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Upstate partners, including Anderson County Economic Development, Clemson Center for Workforce Development, Oconee County Economic Development Commission, Pendleton Regional Education Center, Alliance Pickens, and Tri-Count , have joined forces to raise awareness and build support for each county’s efforts to link education and workforce development.

South Carolina is one of the initial four states chosen to participate in the Work Ready Communities pilot project designed to bring education and workforce development together and to align them with their communities. “It’s a locally-driven approach to connect job opportunitieswithjobseekers. Specificall ,itgives a company an idea how ‘work ready’ its community is and for expanding industries, it tells them about the existing labor pool. It creates an inventory of skills sets,” said Elisabeth Kovacs, state coordinator for the S.C. Department of Workforce Development, pictured here with Dr. Anand Gramopadhye, dean of the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University. Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties have been designated as S.C. Certified Work Ready Communities.

164 runners and walkers turned out for the College’s fourth annual Tri-County 5K Road Race and One Mile Fun Run held May 18 at the Anderson Campus. “We are fortunate to have community partners who help make this event possible,” said Event Coordinator Tim Bowen, director of the Anderson Campus. The race, which starts and ends at the Anderson Campus, is part of the S.C. Palmetto Grand Prix. All proceeds benefit the programs and services of the Anderson Campus. Supporters included Anderson Federal Credit Union, Duke Energ , Kravet, Michelin North America, Richard Kay Superstore, the Tri-County Technical College Alumni Association, and TTI. In-kind sponsors were Anderson Independent-Mail, Carolina Produce, Chick- fil-A, Coca-Cola, Crowe’s Corporate Productions, Gotta Run Clemson, and Panera Bread.

The Corporate and Community Education Division launched its first Heavy Equipment Operator class since partnering with Blanchard Machiner , the exclusive Caterpillar dealer for South Carolina. The course is taught on land owned by Anderson County and leased to the College.

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A partnership between Tri-County and Southern Wesleyan University will provide baccalaureate opportunities for Easley residents by offering evening classes on Tri-County’s Easley Campus. Southern Wesleyan University President Todd Voss, right, and Dr. Booth signed an agreement May 1 that will bring four-year degree programs to the Easley community. Degrees offered will be a bachelor of science in Human Services and a bachelor of science in Business Administration. “It creates a clear path if the goal is earning a baccalaureate degree,” said Dr. Booth. “Now we can say to our students, you can start here and stay here. At the end oftheda ,thestudentwins.” Thefuture of higher education, according to Dr. Voss, involves “rich, student-focused collaborations.”

Tri-County partnered with the American Heart Association to host the first annual AHAwalk,which raised $8,488forthe Upstate organization and paid tribute to English faculty member Jill English, who passed away in March. The Heart Walk, held April 12 at the Pendleton Campus, attracted 61 walkers (nine teams), which included facult , staff, students, friends, and their family members who walked three 1-mile tracks with varying intensity levels. The Anderson Campus team carried a banner in memory of Jill. “Our goal was $5,000,” said event organizer and College benefits coordinator Lisa Anderson, “and we definitely exceeded our expectations. It was a community event, not just a campus event, and a great day for a great cause.”

The Easley Campus Student Community Service Initiative Group sponsored several service projects during the fall. They collected non-perishable food items for 5 Point ChurchFoodPantryinEasle ,inadditiontofacult ,staff,andstudentscollecting60 coats for donation to the United Christian Ministries in Easley.

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