PICKENS COUNTY — Alliance Pickens developed the Scholar Technician initiative to encourage students to consider STEM manufacturing technical careers and to create a highly-skilled, technically trained workforce that would both support existing companies and attract top-notch manufacturing firms to Pickens County.
This initiative has been successful, and Pickens County industry and students are benefiting from the applied technical training students are receiving at a young age.
The School District of Pickens County has developed one of the best Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics initiatives in South Carolina, and a large part of that success starts at the Pickens County Career and Technology Center.
The CTC provides students with hands-on career training in a variety of areas, including Machine Tool Technology and Mechatronics Integrated Technologies. This advanced technical training has helped many Pickens County students obtain full-time employment with industrial firms in Pickens County immediately after graduating high school.
For example, students who successfully completed Brian Aiken’s courses in Machine Tool Technology have been successful in obtaining full-time work in the Pickens County industrial community after graduating.
Last year’s graduating class placed seven of the 10 students who completed Aiken’s courses at manufacturing facilities in Pickens County such as Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co. Inc., Integrated Automation Inc., United Tool and Mold Inc., Southeastern Industrial Services, and Imperial Die Casting Co.
“It is a real blessing to see students begin to be productive, responsible young adults in our community. The technical skills that are instilled in them here at the CTC are what open doors for these entry-level positions. Many progress quickly on the job and soon become valuable team members,” said Aiken.
Hank Hutto’s Mechatronics Integrated Technology students have also been successful in finding employment in Pickens County after completing high school. His former students now work at companies such as Yokohama Industries Americas, JR Automation Technologies LLC, Cornell Dubilier, and Sealevel Systems Inc.
The high-quality, hands-on education these students received at the CTC allowed them to obtain quality, well-paying jobs in Pickens County at a young age, thereby setting them up for long and successful careers. By integrating hands-on training and first-class education at a young age, Pickens County is developing a workforce with the technical skills modern industrial firms require, which is why more and more business leaders are deciding to move their manufacturing facilities to Pickens County.