SC's Competitive EDGE: Plastics and Synthetics

Filling Workforce Needs: Spartanburg Community College Develops New Programs for Process Control and Composites Technicians

Spartanburg Community College (SCC) is pleased to announce the start of a new certificate in process control technology provided through its Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies (CAMIT). This program serves as a complement to the high-demand mechatronics program. It offers students a different set of skills opening them up to new opportunities in automated manufacturing not previously addressed by other programs.

Process control technicians have a different skillset related to the control of pressure, flow, temperature, level, pH, humidity, conductivity and chemical reactions. Demand for people with these skills in South Carolina is greater than ever. This need has become even more evident as manufacturers like Toray Carbon Fibers America Inc. move into the area.

SCC is working to meet the need in this critical area with the development of this new certificate program inspired by local experts in chemical processing as well as the many training groups along the gulf coast that serve the petroleum industry. In fact, these groups have written most of the books on the topic. The program will tap new instructors along with the latest technologies based on current best practices in the industry. It is set to launch in Fall 2017 with a goal of growing into a complete associate degree offering.

Additionally, the inclusion of process technology into SCC’s programs of study has generated a great opportunity to begin the first coursework at the college centered on composite materials manufacturing. SCC is presently working on facility renovations that will provide for instruction in both process technology and composite manufacturing with emphasis on carbonization and vacuum infusion processes. They are also coordinating with the American Composite Manufacturers Association (ACMA) to offer student certifications in vacuum infusion and basic composite competencies as part of their Certified Composites Technicians (CCT) program.

ACMA has already provided SCC with training materials and other resources to ensure instructors are up-to-date with the full breadth of local composite manufacturing practices. “ACMA’s CCT program addresses our industry’s clear need for uniform training and technical skills,” said Tom Dobbins, president of ACMA. “By partnering with Spartanburg Community College, we hope our CCT program will give students the tools they need to succeed in vacuum infusion jobs all throughout South Carolina and beyond.”

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