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Lander, ZF Transmissions Gray Court Agreement Expands Employee Educational Opportunities

Lander University officials, faculty and staff recently met with leaders of ZF Transmissions Gray Court, LLC, and toured the manufacturing facility. ZF Gray Court, which employees more than 2,000 skilled associates, is the largest ZF production plant in the United States. Contributed Photo

Lander University is expanding its reach in workforce education through an innovative new agreement with ZF Transmissions Gray Court, LLC.

The Upstate manufacturing site, part of ZF Group, a German-based global technology leader, is the U.S. home of the company’s 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions for passenger cars and light trucks. Employing more than 2,000 skilled associates, it is the latest and largest ZF production plant in the U.S.

Under the workforce educational agreement, Lander will provide ZF Gray Court associates with significantly reduced tuition for the 2023-24 academic year for online undergraduate and online graduate programs at the university.

“This agreement is in keeping with Lander’s commitment to ensure South Carolina has a well-trained and educated work force for the future,” said Dr. Richard Cosentino, president of Lander University. “ZF Gray Court is known for its manufacturing excellence, which is achieved, in large part, through the skills and knowledge of its workforce.”

“For the 10 years ZF has been in Gray Court, we’ve focused on reskilling and growing our own talent,” explained Tobias Brugger, vice president and plant manager, ZF Transmissions Gray Court. “This partnership with Lander University further extends critical educational opportunities to our more than 2,000 associates, and we’re grateful for their collaboration.”

Dr. Lloyd Willis, dean of Lander’s College of Graduate and Online Studies, said, “ZF Gray Court has a large, dynamic workforce, and we are thrilled to help these employees earn the skills and credentials necessary to advance their careers.”

Lander offers the online programs needed for career advancement, Willis said, “and we are committed to providing working adult students with a smooth, hassle-free educational experience from the moment they tell us they are interested until the day they graduate.”

ZF Gray Court employees who have earned associate’s degrees will now have expanded opportunities through this agreement, and additional employees can further their professional and educational goals in obtaining bachelor's and master's degrees from Lander University, said Dr. Michael Brizek, associate dean and professor of management with Lander’s College of Business.

“ZF’s support of its employees’ educational goals is a reflection of the company’s overall commitment to workplace excellence,” he said.

The tuition discount applies to fully online programs only, and individual course fees, books and related course materials would be charged at regular rates. Additionally, as part of the agreement, Lander will also offer qualifying associates the option of deferred billing, in which students are billed at the end of the academic term, rather than the beginning, so that they do not have to pay tuition upfront and wait for reimbursement.

For more information about the educational agreement or Lander University’s online undergraduate and graduate programs, contact and 864-388-8624.


About ZF

ZF is a global technology company supplying systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology, enabling the next generation of mobility. ZF allows vehicles to see, think and act. In the four technology domains of Vehicle Motion Control, Integrated Safety, Automated Driving, and Electric Mobility, ZF offers comprehensive product and software solutions for established vehicle manufacturers and newly emerging transport and mobility service providers. ZF electrifies a wide range of vehicle types. With its products, the company contributes to reducing emissions, protecting the climate and enhancing safe mobility.

With some 165,000 employees worldwide, ZF reported sales of €43.8 billion in fiscal 2022. The company operates 168 production locations in 32 countries.