New Trident training facility would serve Boeing, supplier companies

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - A multi-million-dollar training facility could help South Carolina land more Boeing jobs. Trident Tech is currently raising money for its new aeronautical training building.

And the expansion at the school is needed before production on the new 787-10 Dreamliner begins.

Inside classrooms like No. 787, students at Trident Technical College are learning everything teachers have to offer in Aeronautical Studies.

Faculty members teach hands-on classes with long wait lists for this specific concentration.

"If we can expand, we don't have to have these people changing majors. We don't want them to change majors; we want them to go into aircraft maintenance, or assembly or avionics. We want that; we want the capacity that the $79 million training center can provide us," said Trident Technical College President Mary Thornley.

She said Boeing's announcement for the 787-10 Dreamliner means they will be working aggressively to build an aeronautical training center to support both Boeing and its suppliers.

"There has to be a place that you can touch, see, smell; that can not only train our future workforce, but can also excite kids. Give them a place that they can see and say, 'I can be a part of that. There's a job there for me in the future. Here's what I've got to do to be ready for that future,'" said Thornley.

Thornley says the college already has $10 million in capital reserves and both the City of North Charleston and the county have made contingency pledges, but Trident will have to go back to the state legislature for more.

"The aeronautical cluster and what it can do for the state of South Carolina will eclipse what BMW has done. It will impact virtually every county in our entire state," said Thornley.

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