Once celebrated as the Textile Capital of the World, Greenville and the Upstate is now recognized throughout the U.S. for its ongoing transformation to a more diversified manufacturing-based economy that continues to attract some of the most innovative brands on the globe.
However, without a workforce ready to operate today’s advanced manufacturing equipment, our growth potential is limited. This reality spawned the new Gene Haas Center for Manufacturing Innovation at Greenville Technical College, which opened its doors in late September at the Millennium Campus adjacent to CU-ICAR.
By helping to continue to accelerate the Upstate as a dynamic force in advanced manufacturing, the Center should have a positive impact on all Upstate businesses.
“The CMI is designed to train today’s students on the latest advanced manufacturing equipment so they are ready to fill the technical jobs needed for companies to innovate and expand,” said Greenville Technical College President Keith Miller. “The program will also marry the education of the engineer with the education of technicians to mirror real-world work conditions.”
Partnering with the CMI is Clemson University, whose mission is in part to close the loop between the education of the technician and the education of the engineer. According to Greenville Technical College, “the partnership is the first of its kind between a technical college and a research university in the United States. A manufacturing honors college, which will allow Greenville Tech and Clemson students to work together to solve real-world manufacturing challenges, is also a first.”
Within the CMI is a business incubator for small startup manufacturers seeking the expertise of Greenville Tech instructors, as well as the center’s sophisticated equipment.
One of the major benefits of the CMI is the ability to reverse a perception among Greenville County K-12 students that manufacturing is a dirty, uninspiring career.
According to the Center for Manufacturing Innovation website, “by bringing together interested students, respected faculty and motivated employers, CMI offers the opportunity to change people’s lives in the short- and long-term. Our programs are flexible and customizable, ensuring that students can find their place within advanced manufacturing and not only start working, but continue to grow as life-long students of the industry.”