A Leadership Aiken County contribution to Aiken Technical College will help support an Aiken County high school student who wants to eventually become an engineer.

The 2011-12 class of Leadership Aiken County, a program that aims to identify, develop and motivate new leaders in the Aiken County community, presented a $1,000 check to the college last week that will fund a student scholarship for the college’s Pre-Engineering Academy.

“We saw an important need for making sure that students are able to pursue careers in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – fields,” said Leadership Aiken County member Jason Rabun. “We saw a need to support the future leaders of our community.”

The Aiken Technical College Pre-Engineering Academy was conceived in response to the emerging community demand for employees with a STEM background.

Given expected job growth in Aiken County for positions in the advanced manufacturing and nuclear sectors, the Pre-Engineering Academy was created to prepare students for these opportunities before the need becomes critical – forcing local businesses to look outside our area to fulfill workforce needs.

Courses are transferable to designated engineering or engineering technology two-year and four-year degree programs. Qualified high school stu­dents who are accepted into this program as a junior and successfully complete it will receive a Pre-Engineering certifi­cate from ATC.

Leadership Aiken County raised money for the scholarship through a dinner in August, at which John Stewart, Bridgestone Americas Aiken County plant manager, and Dr. Susan Winsor, president of Aiken Technical College, were both speakers.