CAMDEN, S.C. — The new Woolard Technology Center will provide a multitude of classes with the goal of preparing students for work after high school.
The facility's director, Gordon Morris, says they want to fill in gaps for skilled labor jobs like welding, electrician and maintenance work.
"We hope to make them career ready and ready for industry straight out of high school of if they want to go to post secondary. But also they can learn a skill set to help them with practical needs...But the main focus is getting them career ready for the work force," says Morris.
Some courses include culinary courses with a full state of the art kitchen. other courses are carpentry, law enforcement training, cosmetology,and automotive technology.
Kershaw County students in 10th through 12th grade can attend the school. There are also options for dual enrollment with the local technical college. They provide adult programs and weekend classes for community members.
"There is a skills gap in our nation and in our community and we can fill that for both students's desires to be career ready but also prepare that work force now and in the future," Morris says.
The technology center was formerly known as ATEC, the Applied Technology Education Campus. The new name honors Dr. Gilbert G. Woolard, the founding director of Kershaw County's first career and technical education center.
Woolard's family helped cut the ribbon to the new building. News 19 spoke with one of his sons, David Woolard.
"The legacy that he has left behind is a tremendous testament to the school district - to everybody in this community," Woolard said.
He went on to describe his father as a workaholic who spent long nights putting his heart and soul into teaching children skills.
When asked about the feeling of unveiling the building in his father's honor, Woolard had one word: overwhelming.
"My father would be very humbled to be here. I don't want to use the word prideful - not for anything I've done - just proud of what he has accomplished," says Woolard.
He says his father's goal was to teach students skills, something the new center continues to model with pride.