High Tech And Tires: Technical College Faces Challenges In Providing Workers For Continental, Giti

Career College Central Summary:

  • In Sumter County, local government leaders wanted economic diversity because they knew the perils of being a military town. The military has been flying planes from the north side of Sumter since 1941. Today, the 20th Fighter Wing, flying the F16 Fighting Falcons, calls Shaw Air Force Base and Sumter home. Sumter leaders know all too well how business fluctuates with wing deployments, as well as the uncertainty that comes every time Congress talks about closing bases.
  • Sumter officials wanted someone that would be there for the long haul, providing jobs that would keep residents from traveling to Florence and Columbia for work. They also hoped for a plant that would attract other companies to supply it.
  • Continental fit all their needs. The plant currently has 500 workers, and is producing about 3,000 passenger and light truck tires a day — each stamped with "VY," the plant's international tire code.
  • As the work force expands — Continental's production goal is eight million tires annually by 2021 — the German company wants to hire locally. The October euphoria was soon replaced by reality.

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