Anita Zucker, CEO of the InterTech Group, said the family is making the donation to support the efforts the college is making to grow advanced manufacturing in the state.
“The S.C. Aeronautical Training Center at Trident Technical College is more important than ever,” said Zucker. “In this region we are growing dramatically. We are growing with every kind of manufacturing, not just aerospace but also advanced manufacturing in general. Providing training to meet that demand is critical. This will be a facility with an incredible economic impact, on not just our region but our entire state.”
The $6 million donation to the Trident Technical College Foundation is the biggest in the college’s history. The Zuckers’ largest previous donation to the college was a $1 million pledge to the foundation made in 2012. The family has made numerous other gifts to the college over the years to fund scholarships, provide academic support for students, purchase needed instructional equipment, and upgrade college technology.
The gift will be used to enhance programs housed in the new facility and support the ongoing operation of the center. In recognition of the gift, the college will name the most public wing of the S.C. Aeronautical Training Center “Zucker Hall.”
The Zuckers designated $500,000 of the pledge to be issued as a matching challenge to fund a solar roof on the center’s aircraft hangar. So far, the TTC Foundation has raised $400,000 toward the match, with Home Telecom, Charleston Development Board Foundation and C&A Unlimited each giving $100,000.
The facility will house the college’s Aeronautical Studies programs, readySC training for Boeing South Carolina, and other readySC advanced manufacturing training. It will also provide classroom and lab space for the college’s advanced manufacturing continuing education programs, and Industrial and Engineering Technology programs. The center will feature open bays to accommodate aircraft, large aircraft parts and training aids. Classrooms and labs will be used to train students in subjects including aircraft assembly and maintenance, composite materials, avionics, mechatronics, robotics and automation, and additive manufacturing (industrial 3-D printing). The center is expected to open in fall 2019.
“The Zucker family runs one of the largest privately held companies in the state. Because they have such a deep understanding of workforce challenges and opportunities, the Zuckers focus much of their attention, talent and philanthropy on educational issues,” said Trident Technical College President Mary Thornley. “This gift will be absolutely transformational for Trident Tech students who will benefit from the opportunities this amazing family is making possible.”
The Zuckers have been involved with the college for decades. The late Jerry Zucker served on TTC’s Electronics Engineering Technology Advisory Committee. Anita Zucker is a former member and chair of the TTC Foundation Board of Trustees. She currently serves on TTC’s Area Commission, the college’s governing board.
“Making a gift like the one our family is making to Trident Technical College is one that I hope sends a message about the quality of the instruction taking place at this institution,” said Zucker. “Our family is investing in people. We want to give every person from every walk of life access to the training that will be provided here. By supporting this institution we make those opportunities available.”
The TTC Foundation operates independently of the college as a nonprofit corporation, advocating and raising funds for the college to support the region’s economy. For more information or to make a pledge or contribution to the Sky is Not the Limit Aeronautical Campaign click here or contact Kim Hallin at 843-574-6195.