Update on Laurens Center for Advanced Manufacturing

With industry in Laurens and surrounding counties needing more qualified employees, there are five major programs underway in the Laurens Center for Advanced Manufacturing, located alongside Interstate 385 at US 221 north of Laurens. “L-CAM” Director Dan Blakely was at yesterday’s Laurens Rotary Club meeting to review the programs now preparing people for the new jobs being created in Laurens County.

Blakely said that Mechatronics Technology trains people to provide maintenance for mechanical and electrical systems. The CNC Machine Tooling trains folks in the new automatic and artificial intelligence systems needed for many industrial applications. Blakely said the Precision Metrology program at the CAM utilizes equipment capable of such microscopic measurements that it is so sensitive they can’t use it when a train is passing on the railroad tracks a quarter mile on the tracks across US 221. The other two programs are perhaps more commonly recognized, training people in Welding and in HVAC.

Dan Blakely said that while the CAM was initially developed in response to the need to train employees for the massive ZF plant in Upper Laurens County, it now serves a lot of local industry. It’s also helped with other large projects, such as the Samsung plant near Newberry.

Blakely said the Laurens Center for Advanced Manufacturing is stressing junior and senior high school students using dual enrollment that includes associate or technical degrees through PTC along with their high school studies. He said the CAM is also flexible in developing non-degreed courses for specific needs of local industry.