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‘Tremendously happy’: McMaster’s free technical college announcement welcome news for HGTC president

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 2:27 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 3, 2021 at 4:50 PM EDT
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DUNCAN, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina Gov. McMaster announced plans to help pay for two years of technical college so that people can get training for high-demand jobs.

McMaster said he wants to spend $17 million of his COVID-19 education relief money and put it toward the creation of the Workforce Scholarships for the Future pilot program. He also called on the General Assembly to provide $124 million in American Rescue Plan funds to help extend the program through June 30, 2024.

The program is expected to help 15,000 students.

Any adult or recent high school graduate in South Carolina will be eligible. The scholarship funds may only be used for associate degrees or industry credentials in high-demand careers like manufacturing, healthcare, computer science and information technology. The scholarship recipients will be required to maintain a 2.0-grade point average and complete one of the following requirements:

  • Complete 100 hours of voluntary time to a nonprofit or public-service organization; or
  • Are employed; or
  • Take a financial literacy course offered at the technical college.

The intent of the scholarship program is to address South Carolina’s labor shortage.

“With this investment of $124 million into our most important resource - our people - we can ensure that South Carolina will have the workforce needed to attract further jobs and investment from companies worldwide,” McMaster said.

Horry Georgetown Technical College president Dr. Marilyn Fore said this is welcome news.

“Tremendously happy that he is setting aside funds to help our college here,” Fore said.

Fore said even though this is intended to help employers, it’ll also help the students.

“This is going to help students by lessening their worry, reducing their worry about paying to go to college,” she said.

Fore said technical colleges like HGTC will be the perfect training ground for students to enter into these kinds of careers.

“We have about 75, 80 programs that are all highly skilled programs. Areas that students can get good-paying jobs.”

Fore also believes this will help HGTC with enrollment.

The program will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

This announcement is the final allocation of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.

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