Registration for SCC fall semester classes is going on now for classes begin on August 20, September 25, October 15 and November 1. Individuals interested in registering for classes can apply online at www.sccsc.edu or contact the admissions center at any SCC location for more assistance.
About Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia and help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. More information is available at www.arc.gov.
About Spartanburg Community College
SCC offers more than 70 academic program offerings including associate degrees, diplomas and certificates, plus University Transfer opportunities to four-year colleges and universities. SCC provides flexible class scheduling including day, evening, weekend classes with multiple start dates and more than 100 online classes through SCCOnline. Offering the lowest tuition in the region, convenient locations, and regional/national accreditations, SCC offers educational opportunities leading to high-growth, high-demand jobs. The SCC Corporate & Community Education Division provides job and career enhancement, workforce development and personal enrichment courses and training programs. For more information, visit www.sccsc.edu.