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Economic Development and Growth through Education

21

Schaeffler Group

North America

Schaeffler Group North

America is responsible for

the engineering, production,

sales and marketing for the

INA, LuK, FAG and Barden

brands throughout the

United States, Canada,

Mexico, Central America and

the Caribbean. All four

brands provide high-

performance, precision

technologies for the

automotive OEM, industrial

OEM and distribution

markets as well as the

aerospace industry.

• INA is a leading supplier

of rolling bearings, linear

motion, engine components,

plain bearings and precision

components.

• LuK is a key source for

automotive clutch, torque

converter, hydraulic and

transmission systems.

• FAG is a major global

supplier of bearings with

core competencies in ball,

taper, cylindrical and

spherical bearing products.

• The Barden Corporation

focuses on high precision,

miniature and aerospace

products.

Schaeffler’s corporate

headquarters for the

Americas is in Fort Mill,

South Carolina, along with

five manufacturing plants in

Cheraw, Spartanburg and

Fort Mill.

The college has been very responsive

when we want to make changes to

the curriculum. We took some things

out that don’t really apply anymore

to industry today and added other

items. For instance, we removed the

old sketching and added more CAD.

NETC didn’t have a Pro-E (engineering

design) program, so they bought it

and put it into place for us. They’ve

also been very flexible on scheduling

with us.

EDGE:

You’ve said that you often

talk to other companies about their

workforce needs. What do you say

to a company that has a workforce

need and doesn’t know where to

start?

PH:

I first encourage them to

determine their need: is it a new

product that you’re going to

undertake, do you want to enhance

your workforce, or are you looking

at an aging workforce and want to

bring that skill level to where it needs

to be? Then we discuss the different

options available. For instance,

readySC is on hand for new projects

and expansions. They can assist with

recruiting and training. The training

expense that you save there can be

used for training incumbent workers

who need to upgrade their skills. As

far as the apprenticeship program, I

tell them it’s a commitment, and you

have to understand that. However, it’s

a commitment with a great return on

investment.

EDGE:

What do you tell companies

about the technical college?

PH:

I tell them the tech college is

the way to go. We’re using it as

an arm of our training group. They

work with us closely. In fact, NETC

is starting a metrology class that

we need for our quality people.

We’ve done conversational German,

conversational Spanish, and they

provided our CNC training. They’ve

been very responsive to us as an

industry. They provide instructors,

continuing education programs and

space. As we’ve experienced these

recent increases in staff, we’ve lost

training space and training rooms, so

they’ve been quick to provide us with

training rooms that we needed. They

are wonderful partners – extremely

responsive and very helpful.

EDGE:

What do you see as the

greatest benefit of using all three

resources – readySC, Apprenticeship

Carolina and the technical college – to

meet your company’s training needs?

PH:

I think of it as a three-legged

stool, and it’s very important that it

all works together. First, you’ve got

readySC, which through its recruiting

and training services provides you

with your initial pool of people for a

startup or expansion. They work very

closely with the technical college to

get the classrooms, materials, training

and other things that you need. Then

you can seamlessly segue to the

apprenticeship program and the local

tech college to address long-term

training needs.

EDGE:

Is there anything else you’d like

to add about readySC, Apprenticeship

Carolina or the technical colleges?

PH:

I think companies really need to

take a hard look at these resources.

If they’re looking to locate to this

state, they need to talk to the right

people and understand what’s

available for them. They need to

talk to companies that have had

interaction with all three programs

and hear their experiences. I think

that’s the real selling point. Just like

if you are looking to buy a certain

brand of car, firsthand testimonials

are the best. All the companies who

use or have used these programs need

to encourage others to come here to

South Carolina, because our state has

the recruiting and training expertise

to help you get good people to work

for you.