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Denmark Tech graduates first ManuFirstSC students

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ManuFirstSC

ManuFirstSC, which is a fast track to a career in the manufacturing field, was taught over five weeks at the Barnwell site of Denmark Tech.

DENMARK – Denmark Technical College graduated 10 ManuFirstSC students from their first cohort in partnership with the Southern Carolina Alliance and the S.C. Department of Commerce.

ManuFirstSC, which is a fast track to a career in the manufacturing field, was taught over five weeks at the Barnwell site of Denmark Tech.

The course, which can take the place of one year of manufacturing experience for many high-wage jobs, gave students the opportunity to earn a ManuFirstSC Certificate, Six Sigma Yellow Belt, an OSHA-10 card, the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Production Technician Safety Certification and Microburst Employers Choice Certification.

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“Microburst Employability Skills training provides students the opportunity to enhance and demonstrate the interpersonal skills that will allow them success on the job. A recent Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center study found 85% of job success comes from having well developed interpersonal skills,” said Joni McDaniel, regional workforce adviser for the S.C. Department of Commerce.

The technical skills students are trained on, paired with interpersonal skills taught, uniquely prepares students to graduate ready to enter the workforce.

South Carolina, which is responsible for over $37 billion in manufacturing output annually, is currently facing a deficit in skilled workers.

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“A skilled workforce is key to today’s manufacturing. Our industries depend on our local workforce with these basic technical skills in order to remain globally competitive. We are excited for the new graduates of our first ManuFirstSC training program as they now enter the workforce, and we are confident that this training is the most efficient way to get our emerging workforce into good jobs in advanced manufacturing,” said Danny Black, Southern Carolina Alliance president and CEO.

One of the benefits of the program is that scholarships were provided to students who enroll in the course.

“We are grateful to the Southern Carolina Alliance, whose partnership has allowed us to offer full scholarships to all students who participate in the program. Not having to come out of pocket or take on debt allows students to jump into their manufacturing career without having the stress of paying for the program,” said Dr. Willie L. Todd Jr., president and CEO of Denmark Tech.

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“It’s an important partnership that we have formed with Denmark Technical College, the SC Department of Commerce and private industry to make sure that our training is tailored to produce a successful end result for the participants. Every good job provides an opportunity for a family in our region,” Black said.

During the graduation ceremony, students were recognized for their accomplishments and received certificates. Immediately after, they had the opportunity to interview for manufacturing positions with American Zinc Recycling.

With the first cohort complete, the stage is set for Denmark Tech to offer the ManuFirstSC course on a regular basis.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to the residents of our service area. The ManuFirstSC is just one of the many ways we are putting the tech back in Denmark Tech. Programs like this quickly prepare students to take on in-demand, high wage jobs that make an immediate impact on their lives and fill a void in the local workforce. We look forward many more successful cohorts in the near future,” Todd said.

The next ManufirstSC class at Denmark Tech will begin later this summer. Interested students can visit denmarktech.edu/manufirstsc to apply.

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