Georgetown SC Works Connects Woman With Supportive Work Environment

sandra Amann_successstorySandra Amann had a complicated medical history. With physical limitations and some impaired memory issues, she had not worked since 2010 and had difficulty looking for work.

She contacted the Georgetown SC Works office in search of services through the Ticket to Work Program. A product of the Social Security Administration (SSA), Ticket to Work provides people receiving Social Security benefits more choices for receiving employment services. SC Works serves as an employment network for the program, helping “ticket holders” find meaningful employment.

With her disabilities in mind, Georgetown SC Works helped her revamp her resume and began looking for jobs best suited to her needs.

When an opening came available at the local County Vocational Rehabilitation Services office, the center processed the referral on Amann’s behalf, recommending her for the position. With a new resume in hand, she applied for the position and was ultimately offered the job.

Less than 20 days after walking into the SC Works center, Amann was employed and making almost $12 an hour in a supportive environment, conducive to her health needs.

SC Works Helps Nichols Realize Occupational Goal

Rebecca NicholsWhen Rebecca Nichols enrolled in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program through Hartsville SC Works, she was unemployed but had the desire to become a licensed practical nurse.

With the training opportunity that WIA provides and the high-demand of nursing occupations, Nichols enrolled in the licensed practical nursing program through the Marion County School of Practical Nursing.

She received her Certificate of Achievement in May 2014 and her State Board of Nursing Licensure shortly after in July.

Just one month after completing certification, Nichols was hired as a licensed practical nurse at a local nursing and rehabilitation facility in Sumter.

Through SC Works Hartsville, the WIA program and Nichols’ hard work, drive and dedication, she is now self-sufficient and making a positive impact on her community.

DEW’s MyBenefits Portal Now Accepting Online Payments

The SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) is making it easier than ever for unemployment insurance (UI) claimants to pay back debt.

In addition to submitting by mail and automatic draft, claimants may now use the online payment portal via MyBenefits. You may pay with a debit card, credit card or an electronic check.

Click here for a step-by-step guide

An improper payment occurs when someone receives UI benefits that he or she is not eligible for.

If a person has been overpaid for UI benefits, whether fraudulent or non-fraudulent, he or she must repay the debt to DEW or risk the following penalties:

  • Withholding of wages if currently employed
  • Deducting the money owed from federal and/or state income tax refunds
  • Deducting debt from any other money owed by the state

Alternative collection methods can be avoided by either repaying the debt in full or establishing and maintaining a monthly payment plan.  After receiving a Notice of Overpayment of Benefits, you should  immediate action should be taken by calling DEW’s Overpayment Unit at 803.737.2490.

In recent years, DEW’s fraud prevention and detection efforts have dramatically decreased the number of improper payments being made. In 2012, the agency implemented a software system that compares wage data against unemployment data to detect potential conflicts. For example, it can detect if a person who is filing weekly claims is actually earning wages and working.

This process helps DEW better detect both fraud and non-fraud overpayments, identifies the potential fraud sooner, flags the claim and stops payments. With quicker identification, DEW is able to both recoup fraudulent improper payments sooner and prosecute more fraud cases.

DEW has also improved its detection capability by reducing the claims’ audit time frame by 50 percent.

The quicker detection processes have:

  • Reduced the number of potentially fraudulent weeks claimed by 30 percent,
  • Decreased the average amount paid per potentially fraudulent case by 30 percent, and
  • Significantly reduced the average number of fraud cases per quarter by 50 percent.

The new online payment portal is just another step towards efficiency and DEW’s goal of improved improper payment detection, prevention and recovery.

For more information about improper payments and fraud prevention, visit dew.sc.gov/overpayments.

Top 10 Projected Occupations in SC for 2022

The 2012 to 2022 employment projections indicate that more than 228,800 new jobs will be added in South Carolina. That is nearly a 12 percent increase over 10 years.

For jobseekers, students, educators and career counselors, this data may be helpful in career planning. Tables showing the top 10 occupations in terms of number, of percentage increases, and of number of total job openings are listed below.

Table 1: Top 10 occupations in employment number increase

1

Table 2: Top 10 occupations in employment percentage increase

2

Since employment number change represents new jobs added to the occupation, Table 1 tends to include occupations of significant size, while Table 2 emphasizes how fast an occupation will grow by the compared to its original size. Only two occupations appeared in both Tables 1 and 2 – Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides. Both are relatively large in size and growing quickly.

Table 3: Top 10 occupations with most job openings

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The six occupations found in both Tables 1 and 3 include Registered Nurses, Retail Salespersons, Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, including Fast Food, Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand, Customer Service Representatives, and Team Assemblers.

These occupations represent an overwhelming majority in both employment number change and job openings. With such high prospects for growth, these occupations are something to consider when planning for your future.

To search for jobs by key word and zip code, visit SC Works Online Services at jobs.scworks.org or download the free mobile app by searching SC Works in the app store, available on Android and Apple devices.

This article originally appeared in Insights, a publication of the S.C. Department and Workforce’s Business Intelligence Department. Read previous Insights articles here.

JAG-SC Shines in Washington

Almost 200 students and teachers representing Jobs for Americas Graduates-SC (JAG-SC) spent the past two days meeting with leaders in our nation’s capital.

JAG-Scott2_smallThe JAG National Leadership Awards Luncheon was held today to recognize a variety of corporate and government leaders who make the high school dropout prevention and job readiness program possible. Several South Carolinians were honored during the two day festivities:

  • Cheryl M. Stanton, executive director of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), received the Government Leader Award for demonstrating extraordinary leadership in an elected or appointed government office.  She was recognized for promoting the JAG mission to diverse audiences and her overall leadership and investment in the state’s emerging workforce.
  • Kendra Smith, a South Florence High JAG-SC student, was selected to sing the National Anthem at the luncheon.
  • Yetzibel Santos of Swansea High represented South Carolina in JAG’s celebration of one million students. The organization hit the milestone of one million students served this year, and each state designated a delegate to mark the occasion.

ScottJAG_1_smallOn Wednesday, students from the Palmetto State got a chance to meet and spend time with Sen. Tim Scott at the Capitol. Coordinated by DEW, JAG-SC is currently in its ninth year and has served more than 7,000 students.

With the help of a dedicated career specialist at each participating school, JAG students work on skills identified by businesses as essential to successful employment. The S.C. program has been consistently recognized at the national level for its success in equipping young people for life beyond high school.

Palmetto State Manufacturing on the Road to Recovery

South Carolina has one of the fastest growing economies in the U.S. and one of the fastest growing manufacturing sectors in the region and nation, according to a recent U.S. Commerce Department, Bureau of Economic Analysis report.

The report ranked South Carolina’s economy as the 12th fastest growing in the nation, coupled with the fastest growing manufacturing Gross Domestic Product on the East Coast.

Employment Trends

Manufacturing in the Palmetto State breaks down into five primary subsectors: Food; Chemical; Plastics and Rubber; Fabricated Metal; and Machinery Manufacturing.

These primary subsectors along with others formed the industry’s estimated 224,533 workers in 2013, the most recent data available.

manufacturing employment

Source: Quarterly Census of Employment & Wage

Though the manufacturing industry has had an extremely rough past decade, as the average employment dropped 7,400 per year, the figures vary largely with the financial well-being of the economy as the number of companies dropped sharply in 2003, 2007, and 2009.

Manufacturing employment has made an extreme turn around, going from decreasing fairly constantly to increasing at a substantial growth rate. According to the Department of Commerce, the manufacturing sector comprised 68 percent of new jobs and 82 percent of capital investment (10,442 jobs and $4.5 billion in investment) in 2013.

Employment Opportunities

If you’re thinking about starting a career in this booming industry sector, check out the top occupations in 2013 and the most requested manufacturing certifications by employers as of June 2014.

Top 10 South Carolina manufacturing occupations in 2013:

  • Team Assemblers
  • First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers
  • Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers
  • Machinists
  • Helpers–Production Workers
  • Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
  • Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders
  • Slaughterers and Meat Packers
  • Textile Knitting and Weaving Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
  • Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

Source: Occupational Employment Statistics

Top manufacturing certifications requested by employers in South Carolina as of June 2014:

  • Occupational Safety & Health Administration certification
  • Food safety programs
  • Material Handling Equipment
  • Automotive supply chain quality management certification
  • Forklift certification
  • Certified Welding Inspector
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers certification
  • American Production and Inventory Control Society certification
  • Top Secret Sensitive Clearance
  • First Aid certification

Source: The Conference Board Help Wanted Online® data series Outlook

A longer version of this article originally appeared in Insights, a publication of the S.C. Department and Workforce’s Business Intelligence Department. Read previous Insights articles here.

Important Upcoming Changes in State Law – Corporate Officer Exemption

Beginning January 1, 2015, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce will be implementing a new law regarding unemployment insurance coverage for corporate officers.

S.C. Code Ann. § 41-27-265 exempts corporate officers from state unemployment insurance (UI) coverage. However, a corporation may elect coverage of its corporate officers. The law only applies to officers of a corporation, and does not apply to other business entities such as limited liability companies (LLCs), sole proprietors or partnerships.

If corporate officers are covered by UI, the employer must report the individuals each quarter as employees and pay state unemployment taxes on their wages. Corporate officers that are covered by UI may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs and meet eligibility requirements.

More in-depth information and frequently asked questions are provided at dew.sc.gov/corpofficers.

Employer Unemployment Tax Update

2015 Tax Rate Table Released

2015taxratebanner

The unemployment insurance (UI) tax rates applicable for wages paid between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 were released today and are shown in the table below. A Notice of Contribution Rate detailing individual rates will be distributed by mail to each employer in the coming weeks. Individual rates are based on an employer’s computed benefit ratio. The tax rate class assignment in the notice should be used for the full calendar year. Please note that as of January 1, 2015, tax rates will be applicable to the first $14,000 each employee earns.

tax table

Third Quarter Wage and Contribution Reports Due 

october31Third quarter Wage and Contribution Reports (regarding wages paid between July and September) are due Oct. 31. Third Quarter Wage and Contribution Reports Due

DEW does not mail Quarterly Contribution and Wage Reports. We offer two convenient methods for employers to file online through either the SCBOS or the South Carolina Automated Tax System.

The following are examples of wages that should be included in your report:

  • All payments made for personal service, including bonuses and commissions paid to all workers of all ranks, including corporate officers.
  • The cash value of all payments in any medium other than cash.
  • All tips.
  • Reasonable compensation for services provided, including K-1 distributions.
  • Monies paid for time lost due to sickness or accident, unless paid out of benefit funds or other special accounts.
  • Expense allowances, which are not regularly and reasonably segregated.
  • Dismissal wages, which do not represent the worker’s interest in a pension fund.
  • All monies paid before any deductions for such items as lodging, union dues, employee payments to pension or benefit funds, Social Security tax, and premiums on group insurance.

For questions visit dew.sc.gov/UITax or call the UI Tax Division at 803.737.3080

 

More than 1,300 Jobseekers Attend Midlands Job Fair

DSCN2100Shanice Cunningham and Tyrell Lewis are both new to the job search process. In fact, Tuesday’s Midlands Job Fair at the Bluff Road National Guard Armory was the first event of this type for both jobseekers.

“I have one year left before getting my HVAC certificate from Fortis College, and I’m just trying to get some related experience under my belt before graduating,” Lewis said.

Cunningham, who is currently employed, is looking for a new opportunity in the customer service industry.

And with more than 62 employers with open positions, there were plenty of opportunities to go around.

“I came out today for Aflac, Allsouth and TD Bank,” Cunningham said.

Each company the two spoke to provided a good bit of information about their hiring process and also took time to hear from each of jobseeker about their qualifications.

“I spoke with every employer I came here to see, and I definitely feel more hopeful than when I came in,” added Lewis.

DSCN2107Columbia Fire Department was among the employers taking applications.

“We’re trying to fill between 20 and 25 probationary fire fighter positions by December,” said Captain James Bostic.

Less than two hours into the event, more than 50 jobseekers had filled out applications for the openings.

“We often partner with SC Works to get involved in events like this,” he explained. “The turnout is always great.”

The starting salary for probationary fire fighters is $31,000 and you begin getting paid immediately upon hire.

“We test in November, hire in December and the recruitment class starts in January, so it’s a fairly fast process,” said Captain Bostic.

Visit columbiarichlandfire.net for more information on how to apply.

DSCN2110Gary Brazell is at a different stage in his job search process. Having been unemployed for about four months and with more than 15 years of commercial driving experience under his belt, he is looking for a fresh start and a new career.

“I walked into the SC Works center downtown not knowing if anyone could help me because I’m not on unemployment benefits,” he explained, “but soon enough I was sitting down with a case manager and told about several options for a new career path.”

Brazell is in the beginning stages of Workforce Investment Act Program and has already met with Midlands Technical College about his prospective career path.

“The next step is to pass the WorkKeys test and then hopefully enroll in an Information Technology program,” he explained.

But at yesterday’s job fair, he was looking for just about anything to fill the gap of employment until he updated his skill sets.

“Even before I was a driver, I had a lot of experience in various industries, but employers nowadays want you to be up-to-date and have that recent experience,” he said.

“I’m just getting started here, but I’m hopeful about the opportunities available to me.”

Want to learn about upcoming job fairs in your area? Visit dew.sc.gov/jobfairs and follow @SCWorksinfo on Twitter.

Midlands, Pee Dee and Lower Savannah Job Fairs Set for Next Week

If you are looking for work in the Midlands, Pee Dee or Lower Savannah (Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties) areas, next week could be your big break.

Midlands jobseekers should not miss out on the October 21 job fair from 9 a.m. to noon at the National Guard Armory located at 1255 Bluff Road in Columbia. Approximately 60 employers have already registered to attend. Check out the list of attendees below.

1021 JFEmployersePee Dee jobseekers will be able to meet more than 30 employers at the October 22 job fair at the SC Army National Guard located at 700 14th St. in Hartsville.Veterans and those who complete a free job fair preparation workshop at an SC Works center this week  will gain early admission to the event.  It will open to veterans and workshop attendees at 10 a.m., the general public at 11:00 a.m. and will last until 2 p.m.

The following employers have signed up to participate in the job fair: Volt Workforce Solutions, Papa Johns, the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, Agape Hospice, Galey & Lord, Carolinas Hospital System, TransAmerica Agency, the  S.C. Department of Public Safety, North Industrial Machine, Palmetto Staffing Solutions, the S.C. Department of Corrections, PPM, Nightingales Nursing & Attendants, Home Depot, Nucor Steel, Monster, Noble Resources, the S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, Lowes, Time Warner Cable, Tender Care Home Healthcare, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Southeast Frozen Foods, ArborOne Farm Credit, Verizon Wireless, Youth Academy Charter School, McCall Farms, Schaeffler Group-INA, GE Medical Systems, City of Florence, and Performance Foodservice.

Free preparation workshops are:

  • 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., 10 to 11 a.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Hartsville SC Works Center, 1319 S. Fourth St., Hartsville.
  • 9 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Marion SC Works Center, 2413 East Hwy 76
    Marion.
  • 9 to 10:30 a.m. Oct. 15 and 2 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Florence SC Works Center, 1558 West Evans St., Florence.
  • 10 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 3 p.m. at the Bennettsville SC Works Center, 460 Highway 9 West, Bennettsville.

October2014-PeeDee_flyer_Page_1

The Southern Carolina Regional Job Fair will host more than 20 employers as they seek to hire qualified candidates in the Lower Savannah area. They represent a variety of retail and healthcare industries as well as call centers from Barnwell, Bamberg, Allendale and Aiken counties. This event will be held October 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Southern Carolina Business Center located at 1750 Jackson St. in Barnwell.

 October2014-SC_Regional_Job_Fair (1)

For more information visit dew.sc.gov/jobfairs.