In difficult economic times, we know that the likelihood of finding employment with a high school diploma, GED or less is small - and decreasing. Of particular importance to our students, Midlands Technical College works closely with area employers, especially in the key economic clusters of new energy, insurance technology and health sciences, to develop the precise programs that prepare them to move directly into jobs in the Midlands that need qualified applicants. Students at MTC can put themselves ahead in their job search by concentrating on programs that we know lead to these available, well-paying technology and healthcare positions found right here at home.
Each year, MTC continues to help more than 18,000 credit students and 30,000 Continuing Education students learn to be competitive in the workforce. For example, the college's recently established cutting edge Nuclear Systems Technology program is one of the ways MTC works directly with industry to address the critical need for nuclear operators. Midlands Technical College continues to respond to growing and emerging business sectors such as clean energy and advanced manufacturing by offering two new engineering technology programs: the Mechanical Engineering Technology Associate Degree and an Alternate Energy Technology Principles Certificate.
The South Carolina Employment Security Commission (SCESC) projects an anticipated growth rate of 31 percent over the next ten years for both nuclear and mechanical systems technician positions. Coupled with projected retirements in the current workforce, the need for skilled employees in these areas is clearly critical.
The MTC Mechanical Engineering Technology two-year Associate Degree program was created at the request of South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), Michelin and other businesses in the Columbia area to address the immediate and projected need for skilled technicians in the nuclear power industry and advanced manufacturing. Graduates of this program will be qualified for work as manufacturing technicians, power generation and delivery technicians, operations personnel, and machine tool and industrial automation specialists.
MTC's new Alternate Energy Technology Principles Certificate program was also created to meet local workforce demand. The two-semester, 24-credit-hour program covers fundamentals of analytical instrumentation, manufacturing processes, basic electrical systems, material properties, fuel cell technology, solar energy, mobile and stationary power systems, and engineering project management. The certificate is designed as a follow-up to MTC's Chemical Technology Certificate or to be used toward an advanced degree. Successful graduates of the program will be qualified to enter the workforce as a medium-level operator, laboratory technician, water quality technician, or manufacturing technician. The course sequence is designed also to prepare students for more advanced on-the-job training in chemical technology, fuel cell technology, or power generation and delivery.
MTC aggressively pursues grant funds to enhance its ability to remain on the cutting edge of educational technology. Midlands Technical College recently applied for and received $408,000 from the US Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to expand broadband access to its students, upgrade academic technology, and increase broadband use among the extended MTC community.
Midlands Technical College also received a total of $348,665 this summer in competitive federal grant funds from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for curriculum development and scholarships for MTC's Nuclear Systems Technology program.
An additional way Midlands Technical College is playing an important role in workforce readiness is through QuickJobs training. QuickJobs is a Continuing Education program at MTC that prepares participants for high-demand careers in as short a time possible, often in as few as four weeks. The program focuses on the Midlands' most critical-need employment areas, such as healthcare, computer technology, manufacturing, and skilled crafts.
MTC will offer QuickJobs training in a new facility in Fairfield County. The Fairfield QuickJobs Center, which is scheduled to open later this year, will initially offer QuickJobs programs in welding, healthcare and computer technology. A detailed list of QuickJobs courses and descriptions is available at www.mtctraining.com/QuickJobs.htm.
MTC is also a great value, offering expanded access to its credit and transfer programs for the lowest college tuition in the area; often at a cost completely covered by federal and state grants for the lowest income students. MTC has well-established Bridge Programs with many four-year colleges and universities including USC, Columbia College, Benedict College, Claflin University and Newberry College that ease student transfer to four-year institutions.
Preparing our students with education and workforce skills for life is what MTC is all about. We welcome the participation of area businesses and individuals as we work together to ensure the economic vitality of the region, and to enhance our community's quality of life.
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