Francis Marion University adds new degree to fill manufacturing needs

Florence, South Carolina (WMBF) - Francis Marion University is adding an Industrial Engineering Program to help fill the need for engineers in the northeastern region of South Carolina.

"This is one region of the state, this northeast region of South Carolina, 600,000 residents that has no engineering degree," said Dr. Fred Carter, President of Francis Marion University.

Francis Marion University President Dr. Fred Carter said the university started talking about adding an industrial engineering  major when local manufactures approached the university and asked it to consider offering a program to fill the engineering need.

"Most of the employers who employ engineers across this region are looking for process engineers, manufacturing engineers," said Dr. Carter.

It took two years of study and budget negotiations to come to what will be a four-year Industrial Engineering program. Dr. Carter added many local manufactures invested in the program to help get it on its feet. Honda of South Carolina was just one those manufactures. In June the company gave the University $100,000.

"Many of these firms are putting hard cash on the table to help with start-up cost, and to help with underwriting some scholarship support for students," said Dr. Carter.

The program will teach students skills like design and work process and manufacture organization. On average the students who graduate with this industrial Engineering Degree should make between $70,000 and $90,000.

"We're hopeful that by  home growing many of our engineers we hope they will stay in the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina, and they will stay and seek employment, and pursue employment with many of the business industries that are across the region," said Dr. Carter.

The university will begin enrolling students in the program come January 2014.

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