South Carolina is a place that understands the value of its labor force; the state has invested significantly in the creation of a skilled workforce through its community and technical college system. As a result, this workforce has become one of South Carolina’s largest assets, helping to attract a significant number of well-paying, skilled manufacturing jobs.
The state has successfully recruited investment from both international companies and other states, becoming a highly attractive destination for businesses seeking to grow.
South Carolina’s advanced technical education programs have played a large role in developing the valuable workforce that has attracted so many jobs and companies. The establishment of these programs is an integral part of South Carolina’s history.
The 1950s saw a time period of job loss and economic downturn in the state, as automation and outside competition eliminated work in both textile and agricultural positions. With an unskilled workforce, South Carolina was not able to capitalize on the emergence of industrial jobs.
Recognizing the gap between labor force and job opportunities, Governor Ernest Hollings made technical training one of the South Carolina government’s priorities. Its Advisory Committee for Technical Training was established in 1961, and since that day, South Carolina’s Technical College System has grown into 16 colleges and 2 statewide programs.
The SC Technical College System offers a wide range of training courses to over 250,000 South Carolinians annually. The network of colleges provides training in subjects ranging from accounting to computer technology to robotics assembly.
One of the system’s training programs, readySC, provides customized employee training for businesses moving to South Carolina. The other, Apprenticeship Carolina, facilitates the creation of apprenticeship programs by providing information and consultation services to businesses free-of-charge.
Ultimately, all of these programs provide high quality, affordable education to South Carolina’s labor force, equipping individuals with highly demanded skills in diverse industries while also attracting new businesses to the area. These programs not only create a skilled workforce but also help raise the quality of life in the area.
96% of the SC Technical College System’s students are South Carolina residents, and these individuals choose to stay in South Carolina, contributing twofold to the economy and communities there. Ultimately, these labor force programs are yet another example of how South Carolina constantly strives to build a state that will succeed today and in the future.