FLORENCE, S.C. -- For the past 55 years, Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) has educated students and focused on strengthening the local economy. The future of the college is bright as programs continue to grow and new projects are being completed.

On the academic side of the college, many programs continue to boast high job-placement rates, and the FDTC Corporate Workforce and Development division has seen a huge increase in people completing its various programs. Machine Tool Technology and Industrial Maintenance Technology programs feature a 100 percent job-placement rate, while Truck Driving Training/CDL and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) programs are more than 90 percent. More than 20 other programs at FDTC boast a 75 percent job-placement rate. FDTC continues to offer a large array of programs that are affordable and transferable to four-year institutions.

The Lake City site will soon relocate to The Continuum that is being constructed in the downtown area of the city. The 46,000-square-foot facility that is opening this summer is a new educational initiative that features a unique partnership between the Darla Moore Foundation, FDTC, Francis Marion University and local school districts. Classes that FDTC will offer in the new location will be pathways to expanded studies on the main campus in Florence. Students will have the opportunity to study welding, HVAC and industrial maintenance technology.

FDTC is very excited about this incredible opportunity. The Continuum will be vital for Lake City and surrounding areas.

Behind the main campus, FDTC’s new baseball and softball fields are nearing completion. The fencing and dugouts have been constructed, and grass and clay have been installed, but there is still work to be done before the players practice or compete on the fields. The hurricanes in the fall and the rainy winter have hindered the completion timeline. FDTC is hoping to host a game on each of the fields before the 2019 seasons come to a close.

The Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT) that it located on the main campus continues to make a profit. The facility supplies 3D printed products to an array of companies all across the country. Most recently, the SiMT earned the prestigious Xometry Excellence in Manufacturing Award for its delivery of high-quality parts to the Xometry marketplace.

The Gould Business Incubator at the SiMT is at 100 percent occupancy. All 22 bays inside the building are full with start-up companies. The Gould Business Incubator has helped more than 50 companies and has added more than 100 high-paying jobs to the local economy. These jobs have an average starting salary of more than $40,000 per year. Over the past four years, companies that have graduated from the Gould Business Incubator have boasted $20 million in revenue.

FDTC has 84 programs for individuals needing a high-quality education or credentialing for a career field. FDTC is in great shape and is eager for the future.

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