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In an effort to combat these stereotypes, Michelin, like many other companies, has created a Technical Scholars Program at area technical colleges to grow their own technicians.

In addition to covering the cost of tuition, fees, and books, scholarship recipients also gain on-the-job experience through part-time paid employment opportunities with Michelin. Good candidates for this program are students with strong math, science, and reading comprehension skills who are enrolled in Industrial Electronics Technolog , Mechatronics Technolog , or General Engineering Technology programs.

To be eligible for consideration for the Michelin Technical Scholars Program, students must pass an aptitude test administered by Michelin officials and an interview with plant representatives.

“It’s a debt-free education for participants, along with the possibility of securing a $50,000 a year job as a reliability technician at one of Michelin’s plants following graduation. These are really good paying jobs with great benefits and the potential for other career opportunities,” said Burry.

“It’s even more than that—it’s an introduction to a lifelong career path. It’s a stepping stone,” said Jason Barnes, a technical business unit leader at the Sandy Springs plant. He helped to create the documentation for onboarding, set up the safety training that participants undergo when they sign on, and is overseeing their mentoring experiences.

“Scholars are paired with the most senior folks on crew during their 20 hours a week paid work experience. We go to great lengths to ensure safety and that they get the most out of this experience. There’s a long observation period so they can familiarize themselves with an industrial environment,” said Barnes.

The knowledge gained transfers over to the classroom, said Rikayla. “I learn something new every day at work and therefore can ask more in-depth questions in class. School and work have really come together.”

“Our current goal is to have 16 scholars in the pipeline in 2013 for our three Anderson County plants,” said Burry. “It’s an industry-driven program. We are looking for high-tech reliability technicians with mechanical and electrical skills. All industry has a need for high-level, technical skilled workers, and we are all pulling from the same pool of applicants,” said Burry.

“There were 1,800,000 graduates in the U.S. in 2013 and only the top 10 percent will be hired in their majors. Twenty-three percent of four-year graduates go back to a technical college to earn a two-year degree to learn an employable skill,” he added.

“We want the best of the best of the best. It takes great people to make great tires, ”said Burry.

“To work in manufacturing, you have to have the right skill set, and Tri-County is providing that by helping to build our Technical Scholars Program. But we’ve got to educate the parents. Many believe their child needs a four-year degree so they aren’t looking at other opportunities available to their sons or daughters. The Michelin Technical Scholars Program is a career path that offers a free education, benefits, job securit , and a future with an amazing company. We are committed to investing in your children. It’s a win for the school districts, technical colleges, industr , and the community. Our hope is that our scholars see the opportunity they received and will go out and talk about Michelin and encourage others in their community to look at manufacturing as a lifelong career,” said Burry.

“To work in manufacturing, you have to have the r ght skill se , and ri-County is providing that by he ping to build our Technical Scholars program.”

~Steve Burry Consultant/Former Human Resources Manage , Michelin

Cooperative Education Partnerships

Tri-County’s cooperative education program is designed to help meet the needs of local industries in their search for highly skilled technicians, while providing strong “real- world” work experience to complement their classroom studies.

The College has cooperative education initiatives with:



AID RBC Bearings

Orian Rugs


Reliable Sprinkler


Schneider Electric



CMC of Georgia

Shaw Industries

Duke Energy


General Machine


of Anderson

U.S. Engine Valve

Glen Raven


Johnson Controls




  • Electrolux



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