Be Pro Be Proud Initiative Announced
The Associated Industries of S.C. Foundation recently announced the adoption of a statewide workforce initiative aimed at educating and inspiring more South Carolinians to consider skilled professional careers. The Foundation includes Home Builders Association of SC; SC Trucking Association; Carolina’s Associated General Contractors; Forestry Association of SC; SC Chamber of Commerce; SC Farm Bureau Federation, SC Petroleum Marketers Association; South Carolina Timber Producers Association; Palmetto Agribusiness Council; SC Motor Coach Association; Carolinas Ready-Mix Association; SC Propane Gas Association, SC Beverage Association, SC Retail Federation, SC Beer Wholesalers Association), in partnership with Governor Henry McMaster, Senator Thomas Alexander, state agencies including the S.C. Technical College System, S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce and the S.C. Department of Commerce. Tens of thousands of jobs in South Carolina are going unfilled due to a lack of interest and skilled workers trained in construction, trucking, agriculture and other specific roles. This is a critical issue to South Carolina’s economy as the state tries to succeed in a globally competitive environment.
In announcing the initiative, home builder Jim Garman said “It is not a trade secret that a lot of people are involved in the construction of a new home. Once the plans for the new home are in place and all required permits are received, the construction phase requires a detailed project plan that involves many skilled trades. These include framers, plumbers, electricians, roofers , as well as, more than 45 other trades.” Garman is the President of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina and President of Willow Tree Low Country Homes in Hilton Head Island. Since 2006, SC has lost 26.8% of all residential construction jobs, which totals almost 17,000 jobs which were predominantly self-employed. The need is great and growing. The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce estimates an additional 24,000 new construction workers are needed to meet the state’s current building needs. “I have been told that only one of three parents says they would encourage their children to pursue construction careers, despite the advanced skills and high pay characteristic of the existing opportunities in the construction industry. Be Pro Be Proud SC will offer South Carolinians new insight into the skilled professional workforce requires a team approach that includes employers, schools, elected officials, students and parents who recognize skilled professions for the financial and rewarding career opportunities they are. The HBA of SC will also work to provide apprenticeships in the construction field to help attract and cultivate future talent. “ South Carolina’s skilled professional workforce is aging fast, leading to a growing gap in finding South Carolinians to fill these positions.
Information about these opportunities has not generated interest among younger generations. There are an estimated 4.6 million job openings in the U.S. today. Approximately 61,000 of these openings exist in South Carolina with many being in skilled technical fields. This gap in our state’s employment can be directly attributed to a lack of knowledge, interest and preparation. South Carolina’s future will depend of changing the perception of these career options and efforts highlighting the many opportunities available within these sectors. The initiative will be adapted for South Carolina from a model program initiated and supported by the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce and a group of associated industry organizations.
For more information, please contact Alex James at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 843-566-3237.