Governor Nikki Haley was on-hand as school officials broke ground Monday for a massive new $25 million jobs training center in Greenville.
The new Center for Manufacturing Innovation will be built at Clemson University’s ICAR campus in Greenville. It will be used by students from both Clemson and Greenville Technical College. The primary goal for CMI is to increase the number of skilled workers for manufacturing, particularly to close the skills gap between what Upstate employers need and what unemployed workers can offer.
“It is going and showing the companies that we already have that we appreciate them,” Haley said during Monday’s ceremony. “It is partnering with our institutions of higher ed to let them know that we get the fact that what they do, they do it well if we let them do their job.”
The center is expected to be completed in the fall of 2016.
The center will also include a Manufacturing Honors College, which Clemson says is the first of its kind. The Honors College will engage K-12 students and show them the possibilities that exist in advanced manufacturing careers through dual enrollment programs, tours, camps and open houses. Students will also benefit from internships and apprenticeships that allow them to gain practical experience working alongside experienced engineers, faculty and staff.
“We feel fortunate to be working with Greenville Tech as we create a new integrated model of education for the manufacturing sector,” Clemson president James Clements told those gathered at the future site of the new building.
The $25 million construction costs are being financed through a bond issued by Greenville County Council on behalf of Greenville Tech.
Ed Jenson of Greenville affiliate WORD News contributed to this report