S.C. Rep. Gary Simrill of Rock Hill says it’s a mistake for the General Assembly to treat each one of South Carolina’s Technical Colleges all alike.
With major companies like Boeing and BMW operating large plants in Charleston and Greenville, respectively, Simrill says there’s a misconception that all 16 of the state’s technical schools teach similar programs and the same type of graduates.
“Industry is coming in — whether it’s Boeing in Charleston or 3D Systems in York County,” Simrill said. “They have two different sets of needs. We have to make sure we address the individual needs of businesses that are coming.”
Simrill says that, at times, it is difficult to convince his fellow lawmakers of the specific needs of York Technical College, based in Rock Hill.
“We start getting into fiefdoms and territories at that point,” Simrill said.
Despite the competition, he says there has been money set aside for special projects that address unique needs at York Technical College.
Likewise, Simrill said, the York County school benefits from his service on the House Ways and Means Committee. Simrill’s colleague in the S.C. Senate, Wes Hayes, serves on the Senate Finance Committee.