Technical Education Post

News and Information for Technical Educators

Greenville Tech Responds to Workplace

I enjoy an unusual vantage point at Greenville Technical College graduations. I watch as students approach the stage to receive the diploma they’ve worked hard to achieve, equal measures of relief and joy reflected in their faces. As they come forward, their loved ones are cheering from the audience, some watching the first person in their families earn a college diploma. It makes for an amazing moment, and I know how it feels because I was once in their shoes. Greenville Tech Responds to Workplace.

I earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern Wesleyan University in 1982 and started work at Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. That’s when I realized that I needed to add to my business administration background with additional knowledge of the IT field. I came to Greenville Technical College as a recipient of the minority honors scholarship, earning associate degrees in both marketing and IT.

With that additional education, I spent 15 years with MetLife, moving from programmer to senior business systems analyst, putting my education to good use as I added experience and certifications. In 1996, I struck out on my own, founding Marketplace Professional Staffing to supply high-quality talent that keeps business moving forward. We’ve now been in operation for 28 years, and we’ve hired in excess of 80,000 people.

Deliver Career Ready Skills

Working with employers as I do, I can say with confidence that a Greenville Tech education is well-respected and relevant.  As chair of the college’s governing board, I know that an education that delivers career-ready skills is no accident. GTC is constantly listening to employer needs and developing the education that meets those requirements. The result is people who are well-prepared to fill waiting job openings, strong employer growth, and a thriving local economy.

The college listened when advanced manufacturers needed to fill the skills gap and created the Center for Manufacturing Innovation, where we teach machine tool technology, CNC machining, CAD design, and mechatronics. When those employers expressed a need for an additional level of education to prepare leaders and managers, we got permission to offer the state’s only bachelor’s program at the two-year college level – an advanced manufacturing technology degree.

We heard when downtown restaurants and hotels asked for more entry-level workers. By matching that requirement with the need of West Greenville residents for employment opportunities, we opened the Truist Culinary & Hospitality Innovation Center, where we provide job training.

Responding to a Need

We’re responding to a need for more allied health and nursing graduates with the Prisma Health Center for Health & Life Sciences that opens this fall. This building, at the center of the Barton Campus, will create well-qualified professionals to enter health-care fields and provide the highest quality patient care.

Next, we’ll break ground on a Center for Workforce Development that will help Greenville Technical College solve the welding challenge in workforce development with a whole array of tools including artificial intelligence. Currently, the Greenville Tech team is conducting benchmarking visits in preparation for building design, taking a look at some of the nation’s top welding facilities and borrowing from the best while innovating to create something even better.

After that, we’ll continue to explore ideas for an industrial cybersecurity and artificial intelligence center. With this center, we will give employers a competitive advantage by being better situated to protect their assets from cyber threats and to use artificial intelligence to improve productivity in their systems.

If a business in this area has a need, Greenville Tech will find a way to fill it, giving employers a pipeline of qualified workers and supplying graduates with skills that earn high-wage jobs.


Ray Lattimore is the founder and president of Marketplace Professional Staffing and serves as chair for the Greenville Technical College Area Commission. He is also a Greenville Tech graduate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upcoming Events