Founded to attract industry to the state to provide employment for South Carolinians, the South Carolina Technical Education System began with legislation enacted in 1961 to create the South Carolina Advisory Committee for Technical Education. The Committee identified strategic locations throughout the state for technical education training centers to train people for industrial employment.
The Florence-Darlington Technical Education Center was established in 1963 and presently serves Florence, Darlington, and Marion counties. The College's initial enrollment of 250 students now exceeds 5,400 curriculum students. Its original campus of less than 10 acres has expanded to nearly 240 acres with a modern complex of eight major buildings totaling nearly 350,000 square feet.
The college is in the midst of planning and developing another 325,000 square feet of instructional space entirely devoted to the advanced technology required in today's sophisticated manufacturing environment. The college operates sites in Hartsville, Lake City, and Mullins. The college also operates a large health sciences complex in downtown Florence entirely devoted to careers in the health arena.