News Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Monique Perry
(803) 981-7161

October 11, 2013

2nd Annual Manufacturing Day Draws York Tech Students and Attention to the Skilled Labor Gap

awardYORK, SC—Highlighting career potential in the manufacturing industry, Meritor Inc. opened its doors to York County students and community leaders as part of a nation-wide effort to attract the next generation of talent.  In addition to providing students an opportunity to see manufacturing up close, the 2nd Annual National Manufacturing Day brought much needed attention to the increasing divide between available manufacturing positions and qualified technicians to fill them.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), more than 17 million Americans work in manufacturing jobs, and more than 600,000 jobs are unfilled because applicants are not adequately trained for the technical jobs that often involve automation, robotics and screen technology.  York Tech, with the region’s most expansive industrial technology programs, is at the center of the solution to the training challenge.  But, it takes partnerships with industry. “Educators can’t do anything without the full and complete support of manufacturers, and Meritor has led the way in that effort,” said Dr. Rutherford, speaking at the event. “Since the late 1980s, Meritor has contributed over $162,000 in scholarships to York Technical College.”

The rubber meets the road at York Tech. “A great example of our commitment to bridging the gap between industry’s need for qualified technicians and student career preparation is our Technical Scholars Program,” said Sidney Valentine, Associate Vice President – Industrial Engineering Technologies.  “We place high-caliber students with sponsoring companies who then pay the full cost of that student’s tuition and book expenses for as long as that student is enrolled.  For years, we’ve been teaming up with some of the area’s leading manufacturers, and we continue to add more and more sponsors to the program.”  It’s a win-win for students, industry, and the college.

Continuing his address to students, Dr. Rutherford spoke to the demand for skilled technicians and the opportunities created therein.  “At York Tech today, we have over 400 students enrolled in advanced manufacturing related programs.  And here is the amazing part: the job placement rate for those students is over 90%.  Now, what other program of education and training can you go into at the college or university level and know you have a better than 90% chance of going to work and making a better than average wage?  There are none.”

Six York Tech students and two Industrial Engineering Technology faculty members were on hand to hear from guest speakers and event organizers emphasizing the vital role manufacturing plays in the overall strength of the US and world economy, and how rewarding a career in manufacturing can be.  The work has changed drastically.  The technology has changed drastically.  And so has the training.  The programs we have are not your grandfather’s tech school.  This is real advanced manufacturing.  It takes intelligence.  It takes commitment and dedication,” said Dr. Rutherford.  Most importantly, it takes awareness that there are unlimited possibilities.


About the Technical Scholars Program:

York Tech’s Technical Scholars program is open to all full-time York Tech students enrolled in one of our approved programs who maintain a GPA of 2.5 or greater, and are available for 20 hours of work with the sponsoring company each week.  The sponsoring company supplies free tuition and books, free tools and supplies, salary for work performed, and a flexible work schedule for as long as the student is enrolled in the program. Some sponsoring companies are also able to provide employment benefits.

For more information about York Tech’s Technical Scholars Program, contact Mike Brumbach at 803-981-7124 or


To apply to York Tech, visit:



York Technical College / 452 South Anderson Road / Rock Hill, SC 29730