John Cutchin is the original Scholar Technician


EASLEY — John Cutchin is the president of Palmetto Plating Co. Inc., a metal plating and finishing services company founded in 1964 in Easley.

Due to his background in hands-on technical training, as well as his commitment to the Pickens County community, Alliance Pickens considers Cutchin to be the county’s first Scholar Technician.

Cutchin became interested in electropolishing while taking chemistry during his junior year of high school. After winning second prize at a regional science fair held at Furman University, Cutchin bought a bronzing kit for $50 and began bronzing baby shoes and other items for the community. Shortly thereafter, Cutchin incorporated Palmetto Plating.

Palmetto Plating is an industry leader partly due to its diversified client base. The automotive industry has been a crucial part of Palmetto Plating’s success: each day, the company coats 5,000 to 6,000 brake calipers. In addition to their everyday customers, Palmetto Plating regularly accepts jobs other platers refuse to take on, such as large pipes or projects that require an ultra-pure product.

Palmetto Plating also works with numerous clients in the aerospace industry and has received international accreditation for its quality management systems under the Aerospace Registration Management Program. The company is currently in the process of obtaining accreditation from the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program, which is the leading worldwide program within the aerospace and automotive industries.

As a long-time Pickens County resident, Cutchin is committed to making a positive impact on the local community. For the last 25 years, Cutchin has awarded a college scholarship to the top science student at Easley High School and Gettys Middle School.

“If Pickens County’s students are looking for a role model, they need not look any farther than Mr. Cutchin,” said Ray Farley, executive director of Alliance Pickens. “He took the technology he learned in his high school chemistry class and combined that technology with his hard work in creating and sustaining the finest plating company in the southeast U.S. He is a gentleman’s gentleman and quietly lends his helping hand to our schools. For the jobs he creates and for his assistance in our schools, the Pickens County community is the fortunate beneficiary of Mr. Cutchin’s activities.”

Cutchin is a firm believer in hands-on technical training. Currently Palmetto Plating employs students from both Clemson University and Southern Wesleyan University. Another employee is set to receive his associate’s degree this month from Tri-County Technical College.

Cutchin also likes to bring in high school juniors to work alongside the chemists at the company’s in-house laboratory, giving them invaluable hands-on experience.

Cutchin gave an endorsement to the applied learning taking place at the Pickens County Career and Technology Center, remarking that the CTC “is doing some wonderful things,” before displaying an Alliance Pickens notepad containing a photo of Kelsey Limbaugh, a 2014 Scholar Technician and former Palmetto Plating intern.

Cutchin praised the efforts of local guidance counselors and teachers in encouraging students to consider pursuing careers that do not require a four-year degree.

“Technical schools are where the future is,” said Cutchin. “It used to be an embarrassment to go to technical school. Now, it’s an honor.”

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This release provided by Alliance Pickens.

This release provided by Alliance Pickens.

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