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June 21, 2012
Piedmont Technical College has collaborated with ZF Group to design three certificates that will prepare students directly for entry-level employment at the new transmission facility in Laurens County.
Called QuickSkills, the program offers three different concentrations: Manufacturing Assembly Operator, Quality Assurance Technician, and CNC Operations. Each of these is tied to a specific job that ZF Group will be hiring for in the coming months.
The coursework will be offered at the newly operational PTC Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Laurens County.
Each certificate can be completed in four to six weeks. Students who meet minimum requirements for consideration by HTI for ZF Group will get a guaranteed job interview. Those selected for hire will come on board at a higher pay rate at ZF.
“Response has been very good so far,” said Rusty Denning, PTC associate vice president of Continuing Education and Economic Development. “The phones at the Center for Advanced Manufacturing have been busy since we launched the program last week, and we expect that we’ll have solid enrollment when classes begin this fall.”
After completing the coursework for one or more of these certificates, students will be prepared for entry-level employment as an Assembly Operator, a CNC Machinist, or a Quality Technician at ZF Group. These positions pay between $13 and $16.50 per hour, depending on previous experience.
“These certificates are a great way to get your foot in the door in a very short amount of time,” says Denning. “In the long run, we’ve set each of them up so that the coursework can be applied toward a higher level credential when students are ready.”
Students can apply the credits they’ve earned toward an associate degree in Mechatronics or Machine Tool Technology, or toward the Machine Tool diploma, which can lead to careers that pay more than $20 an hour.
“Some of our recent Mechatronics graduates have taken jobs earning $50 and $60 thousand a year, so people need to know that there’s very good earning potential in industrial careers,” said Keith Lasure, dean of Engineering and Industrial Technology.
Although the program was developed with ZF Group in mind, Denning says that the Continuing Education division will be working to expand it to other companies throughout the area.
“This is about making a connection between the skills employers need and people who are looking for a good job. It’s a win for everyone,” Denning said.
For more information about QuickSkills, visit www.ptc.edu/quick, or call Wanda Hill at (864) 682-3703.