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State gives $1.5 million to CCTC for expansion

Posted: January 27, 2015 8:00 p.m.
Updated: January 28, 2015 1:00 a.m.
Gary Phillips/C-I

Central Carolina Technical College (CCTC) President Dr. Tim Hardee (center) accepts a check Monday for $1.5 million from State Sen. Vincent Sheheen (second from left) and State Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk (fourth from left), as (from left) CCTC Board Member Terry Hancock, Camden Mayor Tony Scully, State Sen. Thomas McElveen and Kershaw County Council Chairman Julian Burns look on. The money will be used to help expand the CCTC campus at I-20 where the check presentation took place.

 

The expansion of higher education opportunities in Kershaw County took a major step forward Monday as the state of South Carolina presented Central Carolina Technical College (CCTC) in Camden a $1.5 million check to help with that facility’s growth. State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, State Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk and Sen. Thomas McElveen attended the presentation ceremony at the CCTC campus near I-20.

Sheheen said the funds came through a joint effort from both sides of the General Assembly.

“There has been a dream here in Kershaw County for many years, including when I first ran for the state senate almost a decade ago, to have a campus for Central Carolina right here in our own county to offer the services and grow the services that Central Carolina has been providing over the last several years,” Sheheen said. “This past year, we took a giant step forward in that, as county council contributed significant funds, the city of Camden contributed significant funds, and the school district has committed to working in conjunction to grow this project.”

Sheheen said workforce education and training is vital to attracting and keeping businesses in South Carolina’s smaller counties.

“It’s critical if we are going to be successful in smaller counties in South Carolina for our young people to be educated here, gain the skills they need to work in conjunction with local, home-grown industries and industries we’re able to recruit if we’re going to be successful,” Sheheen said. “I’m thrilled to be here today to present, on behalf of the state of South Carolina a check in the amount of $1.5 million to Central Carolina in Kershaw County to continue to move forward on this project.”

Funderburk said she has seen firsthand the impact a strong education system has on area residents.

“The thing I am most excited about is not only the wonderful partnership we have among all the government entities making sure that this is going to happen here in Kershaw County, but what it means for the success of our citizens,” Funderburk said. “It really makes a difference in the lives of our citizens that they have the opportunities to support themselves and their families. I’m very excited about this, and thank you to everyone who is helping to make this happen.”

CCTC President Dr. Tim Hardee said he wants to see the college grow in enrollment numbers and class offerings.

“These types of programs at the college would not be possible without good partners, whether it’s the county, the legislative delegation, the city and also the school district. We have developed excellent working relationships with each of those entities,” Hardee said. “We have a small facility that we were able to establish through a relationship with the county years ago. We plan to expand the campus here. Our goal as a college is to have 1,000 students enrolled here and taking classes within three years. We see that as a great possibility for us.”

Hardee said the college adds to economic development opportunities for Kershaw County and offers an affordable option compared to some other colleges or universities.

“We’ll be able to provide a place for students to earn the first two years of a four-year degree and be able to do that here in Kershaw County at a tremendous savings for parents and those students,” Hardee said. “We’re proud to be a part of Kershaw County … we’ll continue to work together as we make this a reality.”

Sheheen said putting South Carolina’s economy on the right path starts with workforce training and he and his fellow lawmakers see it as a priority.

“Our unemployment rate is, unfortunately, well above the national average. We’re going to change that and it’s going to start with education and I believe right here in Kershaw County,” Sheheen said. “It comes from the state budget. In the senate last year, I was able to convince the senate to include $1.5 million in the state budget to support this project. Representative Funderburk was able to keep that in on the House side and we were able to make it a reality. The state of South Carolina supports higher education in Kershaw County and I’m proud of our legislative delegation for making that happen.”

 

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