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A design and fabrication instructor

A design and fabrication instructor

"We received the TUPEC award," said Steve Hadwin, a design and fabrication instructor. "It's from SME, Society of Manufacturing Engineers and it's a pretty prestigious award for us."

SOTC was among five other community colleges and tech centers nationwide to be presented with the award this year that demonstrates a commitment to preparing students for a career in the manufacturing industry.

The honor is not lost on the program's students

"Not every kid gets to go to school and come work on one of these machines," said CJ Fox, from Marietta. "I think I'm truly blessed with it and get certified and get a pretty good job with it."

Fox, who's just sixteen, believes SOTC's program will help give him a leg up when he enters the workforce.

"I wouldn't want to go to some other college and sit in a room and do nothing but book work and take notes," said Fox. "Come work on a machine, get it done."

Consulting groups for the manufacturing industry expect the next decade to bring with it a potential shortfall of nearly 900 thousand manufacturing jobs.

Instructors say the TUPEC award gives the program a stamp of approval to help combat that shortage.

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