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December 4, 2018
The Heritage Classic Foundation is partnering with the SC Technical College System to invest $100,000 in a grant to expand training opportunities for skilled mechatronic workers across the state. The grant will be used to support Siemens Mechatronic System Certification Programs for faculty at South Carolina’s 16 technical colleges. This certification will allow for training and preparing much-needed, skilled maintenance technicians for South Carolina’s growing manufacturing sector.
As manufacturing equipment becomes more automated and technologically advanced, demand increases for highly-trained and highly-skilled mechatronic technicians. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering that includes a combination of mechanical engineering technology, robotics, electronics, computer engineering, telecommunications engineering, systems engineering and control engineering. Skilled mechatronic technicians are in constant demand.
This partnership will focus on expanding the training and certification of these much-needed technicians across the state. The grant will fund the second level of faculty training in Siemens’ globally-recognized certification program. The Siemens training provides comprehensive skills certification with a focus on system understanding, troubleshooting and problem-solving skills. It is renowned for producing well-grounded, trained individuals who can easily adapt to changing work situations quickly and appropriately.
Piedmont Technical College (PTC) offers both associate and certificate programs in mechatronics technology. Last year, the college expanded its mechatronics program, making a mechatronics technology certificate available on the Abbeville County Campus. With the addition of Abbeville, PTC now teaches mechatronics on four of its seven campuses, including full mechatronics degree programs at Greenwood, Newberry and Laurens (PTC Center for Advanced Manufacturing).
“As we revere a college culture of continuous improvement, we at Piedmont Tech are excited at the opportunity this grant provides to enhance training for our mechatronics instructors,” PTC President Dr. Ray Brooks said. “Our mechatronics technology curriculum instills the needed skill set for today’s automated manufacturing facilities. Our students receive practical, hands-on experience and computer simulation on automated assembly line processes.”
The Siemens’ certification is a standard used by many of South Carolina’s well-known manufacturing companies, including BMW, Michelin and Bosch.
“The SC Technical College System continuously collaborates with industry to best meet essential workforce needs. This partnership with the Heritage Classic Foundation and Siemens provides an excellent example of how our System strives to align our degrees and curriculum with community and industry needs,” said Dr. Tim Hardee, SC Technical College System president. “We look forward to working closely with our partners to train and prepare much-needed mechatronics technicians. Expansion of our offerings will help provide skilled workers who are so important to maintaining and supporting the technologically advanced equipment at manufacturing facilities across the state.”
The Heritage Classic Foundation is the general tournament sponsor of South Carolina’s only PGA TOUR event, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. The mission of the Heritage Classic Foundation is to improve lives throughout the state of South Carolina. One of the ways that mission is fulfilled is through educational grants and scholarships.
“Funding the South Carolina Technical College mechatronics training program is twofold for us,” said Heritage Classic Foundation Trustee Doug Smith. “It helps further educate Palmetto State students by providing the necessary skills they require for meaningful work. It also creates a skilled workforce that is vital to the success of many of our corporate partners across the state.”