How South Carolina is preparing workforce for the future
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - At least 14,000 jobs are expected to open up in South Carolina in the coming years.
To meet that demand, South Carolina is using millions of dollars from the federal government to prepare its workforce.
More than two years ago, Gov. Henry McMaster allocated a portion of federal COVID relief dollars for education toward training South Carolinians for high-demand jobs.
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On Wednesday at Trident Technical College’s campus in North Charleston, the governor announced more than 32,000 South Carolinians have since earned an industry credential through this program.
“We are bursting at the seams because students need what we have,” Trident Tech President Mary Thornley said.
The state has put more than $55 million in GEER funds – from federal COVID relief packages – toward its Workforce Scholarships for the Future initiative.
The 32,000-plus South Carolinians who have earned credentials through this program had up to $5,000 a year covered for tuition and related costs.
In return, they have to pursue a credential or associate degree at one of the state’s 16 technical colleges and in a high-demand field like manufacturing, education or health care.
The head of the South Carolina Technical College System says its graduates have a 91% job placement rate in the field in which they’re trained.
“The reason these business leaders from around the world are coming here is because of the people. We’ve got the raw asset. We have the diamond in the rough,” McMaster said. “All we have to do is polish it, and the way to polish it is with education.”
The state Legislature allocated nearly $100 million in the current state budget to continue this scholarship initiative, and there’s about $11 million in federal funds remaining in the program.
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