By Karen Kissiah
An early afternoon visit by South Carolina's United States Senator Tim Scott proved to be an informal question and answer session for several of the town's local government leaders and members of the Schaeffler Group. Afterwards, Senator Scott was given a tour of INA's Plant 2 and informed of the various aspects of the industry, including the apprenticeship program conducted with the help of Northeastern Technical College.
At age 48, Senator Scott has a broad, warm smile and a sense of humor; telling the only person in the room sporting a University of South Carolina scarf, "I see you're a Clemson fan!"
Scott, whose goals include his wish to "positively impact a billion people," was appointed by S.C. Governor Nikki Haley to his position in Washington in January of this year, after former Senator Jim DeMint resigned that office to assume a leadership position with the Heritage Foundation. Scott will be running in a special election, in 2014, for the final two years of DeMint's second term.
"What you see is what you get," Scott said. "I was raised by a single mother who worked 16 hours a day as a nurse's assistant in Charleston. I know the value of hard work," he said.
That's why he said he has a "common sense approach to education." When I was coming along in school, "you could learn a trade," said Scott. "What happened to that?"
Marla Hamilton, an educator and member of Chesterfield Town Council, asked Scott how he felt about the Department of Education's focus on what are known as Common Core standards.
"I am in opposition to Common Core," said Scott. "Kids that are not going to college what are we doing for them?" Scott said an investment in skill sets that will match the communities needs is what is needed and "Schaeffler is a great example of a company that is expanding in that way."
Ron Hampton, president of Northeastern Technical College, told Scott, "We have the longest standing apprenticeship program in the state."