Center in S.C. would train Boeing workers

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Trident Technical College plans a new aeronautical training center in North Charleston.

The proposed $79 million center is designed to support the aeronautics industry in the area.

Boeing has a plant in North Charleston that builds the 787 Dreamliner jets. The college center would train workers for Boeing and its suppliers.

Plans for the new center follow Boeing’s commitment to invest another $1 billion and add 2,000 workers in the next eight years. The company also is acquiring more land, though the reason is not clear now.

Trident Tech offers four aircraft-related degrees or certificate programs — aircraft maintenance, aircraft assembly, avionics maintenance and basic industrial work skills.

The building would include classroom and laboratory space, as well as a 50,000 square foot bay to accommodate aircraft, large aircraft parts and training equipment.

“It is not so much what this center will do for Trident Technical College but what it will do for the entire state,” said Mary Thornley, president of the college. “People are asking if we can provide the workforce to support the companies interested in locating in South Carolina. We can, but we need a facility that shows we mean it.”

There is no opening date for the center yet, since the construction will be determined by availability of funds, said school spokesman David Hansen.

The training center is expected to be funded with about $51 million from the state, nearly $19 million from the county, $8 million from the school and $1 million from the city of North Charleston.

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