In this exclusive interview, Dr. Jermaine Whirl, Vice President of Learning and Workforce Development at Greenville Technical College (South Carolina), tells us how French companies provide jobs, trainings and workforce development opportunities to his Community.
How does Greenville Technical College work with French companies in upstate South Carolina?
Greenville Technical College specializes in providing advanced manufacturing training to local French oriented companies within Greenville County. The college offers a bachelor’s degree in advanced manufacturing technology, several associate degree programs in engineering technology and advanced manufacturing, as well as a number of certificate programs. For many French companies in the area, the college works directly with plant and human resource officers to develop customize training solutions for their incumbent workforce. Working alongside the existing industry manager of the Greenville Area Development Corporation, Greenville Tech keeps a strong pulse on the workforce needs of French companies and frequently assist them to ensure they have the training they need to be competitive in a global environment.
Lastly, Greenville Technical College is actively involved in recruiting additional French companies to the region by addressing prospective workforce needs in partnership with the UpState SC Alliance and the SC Department of Commerce.
How would you define the impact of French companies on local communities?
Greenville Technical College’s largest corporate partner is Michelin North America, and we’ve worked with them since their arrival in the area in the early 1970s. We’ve placed thousands of graduates into their organization, and we’ve worked with them on creating formal apprenticeships for entry-level positions. We also have done several customize trainings to skill up their workers and Michelin in return has invested thousands of dollars into the college for manufacturing equipment, technology and student scholarships.
Outside of Michelin, we’ve done similar work with Eurokera North America, Bostik, Southern Optical, Schneider Electric and Siroflex, Inc over the years; all of which are French companies located in Greenville County.