MARION, S.C. — Marion County Council voiced their support for a new partnership between the Marion County Economic Development Commission and Group Beneteau. Marion County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Julie Norman said it’s something they’ve been working on for a long time.

“We have a developed a program we are calling Beneteau Tech,” she said. “Beneteau Tech is the pathway to getting a job at Beneteau. It’s that simple.”

Norman said applicants will undergo drug-screen and background checks along with silver level in work-skills program. The program will be a three-week period that includes covering forklift training, safety, basic hand-tools and first-hand look at the operation at Beneteau. The program requires no absences.

All counselors and career-specialist in Marion County will receive a tour of the plant and presentation from Beneteau on Nov. 6. More than 400 high school juniors and seniors will also visit on Nov. 20 along with the plant opening to the public for a tour on Nov. 21 and Nov. 23.

Norman said Florence Darlington Technical College is also a partner and will be teaching half of the components in the training. The first class will start on Jan. 13.

“We think this is an excellent way to get the right people in the right positions,” Norman said.

Beneteau is one of the largest sailboat manufacturers with more than 30 years of operation in Marion. The France based company has been in business since 1884. Manufacturing employees are skilled in the areas of fiberglass, woodworking, building construction, engine installation, wiring, assembly, quality inspections, warehouse, shipping, power tools, and administrative support.

Unemployment in Marion County dropped to a record low 4.3 percent for the month of August.

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Born in Atlantic City; raised in Mullins. Graduated from SC State University, home of the mighty Bulldogs. Editor of the Marion Star & Mullins Enterprise. Loves spending free time with his daughter. Huge sports fan.

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