Trident Technical College has received a significant funding source to build a $79 million aeronautics training center on 25 acres of land at its North Charleston campus.
The Charleston County Council approved Thursday raising property taxes on county residents to help build the new center.
“People repeatedly ask if we can provide the workforce to support the companies that say they’re interested in locating to South Carolina,” Trident Tech president Dr Mary Thornley said. “And I can tell you, yes we can, but we need a facility that shows we mean it.”
Thornley said the new center would not only provide a trained work force for Boeing, but for other industries as well. She said South Carolina has no shortage of workers, but does have a shortage of skilled workers.
“The middle-skilled jobs — and those are the jobs that require a certificate or an associate’s degree– those jobs represent 45 percent of what’s available in our state. But we only have 29 percent of our people prepared for that,” she said.
According to the Charleston Post & Courier, the property tax increase passed by Charleston County Council will require the owner-occupant of a home worth $150,000 to pay another $3. Commercial and rental properties will owe 50 percent more, according to the report. The tax revenue would pay off nearly $19 million in bonds.
The proposal calls for $51 million in funding from the state.
The proposal passed by an 8-1 vote. Council Dickie Schweers cast the lone vote, saying he would like to see Berkeley and Dorchester counties chip in to help the tri-county technical college.
Sheree Bernardi of Charleston affiliate WTMA contributed to this report