Florence Darlington Technical College sees growth

Florence Darlington Technical College sees growth
FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Florence Darlington Technical College is celebrating 50 years in the education industry with record-breaking student enrollment.

6,200 students enrolled for fall semester, compared to about 6,000 last year. 

"We're very proud of that because that means we're serving more people in our community," FDTC President Ben Dillard said. "We're preparing more people for jobs here in our community and that's basically what we're commissioned to do." 

Administrators have been stepping up recruitment efforts in high schools to share the benefits of a two-year school. 

"We're also talking to more of our graduating seniors who are choosing to come here for their first two years," Dillard said. "It's a great value. You can come here and transfer to any institution and take all your credits with you." 

Current students say the low cost is a big factor in choosing the technical college route and the school is also known for helping graduates land jobs quickly. 

"They do a great job with job placements," said Benjamin Baker, who is on his third degree from FDTC. "When I finished surgical technology, they were even trying to help me with that also, so this is the way to go." 

To keep up with the growth in the student body, FDTC is adding 65 parking spaces, which should be completed by next month. 

In 2015, construction will begin on a new automotive technology building to accommodate a waiting list of 200 people to get into the welding, automotive and HVAC programs. That building should be complete for the 2016 fall semester. 

"We have people not only from our local area but all over the southeast calling wanting welding technicians, auto technicians, so we felt like that was something we needed to do first was expand that part of the college," Dillard said. 

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