New education, workforce development center officially opens in Lake City

Lake City Continuum opening

LAKE CITY, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and state Superintendent Molly Spearman helped local officials celebrate the beginning of the innovative education and workforce development center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house Tuesday.

"Today's a great day, but the best day is going to be that first day when the students walk through the doors," Spearman told the crowd.

Come Monday, 600 students will begin their classes at the Continuum.

The center houses both Francis Marion University and Florence Darlington Tech classes, providing students with more education and workforce development opportunities.

“It will revolutionize the way we deal with higher education in this region and it’ll make the education process much easier,” FMU President Dr. Fred Carter said.

The center offers a variety of both colleges’ courses, from health science to welding, that students can take toward earning their associates or bachelor’s degree.

The center also offers dual enrollment for high school students and office space for small businesses.

"We have some very outstanding high school career centers around the state, but this one is different in that it does combine Francis Marion University and Florence Darlington Tech all into one place with entrepreneurs, with businesses here, so I think it’s a model that we need to watch very closely and hopefully we’ll replicate it in other parts of the state,” Spearman said.

Bre McFadden, a Florence Darlington Tech student, is taking two classes at the center this fall.

She said she chose to attend the center because of the convenience that allows her to work full-time while also working toward becoming a social worker.

“I feel like with this new Continuum, it’ll give me and other students better opportunities. I’ll be able to focus more and work harder,” McFadden said.

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