Press Releases
Tri County Technical College

Anderson ""Oconee ""Pickens

This release prepared by the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.
Rebecca Eidson, Director, 646-1507,
Lisa Garrett, Public Relations Associate, 646-1506,

$250,000 AdvanceSC Grant to Tri-County Funds MSSC Training to Assist In Providing Companies with Qualified, More Productive Workforce


(By Lisa Garrett)

PENDLETON --- A $250,000 grant from AdvanceSC will allow Tri-County Technical College to conduct industry-based Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) training to assist in providing area companies with a qualified, more productive workforce.
Earning the industry’s top national credential, MSSC certification, can give future and incumbent employees a competitive edge and will help to meet industry needs by preparing new workers for entry-level production and fabrication jobs.

Through the MSSC Certified Production Technician program, Tri-County’s three certified MSSC instructors will deliver the 96 online modules and instructor-blended programs that cover the four areas of concentration in the Certified Production Technician training curriculum:  safety; quality practices and measurement; manufacturing processes; and production and maintenance awareness. 
The MSSC Training, Assessment and Certification system is based on federally endorsed national standards and focuses on the core competencies needed by the nation's workers in all production occupations in all sectors of manufacturing.

“There is a definite need for more advanced training methods that will teach basic manufacturing skills,” said Rick Cothran, dean of Tri-County’s Corporate and Community Education Division.  “This training addresses manufacturing’s inability to recruit entry-level employees with the skills required to reduce the amount of non–productive time of new employees.  Tri-County will administer the MSSC Certified Production Technician program to help build a new workforce through skills upgrades and can reduce on-the-job training for new employees so they can be productive their first day on the job.” 

Cothran added, “This program can help get people into manufacturing jobs by making them more employable and valuable employees.  It can help the present workforce or give industry a good pool of applicants for the hiring process.  It’s a perfect fit for entry-level operators, for example.  They are more employable if they have this foundation.” 

He said, “Our goal is to help industry have a qualified more productive workforce their first day on the job.  It also gives an individual a portable credential to carry with them when seeking employment.”

The training will be three fold, explained Cothran.  One part is an apprenticeship program offered for local manufacturing’s present workforce.  This is based on Apprenticeship Carolina, the S.C. Technical College System’s newest tool to assist business partners in achieving their workforce development goals. Apprenticeship Carolina’s primary mission is to ensure that all employers in South Carolina have access to the information and technical assistance they need to create their own demand-driven registered apprenticeship programs. 

“Tri-County has worked diligently to aid companies in growing their own workforces through apprenticeships from Maintenance, Production, Machine Tool, Banking, Call Centers and Emergency Medical Technicians.  Apprenticeship programs couple classroom training with on-the-job training to deliver highly skilled, productive employees,” said Cothran.

The College also will conduct training for the unemployed and underemployed to prepare them for entry into the workforce.  Persons will be recommended by the One Stop Centers and will take the Work Keys assessment test.  Tri-County will advertise the Certified Production Technician training program to find individuals interested in entering manufacturing careers.

In addition, the College will be working with a local career center to offer students the opportunity to receive training in the Certified Production Technician program.  This will be offered to career center students who are interested in seeking a highly skilled manufacturing career path, beginning with entry-level manufacturing jobs.

AdvanceSC is a limited liability company established by Duke Energy in 2004 to support communities in Duke Energy’s South Carolina service area through grants for public assistance and economic development programs. In general, AdvanceSC concentrates on advancing education to support industry, assisting other economic development organizations to attract and retain industries in Duke Energy's service territory and enhancing the competitive position of manufacturers in Duke Energy’s service territory.  Grant applications and information about AdvanceSC are available on the Internet at
For more information about MSSC or company apprenticeships, contact Rick Cothran at 864-646-1701 or