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AdvanceSC Awards $1.25 Million to Upstate Technical Colleges

November 13, 2006

Grant will create Upstate Alliance for Technical Training

Greenville, S.C. (November 13, 2006) – AdvanceSC announced today it has awarded a $1.25 million grant to the South Carolina Technical College System and four Upstate technical colleges to establish the Upstate Alliance for Technical Training. The four technical colleges involved in the alliance are Greenville Technical College, Piedmont Technical College, Spartanburg Community College and Tri-County Technical College. The purpose of the alliance is to encourage a regional approach to workforce development training that addresses the needs of the entire Upstate.

AdvanceSC is funded with profits from Duke Energy's Bulk Power Marketing program (BPM) and managed by an independent board of directors.

“AdvanceSC is proud to serve the needs of our community and recognizes this collaboration as a necessary approach for our state to produce a skilled and proficient work force,” said Carol Burdette, president-elect of AdvanceSC, during today’s news conference held at BMW Manufacturing. “Our board agrees that this grant will make an impact on local communities and better serve employers throughout the region.”

The Upstate Alliance for Technical Training plans to standardize coursework and extend educational pathways for students seeking entry into industrial maintenance occupations. The alliance also hopes to benefit the regional economy significantly as participants, regardless of which college provides their training, will possess the same competency-based skill sets and provide employers with an expanded pool of job applicants.

“The SC Technical College System is very excited about the opportunities the Upstate Alliance for Technical Training will provide students, and the enhanced economic development that will flow from those opportunities,” said Dr. Barry Russell, President of the SC Technical College System. “The System plays a unique and pivotal role in developing and maintaining a workforce that is responsive to the evolving needs of the state’s businesses and industries, and the alliance is a wonderful example of our ability to develop innovative ways to augment our traditional efforts in this area. I want to thank AdvanceSC for its support, and I applaud the four colleges involved in the alliance for their creativity in developing this collaborative regional approach.”

“More can always be accomplished when we work as a team. This generous gift from AdvanceSC allows the Upstate technical colleges to better meet the needs of employers and students,” said Dr. Thomas E. Barton, Jr., president of Greenville Tech. “Through our combined capabilities, we can greatly impact the area’s economy. The potential is really unlimited, and we look forward to the work ahead of us.”

Dr. Lex D. Walters, president of Piedmont Technical College, expressed his enthusiasm about the Greenwood institution’s involvement in the AdvanceSC project: “This announcement confirms Piedmont’s long-standing commitment to the benefits we can offer in response to the employment needs of business and industry, as well as our continual partnership with other upstate colleges.”

“Collaborative efforts like this allow us to continue to meet the increasing demands of today's business and industry,” said Dr. Dan L. Terhune, president of Spartanburg Community College. "With AdvanceSC's support, we can provide additional training and educational opportunities for Upstate residents that will result in a highly skilled workforce ready to propel the Upstate and South Carolina to a bright, promising future.”

“This alliance is a perfect example of what can happen when the public and private sectors come together with four public colleges and dollars from AdvanceSC to make a real difference in meeting employers’ needs in the Upstate,” added Dr. Ronnie L. Booth, president of Tri-County Technical College.

AdvanceSC supports education, economic growth, existing manufacturing and public assistance agencies in Duke Energy’s South Carolina service area. Established as a limited liability company by Duke Energy in 2004, AdvanceSC is funded with profits from the company's BPM program and is managed by a board of Upstate S.C. leaders. The fund administrator is Wachovia Charitable Services, Greenville, S.C. More information can be found at http://www.advancesc.com.

The South Carolina Technical College System is an integral part of our statewide higher education system, working to make college affordable and accessible through its 16 Colleges across the state. The South Carolina Technical Colleges are key partners in South Carolina’s economic and workforce development efforts and provide a continuum of education and training for businesses and individuals. Please visit our web site at: http://www.sctechsystem.com.