TCTC Grads Have Strong Resumes

Opportunities are abundant for two-year college graduates who leave Tri-County Technical College with a strong resume of education and direct exposure to today’s workplace, said President Ronnie L. Booth. “Employers are always asking, ‘what can a person do for us?  How can they meet our needs now?’  Our curriculum gives students an introduction to their education, as well as allowing them to spend time in the field to understand what they are studying,” he said. Recent Tri-County graduates will work in various careers ranging from health care to manufacturing to business.  They work as nurses, welders, technicians, police officers and CNC operators, for example.  Some have participated in industry-based scholars programs, others have engaged in internships with local businesses, while others will transfer to four-year universities through 2 + 2 articulation agreements. Tri-County offers various avenues for students to achieve their goals and be successful, said Dr. Booth.  “We define student success as taking students from where they are to where they need to be; getting them on the right path at the right time, and equipping them with the tools they need for continued success in life. Our students are here for various reasons—to gain transfer credits, to learn a skill for their job, to retrain for a new career, and/or to earn a degree or certificate,” he said. “Our students leave here with a specific skill set that connects them immediately to the workforce,” he said.  “Work-based learning experiences, or co-ops, are probably the best ticket for a person to obtain employment,” he said.  “They are introduced to the employer, and they understand what takes place in the world of work.   The scholars programs we have with BMW, Michelin, Bosch, Schneider Electric and others are a means of talent recruitment and create a good pipeline of qualified individuals to fill the skills gap in manufacturing.  This technical skills set can be taken anywhere,” he said.  “Everyone in manufacturing says there is a skills gap.  They need graduates with sophisticated and technical abilities.  They need people who can continuously learn and improve.  They need people who can think and analyze problems.  It takes committed lifelong learners and our instructors as well as our adjuncts, who come from business and industry to help us to teach what is new and relevant in today’s work environment.” Students who participate in industry-sponsored scholars programs are trained on site at plants.  It is a career path that offers a free education, benefits, job security, and a future with a company. “So many technical program students spend time in clinicals and labs and co-ops.  These students are introduced to the job market, make contacts and understand the opportunities they may not have considered,” said Dr. Booth.  Students are choosing to transfer to four year colleges, by means of articulation agreements, or 2 + 2 programs, with Clemson, Southern Wesleyan, Presbyterian College, and the University of South Carolina, to name a few.  Graduates include longtime employees who were laid off from their jobs and repositioned themselves for new careers by enrolling at Tri-County.  An internship gives students a leg up in terms of employability and often turn into full time jobs after graduation, said Dr. Booth.