Nucor Vulcraft-SC Drafting Supervisor Mark Jones likes the combination of technical skills and behavioral attributes he sees among the technicians graduating from his alma mater, Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC).
His department just made full-time job offers to two of the four FDTC students who interned in the Drafting Department at Nucor Corporation's Florence, South Carolina, facility this spring.
Jones, who earned a civil engineering technology associate degree from FDTC in 1996, and this spring's Nucor interns were all taught with the problem-based curriculum that the South Carolina Advanced Technological Education Center (SC ATE) at FDTC refined and disseminated with support from National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education program. SC ATE's curriculum uses a just-in-time format that blends academic core courses and hands-on technical skills with instruction about self-management and teamwork that many employers call soft skills.
"When we hire those students coming out of Tech, with two-year associate degrees, they have a really great foundation to start building on. It really shows through," Jones said.