Melvin and Dollie Younts fund entrances to Greenville Technical College’s Center for Manufacturing Innovation

March 29, 2016

GREENVILLE, SC—Melvin and Dollie Younts, whose gifts have benefitted education across the Upstate, have given $1 million to Greenville Technical College, to fund two entrances to the college’s Center for Manufacturing Innovation (CMI), expected to open this fall.

The gift will allow creation of a primary entrance, to be called the Younts Entrance at Millennium Drive, with a drive over a new bridge extending to the building as well as a secondary entrance at Illumination Way and a drive to the CMI. Creation of the primary entrance will involve significant work including construction of a bridge and removal of brush, some trees, an earthen dam, and a pond. The Younts’ gift will help to fund this work in addition to the roadways. Without creation of the primary entrance financed by the Younts gift, all traffic would have entered and exited through what will now become the secondary drive. Removal of the man-made pond and dam for the primary entrance also provides a benefit for the future, as it allows space to be used for a second building as the campus grows.

Microsoft PowerPoint - Entry signage 3.4.2016.pptxThe CMI is a response to the workforce concerns voiced by area manufacturers as the economy began to show signs of improvement around 2010, and advanced manufacturers found they needed people with the right skills to help their companies take advantage of improving conditions. Manufacturing is a powerhouse in Greenville County, ranking first in Gross Regional Product. There are 550 manufacturing facilities in the county, employing 29,000 people with salaries averaging $50,000. Yet even though the opportunities are strong, young people often dismiss the idea of a manufacturing career, and only a third of their parents say they would encourage the choice. The CMI is needed to bring opportunity and people together.

Built on partnerships with employers and educators including Greenville County Schools and Clemson University, the CMI will host a series of grand opening events this fall. These will be designed to introduce partners, students, parents, community leaders, and economic development personnel to this new resource for creating a supply of highly skilled new employees and increasing the skills of current employees so that the Upstate and its companies can compete globally.

The center’s design mirrors its intent – to draw visitors into the opportunities that exist in the manufacturing sector. Visitors will enter the building by crossing a glass-enclosed bridge that allows observation of high-bay lab space where advanced manufacturing equipment will be used. The lobby will house interactive kiosks and displays that will employ sophisticated technology to connect young people to manufacturing careers.

“We are blessed each year to be able to give at least half of our annual income to the causes we believe in most strongly – the advancement of education, the support of Christianity, and the betterment of mankind,” said Melvin Younts. “I served on the Greenville Technical College Area Commission, and my son, Laney, now serves on the Greenville Tech Foundation, so we are proud to assist a college that delivers an education that helps people in our community succeed in life.”

“We are very grateful to Melvin and Dollie Younts for understanding the importance of our Center for Manufacturing Innovation,” said Dr. Keith Miller, president of Greenville Technical College. “The Younts name is associated with some of the most important educational efforts in the Upstate, and with our CMI providing entrance to growth and success for manufacturers and individuals, it is fitting that people will travel through the entrances and on a drive bearing their name as they approach the building.”


Gateway Entrance Sketch


About Greenville Technical College 

Greenville Technical College (GTC) is a four-campus system where nearly 30,000 students are annually preparing for the strongest careers of today and tomorrow. Established in 1962, the college’s mission is to drive personal and economic growth through learning. With more than 100 curriculum program choices along with short-term training for career and personal development, Greenville Technical College gives employers a ready supply of skilled workers and provides students with an education that will help them succeed. First accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in 1968, the college’s accreditation was reaffirmed in 2013 for a ten-year period – the maximum time period possible. Regional accreditation allows students to transfer easily and gives employers assurance that job candidates from Greenville Technical College have received a quality education. 

GTC promotes a respectful campus culture that reflects appreciation for diversity and inclusion at all levels. For more information about the college and its programs, professors and partnerships, visit

Visit for important information about the educational debt, earnings and graduation rates of students who attended programs.