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Midlands Technical College graduates more than 2300 students

Students prepared to enter the workforce or transfer to four-year colleges

Midlands Technical College (MTC) graduated more than 2300 students at its annual Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 8, 2014, at the Carolina Coliseum. Of these students, more than 1200 received associate degrees; other graduates received certificates and diplomas from the college’s more than 100 programs of study.

Many of the students graduating from MTC this May will be entering the workforce, prepared for in-demand jobs in our region. Many others will be transferring to four-year colleges in South Carolina and beyond.

Dr. Marshall “Sonny” White, Jr., MTC president, said, “In central South Carolina, 20,000 job openings are projected over the next five years, but data show that South Carolina lacks enough people with the education and training needed to fill many of those lucrative positions.”

White added, “Over the next five years in central South Carolina, there is a projected need for in excess of 2,500 new middle-skilled employees in alternate energy, 4,600 in health care, 2,000 in advanced manufacturing, and nearly 2,900 information technology workers.”

The college’s May graduating class includes students who are prepared to fill many of these positions. For example, more than 20 Nuclear Systems Technology students are graduating, prepared to become nuclear operators at power plants around the country, including South Carolina’s seven operating reactors and two under construction. Several of the students have already accepted positions with South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G).

In recognition of Midlands Technical College’s critical role in nuclear energy, this year’s commencement address was delivered by South Carolina Electric & Gas Company Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Jeffrey B. Archie. Archie has more than 30 years’ experience in the nuclear industry and grew up just miles from V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County, where SCE&G has operated Unit 1 safely and reliably for 30 years and is constructing two new nuclear reactors.

Current research provided by the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) finds that jobs requiring middle skills, those requiring education and training beyond high school but less than a four-year degree, account for 45 percent of available jobs, but only 29 percent of available workers meet the middle-skilled hiring criteria.

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