Cheraw’s Schaeffler-INA Tapped Business of the Year by Workforce Professionals Group

An S.C. company was recognized nationally for making a positive impact on its workforce, industry and community.

The Cheraw-based Schaeffler Group-INA recently was named the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) National Business of the Year. This award honors business for supporting and using the state and local public workforce system.

The Schaeffler Group’s INA brand has operated for more than 40 years in Cheraw, where it employs almost 1,800 and is a community staple. The company, which produces precision parts for the automotive and advanced medical equipment industries, has collaborated with local and state agencies, workforce partners and high schools to enhance and expand the workforce.  It has worked with ReadySC, Northeastern Technical College, Apprenticeship Carolina, ResCare Workforce Services and SC Works to recruit and train its workforce.

It also supports the SC Work Ready Communities initiative and uses a variety of other SC Works services from job postings and applicant screenings to job fairs.

The company recently implemented new product lines in response to increased demand from auto manufacturers. Since the expansion was announced in 2012, the Cheraw campus hired 320 people, helping to lower the area’s unemployment rate, increase residents’ financial stability and contribute to the overall economic health of the community.

State Workforce Investment Board Restructured; “SC Works” Brand Unveiled

Gov. Nikki Haley today announced a pair of initiatives for increased job services statewide.

Along with the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) and the State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB), Haley unveiled plans to align workforce system resources, economic development and education by restructuring the SWIB and launching a new branding campaign for local workforce centers.

The idea to restructure the SWIB comes at a time when there is a need to generate more innovative job creation for the state. More than half of the board appointments consist of business representatives who can review statewide training priorities and assess business and job seeker employment needs from a real-life perspective.  

Gov. Haley appointed Michael “Mikee” Johnson, CEO of Cox Industries, Inc. to serve as board chairman, who will oversee workforce policy and the 30-plus member board’s actions. Other changes in the new board include adding two S.C. House and Senate representatives.

The board also includes appointments of local elected officials and workforce partners to reflect Gov. Haley’s desire to improve system accountability.

Moving hand in hand with the new statewide board structure, DEW and the Local Workforce Investment Boards are rolling out a new brand for local One-Stop locations. The One-Stops will be called “SC Works.” The branding initiative showcases the local workforce centers as the premiere locations for job seekers and employers.

A new website, http://www.scworks.org/, was launched that includes links to all local SC Works sites as well as the former SC Virtual One Stop search engine which now can be found at http://www.jobs.scworks.org/. The website still enables job seekers to search for jobs and employers to look for qualified candidates.

Other parts of the re-branding process include a new logo, which has been localized for all workforce centers; 15-second television spots targeted to job seekers and employers; and online ads targeted to employers.

An advisory committee of partners worked on the branding process and those partners included DEW, the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department, the Department of Social Services, the SC State Library and local workforce areas and staff.

The project was funded using federal Workforce Investment Act resources.