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NETC Industrial Training Center closer to reality

Marlboro Campus Signing

The recent transfer of ownership of the Winn Dixie property in Bennettsville to Northeastern Technical College (NETC) has brought Marlboro County another step closer to having the industrial training center the community needs to help bridge the workforce-skills gap in the area.

On November 7, representatives from Marlboro County signed over the former Winn Dixie property to NETC so the college could begin repurposing the site for an industrial training center and Bennettsville's new NETC campus.

Building an industrial training facility in Bennettsville has been a vision for Marlboro County for quite some time. Initial plans to build the training center in the former Bennettsville Elementary School were halted last year after it was determined the location wouldn't be able to meet the growing needs of the college and the community.

"We see the college growing by leaps and bounds over the next decade as we continue adding new training programs to meet workforce needs. We want to be prepared for that growth, and not limited by lack of space or location, which is why this location is perfect for our new campus and training facility," said NETC President Dr. Kyle Wagner.

Community leaders have been calling the future training facility a "win-win for the county," saying it would make the area more appealing to industries and businesses looking to move to the area, and also increase traffic for existing businesses.

"The classes and programs to be operated in the NETC's new Bennettsville campus will address an urgent need of existing employers as well as potential industries or businesses considering locating in our community," said Ron Munnerlyn, Marlboro County Administrator. "While we have or can develop new buildings or sites for prospective new industry, issues regarding workforce skills have made it difficult to recruit new industry. NETC's new campus addresses the need for vocational training head-on and will have a measurable positive impact on improving our economy."

The future NETC industrial training center will provide programs designed to train the community for careers in area industry and business, as well as providing students degrees that transfer to four-year universities.

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