Summer institute for area school counselors
Central Carolina presents its first-ever summer institute for area school counselors
SUMTER – Central Carolina Technical College held its first-ever School Counselor Summer Institute from July 6 to 17, welcoming nearly 25 area school guidance counselors onto its campus to learn about the 50+ programs and student support services the college offers to residents in Clarendon, Lee, Kershaw and Sumter counties. Participants received a stipend and continuing education credits.
The School Counselor Summer Institute was made possible thanks to a $25,000 donation from Duke Energy Foundation, as well as support from the Sumter Economic Development Board and the Sumter Industrial Association.
“Our hope is that the counselors come away with an understanding of what the technical college system can offer,” said Theo L. Lane, district manager of government and community relations for Duke Energy (SC). “We wanted to help create the real expectation that many students, not necessarily typically viewed as heading to college, can have high paying careers here in South Carolina through their opportunities present in our technical college system. Manufacturing, as an example, is alive and well in South Carolina but it’s not your grandfather’s manufacturing. Today we need those trained in mechatronics and robotics.”
The counselors spent two weeks receiving in-depth descriptions and tours of each academic program and service offered by Central Carolina. They also took a tour of CCTC’s new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Training Center on Broad Street in Sumter, which provides training for future Continental Tire the Americas employees, houses the readySC offices, and will open for CCTC mechatronics classes this fall. Additional tours included business partners, such as Caterpillar, Inc. and Eaton Corporation, that participate in CCTC’s Work Experience program, a four-county economic development program that partners CCTC Industrial & Engineering Technology students with businesses and industries in Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter counties who then provide 200 paid work hours.
“In order to develop the workforce required by these companies, middle and high school counselors need to have an understanding not only of what opportunities for training are available here at CCTC, but what local manufacturing jobs require for positions in their facilities,” said Jay Schwedler, president and CEO of Sumter Economic Development and TheLINK, a public-private economic development organization representing Lee and Sumter counties. “By working collaboratively with these counselors, Central Carolina Technical College and local industry, we can ensure that qualified employees will be available to fill the positions we bring to our area, and that students coming out of high school have an opportunity to earn a good salary and be productive members of our community.”