Michelin Technical Scholars Program identifies promising high school students and introduces them to industrial opportunities.

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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Midlands Tech is one of six community colleges recognized for their efforts to get students job ready.

Last week the American Association of Community Colleges awarded Midlands Technical College for their partnership with Michelin North America as the best corporate partnership by any two-year college in country.

The AACC presented the college with the Award of Excellence for a College/Corporate Partnership at its annual convention.

"We are the only community 2-year college in the United States out of 1200 that won this award, so that is fairly special to us," said Dr. Barrie Kirk.

Dr. Kirk is the vice president for corporate and continuing education and economic development at the college, she says Michelin looked to the college and to Lexington County school districts to help fill positions at the Lexington plant.

"This is the first time we have ever partnered with a school district, an employer and created a seamless process," said Dr. Kirk.

The process includes full scholarships to select students and paid part-time jobs at the Michelin facility while in college, after earning a degree the Michelin Scholar would then be a candidate for a full-time position.

In a release from Midlands Technical College Michelin's Lexington site manager Peter Sutton said, "This partnership has not only increased the number of future employees in the Michelin workforce pipeline."

Sutton said this program, "effectively spread the word to young people and parents alike, that manufacturing jobs are available, pay well and can lead to even greater career opportunities."

Dr. Kirk agrees that programs like this is are a win-win for the community and the corporation.

"We want to take the skills someone has, we want to look at the jobs the employer has and marry those two together in great process," said Dr. Kirk.

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