The area’s talented workforce has its roots in a strong local and post-secondary education system. The Kershaw County School District is home to more than 10,000 students with standardized test scores ranking consistently in the top ten districts within the state.
Class sizes are small (1:25) and schools offer a full range of academic programs and extracurricular activities that provide access to today’s latest technologies.
Post-secondary education is offered through the local campus of Central Carolina Technical College and Midlands Technical College, with the state’s flagship university – the University of South Carolina – just 30 minutes away in Columbia.
Kershaw County has invested heavily in education. Notably, the County has invested $250 million in new facilities. Furthermore, Kershaw County covers 100% of the cost of Central Carolina Technical College tuition for local high school students graduating with a C-average or better.
Eighth Grade Expo
An initiative begun several years ago by Kershaw County Economic Development is now a major event for over 200 eighth graders in Kershaw County each year.
Each year buses from all four Kershaw County middle schools pulled into the Kershaw County Campus of Central Carolina Technical College (CCTC), Kershaw County Economic Development, Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce, and Woolard Technology Center (WTC) where they were welcomed and cheered by community leaders as they entered the building.
“Our mission remains simple,” stated Stewart Kidd, Existing Industry and Workforce Development Manager for Kershaw County Economic Development. “We want to promote economic development to improve the quality of life in Kershaw County. To that end, this program targets two critical objectives. First, it generates awareness among Kershaw County students of the educational and career opportunities available to them locally within the manufacturing and trade professions. Second, it supports our local industries by filling the pipeline to ensure that they will continue to have a trained and ready workforce in the future.”
The 8th Grade Manufacturing Expo is broken into four zones – manufacturing, trade, innovation, and technology. Within the zones, students test simulators, manufacture their own products, learn to code, and troubleshoot machine errors using control systems.
The 8th Grade Expo is hosted by The Kershaw County Economic Development Office, Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce, and South Carolina Department of Commerce, with participating industries and trades including: Duke Energy, Black River Electric, Luck Stone, Oak Mitsui, Canfor Southern Pine, Cardinal Health, Hengst, Cogsdill Tools, WeylChem US, and INVISTA.
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