Clinton City Council this week received an update on the new Laurens County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and its goal of preparing local residents for the new technically challenging jobs being created in our area.
Rusty Denning, Piedmont Tech’s Vice President for Economic Development, told Council Monday evening that the need for such a center was seen some time ago. Expansion at the Laurens County Higher Education Center was considered. A 12,000 square foot addition to that building would have been required at an estimated cost of four million dollars. Denning said the location eventually chosen, the former Honda of Laurens building at the intersection of Interstate 385 and US 221, provided the ideal opportunity. He said retrofitting this existing building allowed the center to be twice the size as originally envisioned and at less than half the cost.
Jonathan Coleman, Existing Industry Director for the Laurens County Development Corporation, outlined how the center came to be, due to cooperation and both financial and equipment assistance from Laurens County Government along with several local businesses and industries. Coleman said the existence of the center in Laurens County is already making a positive impression on industrial prospects looking at Laurens County.
Currently, anyone completing one of three certificate programs available at the center is guaranteed an interview with ZF Transmissions as they gear up toward full operations early next year. Mr. Coleman told council that other industries are looking at offering the same type guarantee in the future.
The Mayor and council were invited to come to the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, tour the facilities and learn more about what is available now and what is coming to the center in the short term future.