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Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College

After months of planning, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College and Orangeburg Consolidated School District 3 will offer a manufacturing certification course for citizens of eastern Orangeburg County.

At Tuesday’s meeting, OCtech President Dr. Walt Tobin told area commissioners that two information meetings for the Lean Manufacturing Certificate program will be held at the Holly Hill Town Hall municipal/county complex from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 30 and Thursday, Feb. 1.

The program is meant to prepare workers for entry-level employment in the manufacturing sector. Featuring industry-recognized national certifications and hands-on activities, the program is designed to help people with little or no manufacturing experience to become more competitive in the job market.

“It is a program that is a portable credential,” Tobin said. “Those students who successfully compete their program will be able to use that education in lieu of one year of manufacturing experience.”

The program came about after discussions with the Concerned Citizens of Orangeburg County related to Volvo’s plans to open a Berkeley County plant later this year.

Only 20 students will be selected to participate in the program, and potential participants must attend one of the two Holly Hill information meetings to be considered. The Holly Hill complex is located at 8423 Old State Road.

People who meet the following requirements for the program will be eligible for scholarships that cover the cost of the training:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Have a National Career Readiness Certificate.
  • Be able to pass a criminal background check.
  • Be able to pass a drug screen.

The training will begin Feb. 12 at Lake Marion High School, Tobin said.

Tobin also recognized OCtech’s 2018 Educators of the Year:

  • Amanda Dempsey, a financial aid counselor at OCtech, is the outstanding staff honoree.
  • Marie Howell, human resources director, is the outstanding administrator.
  • Xennie Weeks, an early childhood education instructor, is the outstanding faculty member.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting:

  • Vice President of Academic Affairs Donna Elmore reported that the Associate Degree Nursing Flex and Practical Nursing Flex programs had a 100 percent pass rate. She said the college is making plans to offer the programs twice a year instead of once.

The two programs consist of condensed courses that allow nursing students to earn their credentials faster.

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Elmore said the college’s prep programs are changing. There will be two separate health sciences programs: one for students seeking to transfer to a four-year college to pursue a baccalaureate degree and one for students seeking employment immediately after graduating from OCtech.

The computer sciences program has now moved from Building N to Building E, Elmore said. Two new biology program courses intended for non-biology majors will be offered in anatomy and physiology, she said.

She also reported that the American Bar Association is considering letting OCtech offer paralegal courses as an online program.

  • Vice President of Financial Affairs Kim Huff reported the continuing education program is still profitable, but the college is looking at a shortfall at the end of the year.

“Spring tuition will be short of what we budgeted,” he said.

The college is looking for areas where cuts can be made to balance the budget at the year’s end, Huff said.

He also reported that the campus-wide roofing project has been completed.

  • The commission approved several policy changes or reviews relating to the following: security services; faculty workload, overload and administrative supplement; employment practices; college employee work schedule; secondary non-state/state employment; faculty performance system; and employee performance system.

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Contact the writer: chuff@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5543.

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