It’s almost noon, at least according to the clock in the below photo taken from what is now known as the Airport Campus of Midlands Technical College. This campus in West Columbia traces its roots to the South Carolina Area Trade Schools Act of 1947, which created the Columbia Campus of the South Carolina Area Trade School. The school’s mission was to train students for the demands of the local work force.
Columbia Campus was located in Lexington County. In 1969 the school changed its name to the Columbia Technical Education Center (Columbia TEC) and became a part of the State Committee for Technical Education, which oversaw technical education throughout South Carolina.
Meanwhile in neighboring Richland County, the Richland Technical Education Center (Richland TEC) – established in 1963 – was also busy training students for industrial jobs. As the school grew and accepted students from both Richland and Lexington counties, the Richland-Lexington Counties Commission for Technical Education was formed in 1969, and Richland TEC became Midlands Technical Education Center. Its campus was located at the current Beltline Campus of Midlands Technical College.
In 1973 private business school Palmer College along with Columbia TEC and Richland TEC joined forces to become Midlands Technical College. The school operated as three campuses within a single college. Today the school has six campuses throughout Richland and Lexington counties, the latest established in 2007 in Batesburg-Leesville. The school also has a campus in the Fairfield County town of Winnsboro.