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By Trevor Anderson, UBJ
Spartanburg Community College and Greenville-based Michelin North America have partnered to offer a new scholars program aimed at bolstering workforce development in the Upstate.
According to both groups, the SCC Michelin Manufacturing Scholars Program will offer “learn and earn” opportunities for Upstate residents interested in hands-on training, technical certification from SCC, and a potential career with Michelin.
The SCC program is similar to the pilot program Michelin and Tri-County Technical College launched in March 2017 in Anderson. Applications for the Spartanburg program are now being accepted for classes that will begin on May 14.
“All across the nation, and here in Spartanburg County, manufacturing companies are experiencing the effects of the aging workforce in the manufacturing industry and the many individuals who will take invaluable knowledge and experience with them when they retire,” said Jay Coffer, department chair of advanced manufacturing at SCC, in a statement. “Companies contact me almost daily looking for trained and qualified employees.”
“They want individuals who can solve problems, who can be that lead individual, and fill the huge void of those retiring,” Coffer added.
SCC and Michelin said the program is designed to get qualified applicants in class at SCC while simultaneously working at Michelin’s Spartanburg plant and gaining real-world, hands-on experience.
The program includes semester-long training in the culture, processes, and values of manufacturing. The curriculum is intentionally designed to meet industry needs.
Paid work-based learning at Michelin offered under the program will be 28 hours per week. Michelin is offering a scholarship that covers tuition, fees, and books.
Upon completion of nine credit hours participants will earn a Manufacturing Operators Certificate from SCC and a potential offer of full-time employment at Michelin.
“This is an incredible opportunity to partner with our community to strengthen the development of our workforce,” said Anna Padaetz, facility personnel manager for Michelin’s heavy-truck and commercial tire plant in Spartanburg. “Michelin is offering to pay candidates for hands-on training, pay for their industrial education, and then launch them on an industrial career.”
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age with valid identification, a high school diploma or GED, a bronze or better level in WorkKeys, mechanical aptitude, reliable transportation, a flexible schedule, and must pass a background check, physical, and drug screening.
Candidates must complete all required paperwork by March 8.