Spartanburg Community College Launches South Carolina’s First Injection Molding Training Program

Shown in the photo from left: Dr. Cheryl Cox, SCC senior vice president of academic affairs; Dr. G Michael Mikota, SCC president; Rhonda Johns, dean, SCC Corporate & Community Education; John Heinrikson, ENGEL vice president sales south and west region; Melissa Schmitt, director of manufacturing & industrial solutions, SCC Corporate & Community Education; Randall Trigg, BMW; and Mike Forrester, SCC vice president of economic development.

Shown in the photo from left: Dr. Cheryl Cox, SCC senior vice president of academic affairs; Dr. G Michael Mikota, SCC president; Rhonda Johns, dean, SCC Corporate & Community Education; John Heinrikson, ENGEL vice president sales south and west region; Melissa Schmitt, director of manufacturing & industrial solutions, SCC Corporate & Community Education; Randall Trigg, BMW; and Mike Forrester, SCC vice president of economic development.

Spartanburg, S.C. – Leaders from Spartanburg Community College and ENGEL, a global injection molding manufacturer, launched South Carolina's first injection molding training program yesterday (Oct. 1, 2020) at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at SCC's Tyger River Campus in Duncan, the site of the new program. Developed in response to the increasing need for skilled injection molding manufacturing associates, the program is a partnership between the College and ENGEL, who provided a 500-ton ENGEL injection molding machine to simulate what working in the field will be like on any given day.

“Today we can be proud to have the first injection molding training in South Carolina at Spartanburg Community College. We are happy that we have a partnership with ENGEL that supports the College and our students,” said, Dr. Michael Mikota, SCC president. “This new program is a hands-on tool that is the essence of what we want to do for our students - provide them with an opportunity to see a need, understand the need and go out in the workplace and be successful. Thank you to those that are here today to showcase what will be, what can be and what we will continue to do as a community college working together to progress and move forward.”


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Event speakers included Rhonda Johns, dean, SCC Corporate & Community Education; Dr. Michael Mikota, SCC president; John Heinrikson, ENGEL vice president sales south and west region. Additional attendees were representatives from local companies including Albis Plastics, Auriga Plastics, Cooper Standard, Core Molding, Drug Plastics & Glass Co, Mack Molding, Marchel Industries, Plygem, ProSet Plastics, Sonoco, Tool Technology Corp, Draxlmaier, Brose, Roechling and Grupo Antolin.

“This is an exciting launch for the College and for manufacturing companies in the Upstate that are in desperate need of trained and qualified employees to manage injection molding production,” explains Rhonda Johns, dean of SCC’s Corporate & Community Education division. “We have repeatedly heard from business leaders how difficult it is to find skilled new hires and train current employees in injection molding, so we have responded by creating this new program. Given that the closest injection molding program is in Tennessee, we are excited to offer this one-of-a-kind program and have the opportunity to work with manufacturers in South Carolina and neighboring states.

"This is a crowning achievement, standing in front of all of you today, celebrating this new program," stated John Heinrikson, ENGEL vice president sales south and west region. "On behalf of the entire ENGEL family, thank you."

Melissa Schmitt, SCC’s CCE director of manufacturing & industrial solutions, explains that injection molding is a manufacturing process for producing parts by injecting molten material into a mold to form a part or product. Molten plastic resins are injected at extremely high temperatures and pressures, into specially machined molds to form everything from a bottle cap to a car bumper.

She adds, “This program is a great fit for our area because Upstate South Carolina is home to many injection molding manufacturers who make thermoplastic components for automobiles, consumer products, and a host of other items. And, given that over 26,000 South Carolinians are directly employed in the plastics processing industry, the program allows SCC to collaborate with local manufacturers and industry experts to better equip individuals seeking career opportunities or advancements in this important industry.”

SCC’s first injection molding program runs evenings from Oct. 26-Dec. 9 and is a 40-hour introductory class designed for individuals entering the profession. Students will learn how to make actual parts using a 500-ton ENGEL injection molding machine, which is used in many of today’s premier manufacturing companies. Key topics covered in SCC’s introductory class include:
What are plastics
Injection molding: the machine, personal protective equipment
Safety in the plant
Basic quality control, basic process troubleshooting
Key industry terminology
Upon successful completion of the program, students will earn OSHA certification and continuing education credit units.

CCE’s future plans include offering intermediate and advanced classes in 2021 as well as customized courses for specific training and scheduling needs of individual companies.

For more information on the SCC Injection Molding Training Program, contact: Melissa Schmitt, SCC’s CCE director of manufacturing and industrial solutions at (864) 592-4382 or schmittm@sccsc.edu. Course information is available online at: www.sccsc.edu/CCE/InjectionMoldingProgram

Photos are available for download via Flickr: www.flickr.com/SCC-Photos

Ribbon-Cutting photo caption:
Leaders from Spartanburg Community College and ENGEL, a global injection molding manufacturer, announced the start of South Carolina's first injection molding training program on Thursday, Oct. 1 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at SCC's Tyger River Campus in Duncan, the site of the new program. Developed in response to the increasing need for skilled injection molding manufacturing associates, the program is a partnership between the SCC and ENGEL, who provided a 500-ton ENGEL injection molding machine to simulate what working in the field will be like on any given day. Shown in the photo from left: Dr. Cheryl Cox, SCC senior vice president of academic affairs; Randall Trigg, BMW; Mike Forrester, SCC vice president of economic development; John Heinrikson, ENGEL vice president sales south and west region; Melissa Schmitt, director of manufacturing & industrial solutions, SCC Corporate & Community Education; Dr. G Michael Mikota, SCC president; and Rhonda Johns, dean, SCC Corporate & Community Education.

About ENGEL:
ENGEL is one of the global leaders in the manufacture of plastics processing machines. Today, the ENGEL Group offers a full range of technology modules for plastics processing as a single source supplier: injection molding machines for thermoplastics and elastomers together with automation, with individual components also being competitive and successful in the market. Having nine production plants in Europe, North America and Asia (China and Korea), and subsidiaries and representatives in more than 85 countries, ENGEL offers its customers the excellent global support they need to compete and succeed with new technologies and leading-edge production systems. The company was founded in 1945 by Ludwig Engel and is still 100 percent family-owned. For more information, visit www.engelglobal.com.

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