Piedmont Tech to Celebrate New Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Laurens

Piedmont Technical College will be opening its new training facility in Laurens with a dedication ceremony Thursday, August 9. The public is invited to attend beginning at 5 p.m.

The Piedmont Technical College Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Laurens County opened in late May with three classes provided for two local companies. The classes included not only industrial equipment training, but training with soft skills, WorkKeys testing and preparation, resume writing and behavioral interviewing skills.

“The Center is a dream that has become a reality. We can now provide a level of training for the industrial base in Laurens County that we have been unable to offer previously,” said Rusty Denning, associate vice president of Continuing Education and Economic Development at PTC.

The facility came about thanks to a partnership between Piedmont Technical College, the PTC Foundation, county and city governments, Laurens County Economic Development Corporation and local industry. The facility was initially planned to provide readySC, a division of the South Carolina Technical College System, with a dedicated space to meet ZF Group’s initial training needs in collaboration with PTC industrial faculty, but industry leaders throughout the county saw the Center’s potential to benefit their operations.

Housed in the former Honda of Laurens building, the Center is located along the I-385 corridor and is within easy driving distance of industrial and business sites throughout the county.

Construction on the 24,300 square foot facility will proceed in two phases.

Phase One Construction at the Center is now complete, and training for industrial clients is already underway. Curriculum offerings will launch this fall, beginning with the QuickSkills program. The initial renovation of 13,000 square feet includes three classrooms, a CNC Lab, and a CMM lab for precision measuring of parts. 

Phase Two of the project, which is projected to begin in the fall, will include a Mechatronics Lab, a Welding Lab, additional CNC equipment, and another classroom shared between CNC and Mechatronics. This second phase will also include flexible space to accommodate additional readySC projects as more industries choose to locate in the county in the future.

When Phase Two is complete, Piedmont Technical College will be able to offer full industrial programs like Mechatronics, Machine Tool, and Welding entirely in Laurens County, complete with hands-on lab time for students—eliminating the need to drive to Greenwood for the hands-on portion of these curricula. 

Refreshments and tours of the facility will be provided following a ribbon cutting ceremony.