Thunderbolt students take aerospace course | News | The Press and Standard

by | July 23, 2016 5:00 am

Last Updated: July 20, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Thunderbolt Career and Technology Center students learned skills needed to work in the aerospace industry in a special course held earlier this month.
Four TCTC students and four other students recruited through the S.C. Skills Center attended the three-week course called “structures.” The course was taught at the S.C. Skills Center.
“The students learned to do precision drilling by hand to very specific dimensions, up to 1000th of an inch, in different metals,” said TCTC director William Hayden. All eight students received certificates.
The local program was a pilot program through Ready SC, but sponsored by the state board for technical college systems, said Jim Maxon, who headed the test program at different technical colleges throughout the state for the past nine months. “The biggest message I’d take away from the pilot in Walterboro was the very positive example of collaboration between the Technical College of the Lowcountry, TCTC, the school district and state funding. My takeaway was not so much the content of the course, but the model and context used as something that can enhance the Colleton County area: that’s collaboration,” Maxon said. The classes “prepare students to look at career paths and apply for jobs in any form of manufacturing.”
Initial plans were to incorporate the structures class this fall into one of TCTC’s pre-engineering program, which includes aerospace instruction, Hayden said. However, they hit a roadblock when TCTC instructor Scott Wheeler wasn’t able to get into the instructor training course, which was cancelled. So TCTC won’t be offering the course this fall. However, Hayden said as soon as Wheeler can complete the training, TCTC will work to try to implement the program again.
“The skills they learned are something that will be in demand with companies such as Boeing and Volvo,” Hayden said. “We try to prepare students for the industries coming in, get our students the skills to be job-ready for the new jobs coming to the area.”

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