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      Second gun manufacturer means more jobs in Horry County

      The Ithaca Gun Company is expanding to Horry County which means new jobs for skilled workers, and more people looking to learn the necessary skills.

      This fall, Horry Georgetown Technical College reinstated a welding program, and they plan to develop a machine tool program. Combined, these skills are two major pillars of manufacturing. "Two of the basic skills sets that any basic manufacturer would need," said Neyle Wilson, President of HGTC.

      Manufacturing individual products requires specific training, but that's often handled by the hiring company. HGTC is looking to give students the basic tools they need to get one of these high paying jobs.

      Over the years, the soon-to-be machine tool lab has served as an auto-repair lab and a dental lab. Wilson says adapting to what the workforce needs is something they try to stay on top of. "It's more than critical, it's essential and we've had to do that. These two programs, welding and machine tool, we offered 15 years ago but manufacturing left us here and there wasn't a lot of emphasis here to diversify," said Wilson.

      Administrators hope to have the machine tool lab open by fall of next year, but Wilson said if the curriculum is set by the first of this year, students can enroll and get their general-education courses out of the way.