Nice work Clemson and Florence Darlington Tech! Both were cited as good examples of tech training for the workforce.

The National Science Board’s report, The Skilled Technical Workforce: Crafting America’s Science & Engineering Enterprise, said South Carolina has smart practices at each institution. In particular the report cites the way that training fits individual and employer needs. “A one-size-fits-all approach to creating fruitful, sustainable partnerships does not exist. Partnerships must meet the needs of local employers and respond to the community, leveraging locally available educational resources at the high school and post-secondary level.” (page 36)

In 2015, South Carolina created the Coordinating Council for Workforce Development. Stakeholders from industry, government and academia were charged with coordinating workforce development efforts throughout the state.

Florence Darlington Tech main campus

The report says Florence Darlington Technical College is a two-year technical college in a region that is home to a variety of industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, aerospace, and automotive. The South Carolina Advanced Technological Education (SCATE) Center of Excellence, located at FDTC, is NSF’s longest running ATE initiative. The SCATE Center supports industrial and engineering technology programs and related STEM programs nationwide, including recommendations for faculty development best practices, strategies for recruiting and retaining students, and methods for effective instruction. (Report page 42)

At Clemson, The Center for Aviation and Automotive Technological Education Using Virtual E-Schools, or CA2VES, provides resources community colleges and the broader community by designing and developing virtual reality-based modules that support automotive and aviation technician education. (See Clemson’s news release)

Make no mistake, though, the energy industry benefits from good technical education, not just the target industries noted in the CA2VES title.

This kind of training is critical to a vibrant economy. Across the country other states are not sitting still. They are setting up their own workforce development efforts. The competition among states and companies for ready-to-work employees is intense. Bridging universities, community colleges and technical colleges builds teamwork, smart analysis of the workforce, and helps everyone.

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Feature image courtesy of SCATE Center of Excellence. provided under the Creative Commons License.