A Tradition of Highly Skilled Labor
The Aiken, Edgefield, and Saluda region has a long tradition of highly technical and technologically advanced work — from the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site to some of America’s most quality-conscious manufacturers.
Supporting that tradition demands a highly skilled workforce that’s ready to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing economy, which is why the region has long placed an emphasis on developing the workers that the business and industrial community needs. It starts at the K-12 level with career-focused programs such as those at the Career and Technical Center.
At the higher education level, highly specialized coursework has been incorporated into science and technology, advanced manufacturing, and nuclear science subjects. Aiken Technical College (ATC) has approximately 3,600 students preparing for careers in business and industry. In 2015, ATC opened its Center for Energy and Advanced Manufacturing (CEAM), a state-of-the-art facility that will house the College’s welding, mechatronics, radiation protection technology and nuclear quality systems programs.
The University of South Carolina Aiken, attended by approximately 3,400 students, has been recognized as the top public baccalaureate college in the South by U.S. News & World Report’s guide, “America’s Best Colleges.”
USC Aiken has ranked first 10 times, and for 17 consecutive years has been ranked in the top three public regional colleges in the South.
In addition to the standard coursework available through higher education providers, such as the University of South Carolina Aiken, we work with companies to create customized education and training programs that can be delivered in the classroom, or presented at the employer’s site — and we can identify funding sources to help defray the costs of offering these programs.
MTU America’s Apprenticeship Program
Through a unique partnership between MTU America, Aiken County School District, and Aiken Technical College, the first-ever registered vocational apprenticeship program for high school students in South Carolina was created. The two-year program began in 2012 and provides high school juniors and seniors with hands-on vocational learning opportunities in a real manufacturing environment. Upon completing the programs, students earn an Industrial Mechanic – Basic certification, which is recognized by both the SC Department of Education and US Department of Education.
The apprenticeship program has been recognized by the South Carolina Department of Education, the White House and the Association for Career and Technical Education.
Available Sites & Buildings
If you’re thinking about bringing your business to South Carolina’s Aiken, Edgefield, and Saluda region, we’re ready to accommodate you with a broad variety of existing facilities and ready-to-build sites.
The region’s workforce is consistently growing in both number and skill. In 2014, Saluda and Edgefield Counties became Certified Work Ready Communities. This certification makes communities more attractive to existing and new businesses because it demonstrates that a community is home to a skilled workforce.