Trident Technical College has plans to add a Lowcountry Transportation and Logistics Center to its Berkeley Campus in Monks Corner. Meg Howle, vice president of advancement at the college, said the college will ask the state for $12 million during the upcoming legislative session to fund phase one of the renovation project.
The proposed center would offer:
- Commercial driver’s license training and a new diesel mechanic program.
- Flexible classroom and lab space for economic development functions.
- New labs and high-speed broadband access that supports the high-demand career options in information technology, logistics, engineering technology, manufacturing, business and health care.
According to information provided at the meeting, the Lowcountry Transportation and Logistics Center also has a goal of meeting the supply chain management and logistics training needs of new and existing industries, including the Volvo and Mercedes-Benz plants.
Howle said the center is a huge need as the state is now a destination for big box distribution centers. There is a shortage of CDL drivers and currently 1,000 to 2,000 job openings in South Carolina, according to Howle. It is projected that the number of openings will increase to 2,000 to 4,000 in less than five years.
“It’s very expensive to go to a for-profit for a CDL license right now,” Howle said. “So there’ll be opportunities at the Berkeley Campus, if we succeed in getting renovation dollars, to make this a true center for that type of training.”
The college asked the state to fund a renovation project last year, but it did not, Howle said. The proposed renovation project would include repurposing the main building on the Berkeley Campus into a high-tech training facility and increasing the education and training capacity on the campus from 3,000 to 8,000 students annually.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story included the wrong amount of funding that Trident Tech will ask the state for. The amount has been corrected above.