Published July 25, 2012
Training is under way at a new Laurens County facility aimed at training the workforce of existing and future industries.
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 industrial equipment training, soft skills training, WorkKeys testing and preparation, resume writing and behavioral interviewing skills.
Construction began in January on the center. Local industry and ZF Transmissions expedited the building process of the 24,300-square-foot training center.
The facility was initially planned for readySC, a division of the S.C. Technical College System, to help the ZF Group meet its training needs in collaboration with Piedmont Tech’s faculty.
Now it will be used to meet any of the county’s industry and workforce needs.
The center is along the Interstate-385 corridor in Laurens in the former Honda of Laurens building.
Phase one construction is now complete. The renovation of 13,000 square feet includes three classrooms, a CNC lab and a CMM lab for precision measuring of parts.
Curriculum offerings will launch this fall, beginning with the QuickSkills program.
Phase two construction will began this fall. It will include a mechatronics lab, a welding lab, additional CNC equipment and another classroom shared between CNC and mechatronics. Flexible space will be available for future industries coming to the county.
Upon phase two completion, Piedmont Tech will offer full mechatronics, machine tool and welding programs with hands-on lab time for students in Laurens County, enabling local residents to stop the commute to the Greenwood campus for this training.
Piedmont Technical College, the PTC Foundation, county and city governments, Laurens County Economic Development Corp. and local industry collaborated for this center.
“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 will have a dedication ceremony Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. It is open to the public.