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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,

Tri-County’s Certified Production Technician Program Is Answer to Industry’s Training Needs


(By Lisa Garrett)

PENDLETON --- A production technician with a good understanding of advanced manufacturing processes is critical in today’s manufacturing workplace. That’s why Human Resource Manager Mary Ann Craft was one of the first to talk to associates at U.S. Engine Valve about a new production technician certification program taught by Tri-County Technical College.

“A highly skilled team keeps us in business by producing a quality product,” said Craft.  “This certification will take us to a different level with our maintenance set-up and manufacturing processes. This really is an answer to our training needs.” 
The new manufacturing Certified Production Technician (CPT) program, offered by Tri-County’s World Class Training Center, enables workers to build the core knowledge and skills needed in today’s advanced manufacturing workplace.  The certificate program is based on the Manufacturing Skills Standard Council (MSSC) standards and is delivered in a combination of instructor-led and computer-based instruction.

With new, more sophisticated equipment due to arrive at the Westminster plant next year, Craft was eager to offer production technicians a chance to refine their technical and mechanical skills through the CPT classes.  Initially 14 technicians from first and third shifts signed up for the classes, taught once a week at the Hamilton Career Center. Of the 212 employees at U.S. Engine Valve, 120 are production technicians. “This training will enable them to learn the entire process from start to finish instead of just one piece.”
Over the course of a year, there are 69 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.
Earning the industry’s top national credential, MSSC certification, gives incumbent employees a competitive edge and will help to meet industry needs by preparing new workers for entry-level production and fabrication jobs.
“The class enhances the skills levels of our associates and can provide us with a future pipeline of skilled workers,” said Craft.
Completion of the course will designate them as high achievers and can enhance their opportunities for compensation.  “We want them to retire as U.S. Engine Valve employees, but the beauty of the certification is that it gives individuals a portable credential to carry with them anywhere,” she said.
Craft says she began to see the results of the training almost immediately.  “This is the first step for many in continuing their education.  With it comes a sense of pride and accomplishment. Many are back in school after an absence of many years.  They are getting back in the swing of education and see this certification as a stepping stone. We’re very excited about the interest in the program,” she added. 
Since the first class, 10 more have signed up.   “They want to be even better employees, and they appreciate U. S. Engine Valve.  Those enrolled in the class are seeing the applicability and the importance of these skills to U.S. Engine Valve and to all manufacturing,” said Craft. 
For around 20 years the plant has looked to Tri-County for its training needs.  “Through training like CPT, Apprenticeship Carolina and Achieve Global, we are building a workforce that is team oriented and team led.  We are building on the foundation of our company philosophy --  “Excellence through People,” she said.
For more information, contact Richard Parker at 646-1718 or