A Bridge to the Future

Greenville Technical College Center for Manufacturing Innovation

In a perfect world, to get from Point A to Point B, you’d be able to walk on a short, easy path in a straight line, and you’d call it a day. Sometimes, though, the process is less straightforward; Point A is on a rocky cliff, and Point B is on the other side of a vast canyon. In that scenario, you could scramble down the cliff, traverse the canyon, and begin a long, slow climb to the top, or you could build a bridge. The second option may take a lot more work at the outset, and require a lot of help, but it makes the pathway easier for everyone else who comes behind you.

If the old-school manufacturing industry of our grandfather’s era is Point A and modern manufacturing is Point B, the canyon separating the two used to be fairly daunting. The manufacturing industry has a historic image problem which made it challenging for companies with good job offerings to recruit the next generation of skilled workers.

Manufacturing has changed a great deal in the last fifty years. The process of making things has become cleaner, more precise, more computerized, and more intricate, and requires a workforce with the skills to handle evolving technologies. Greenville Technical College understands the advanced manufacturing curriculum required to equip its students with the twenty-first century skills to succeed in the industry. GTC also knows that a well-trained workforce is an attractive asset to employers, and that better job opportunities create a better economic outlook for everyone.

In 2008, GTC launched an initiative in partnership with Clemson University to develop a world-class training facility for advanced manufacturing, one that would serve students, industry partners, academic partnerships, and the rest of the region. They called it the Center for Manufacturing Innovation, and they envisioned it as a bridge to a brighter future.

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