2018 JAG-SC Career Development Conference

On April 19, the 2018 Jobs for America’s Graduates – South Carolina (JAG-SC) Career Development Conference was held as students from across the state came together to compete in a day of competitive events that reflect this year’s theme, Ignite the Flame.

JAG is a state-based national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who are most at-risk.

In total, 23 high schools and 2 middle schools participated at the conference bringing 576 registered competitors to the event. After collecting the most points, Wade Hampton High School won the event and came home as the 2018 State Champions.

Students competed in a total of 12 events that range from public speaking to interviewing skills to poetry and more. One of the events is the Student’s In Action event. Team members are charged with creating and carrying out various projects that help their communities throughout the year. This year, Swansea High School advances to the Ambassador level with Jefferson Awards Students In Action for statewide competition and Rock Hill High School came in First Place at the conference.

Nathaniel Winch from Swansea High School was awarded the Governor’s Award. This award is given annually to recognize the student who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and commitment to their JAG goals.

SC Works Veteran Services

As a veteran, it may seem overwhelming when trying to land your first civilian job coming out of the military, but  SC Works is here for you. Through the assistance of our Disabled Veterans Outreach Program representatives (DVOPs) and Local Veteran Employment Representatives (LVERs) veterans receive priority of service when looking for a job and someone to help guide them through this process.

If you, or someone you know, is a veteran or service member looking for employment visit: https://dew.sc.gov/individuals/veterans-services for more resources.

Hackers target jobseekers

In this day and age many applications, interviews, etc. are being filled out and exchanged electronically. The issue this poses in the workforce sector is hackers pretending to be interested employers.

The Wall Street Journal published an article called Hackers Target Millennial Jobseekers that highlights personal experiences as well as tips on things to be wary of in the job search process. The article calls out fake recruiters that send legitimate looking applications which actually contain malware.

If a hacker successfully places malware on your computer personal identification numbers or details, bank or credit card numbers, and passwords are subject to be tampered with or stolen.

Rather than worrying about the validity of a job prospect, you can register for a free SC Works Online Service account at jobs.scworks.gov. The SC Works system pulls job offers from all the major job databases such as Government sites, business sites like hospitals and manufacturers, and major career sites like Indeed. In addition, businesses who register in the SC Works system go through a verification process to help ensure that they are a valid employer, and the system is set up for data scrubbing to help filter out duplicates and job offers that are suspect.

With your account you can not only apply for jobs through the system, you can:

  • Upload your resume,
  • Keep track of certifications that you receive,
  • Enjoy education tools at your fingertips,
  • Use labor market information to refine your job search,
  • And much more.

If you are having trouble navigating the site, there are workforce consultants at SC Works centers around the state to assist you. To find your local center, click here.

While a job offer that advertises “no experience needed” or “hiring entry level today” might be enticing and seem convincing, if you receive information about a job through your email or an online search that you want to explore, there are a few things to look for:

  • The biggest identifier is that they ask for personal details—more information than you would put on your cover letter. Information like your date of birth, bank details, etc. may be asked by an employer, but only after a formal offer has been given, and by this time you should be informed about who will be contacting you about this information.
  • Bad grammar is often in scam emails. If your email has a lot of exclamation marks or too many capital letters it may be spam.
  • Your skills don’t matter. If they give you details about the role, but care very little about the skills you will be bringing to the table, it is likely that it is a scam.
  • Instant job offer. Imagine looking for a job for months and then suddenly a job offer hits your email inbox, it’s like it is too good to be true—well it probably is. If they haven’t taken the time to reach out to you prior to this email then they are most likely scamming you.

You can access an additional tips to protect you email from credit.com.

Claim Week versus File Week

Your new bridge to benefits is almost here and we want to help make this transition as easy as possible. In the new system, just like in the old system, claim weeks and file weeks begin on Sunday and end on Saturday. When you file for unemployment insurance, you should be filing for previous weeks’ benefits.

So for example, if you did not work Monday, August 21-Friday, August 25, this would be known as your CLAIM WEEK because this is the week you were unemployed and for which you are filing to receive benefits. You cannot file a claim until the week has passed, so you would file this claim the week beginning August 27, this is your FILE WEEK.

Get the ‘Work Search Log’ widget on your My Dashboard in SC Works Online Services

Work search requirements recently changed and in order to claim benefits you must complete two work searches each week through SC Works Online Services (SCWOS).

In order to assist you with you weekly work searches, SCWOS has a widget that you can place on your dashboard to verify the work searches that you complete each week.

To place the widget on your customizable dashboard there are a few simple steps to follow:work search widget guide 2_Page_1

work search widget guide 2_Page_2

Was that job fair or hiring event a waste of time?


Have you ever gone to a job fair or a hiring event thinking that you were going to walk out with a job, but instead a representative told you to go home and fill out the application?

We are here to tell you that you didn’t just waste your time.

Oftentimes, HR representatives are not allowed to even touch people’s resumes or hire on the spot.

If you met with an employer at the job fair and you felt it went well and know that you were qualified for the position they were looking to fill, they probably told you to go home to fill out an application to encourage you to take the next step of the process.

If you walked away discouraged, realize there is a part of this procedure you may not have seen.

They probably wrote your name down as a qualified candidate for the position and once back in the office might look for your name in the stack of applications.

Diana Goldwire, DEW’s SC Works Area Director, says, “Do both. Apply online and come to the job fair because the job fair really gives you a foot in the door.” She continued, “At the end of each job fair we get a verbal count of people that each HR Representative saw and the number that are qualified for the position they are looking to fill.”

So the next time you are hesitant about attending the next job fair or hiring event in your area, take the plunge and go. You might just receive a call about a new job waiting for you.

Are your unemployment benefits at risk?

Did you know that when you file for unemployment benefits you must be actively searching for suitable work?

And you may need to verify your searches if the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce audits your claims. The agency can do so at any point and will request documentation of your weekly search for work. If your searches cannot be verified, you could be disqualified from future benefits and required to repay benefits you have already received.

One way to ensure your searches are verifiable is to perform all your job searches through the SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) website at jobs.scworks.org. By registering with SCWOS, your searches can be easily verified and counted toward your weekly work searches. Once you have completed your searches keep track of them for your records with the work search form available here.

Don’t jeopardize your benefits, go to jobs.scworks.org today!

It’s Tax Season: How to File a 1099-G

DEW wants you to be prepared this tax season so we have gathered all the information, tips and documents to help you successfully submit your taxes with a 1099-G form.

What is the 1099-G you may ask? The most common use of the form is to report unemployment compensation as well as any state or local income tax refunds you received that year. It also shows the amount of refund, credit or interest issued to you in the calendar year filing from your individual income tax returns. If at any point during 2016 you received unemployment benefits, you will need to document this with the IRS when filing taxes with the 1099-G.

To access your 1099-G, you will need to login to your MyBenefits portal. On the homepage, select view your 1099-G. You will then need to choose what year you need and click View My 1099-G. You can then view and print your 1099-G.

The IRS has specific instructions regarding the form. You can view them here.

Below is what the 1099-G looks like. The instructions that the IRS provides shows you exactly what you need to fill out all of the fields.


Can you contest your tax rate?

Can you contest your tax rate?

Having recently received your 2017 tax rate notice, you may have questions about how they are determined or disagree with the rate given to your business. So what do you do?

Unfortunately, South Carolina laws governing the tax rate assignment do not provide for an appeals process. However, if you disagree with the historical information contained in your notice of contribution rate you can submit a written request for a review within 30 days from the date on the notice. You must submit your request, along with any documentation of errors either by email at rateinfo@dew.sc.gov, fax 803-737-2862 or by mail at:

S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce
Experience Rate Section
P.O. Box 995
Columbia, SC 29202

The tax rates, according to state law, adjust automatically each year based on a formula that considers the following:

  • Projected benefit costs for the year (“base rate”)
  • Projected amount required to return the Trust Fund to an adequate balance by 2020 (“solvency surcharge”)

Tax rates are set each year to fund these components. Each employer is also responsible for a Departmental Administrative Contingency Assessment (DACA) surcharge of 0.06 percent which is added to the base rate and interest surcharge:

Total Tax Rate = Base Rate + Solvency Surcharge + DACA

If you have additional questions, you can contact the employer tax services line at 803-737-3080. To view the 2017 Tax Rate Chart click here.

What Not to Wear: Interview Edition




Job interviews are a big deal. Knowing what to wear to one is an even bigger deal. Many employers create a perception about you the minute that you walk through the door, so dressing for career success is very important. While something might be fine to wear once you already have a job, it might not be the first impression statement you want to make on a potential employer.

When it comes to dressing for an interview there are many obvious and not-so-obvious clothing choices, but some statements to steer clear of might be pretty subtle. So DEW staff went to their closets to help distinguish what trends, fashion statements and outfits you should stray away from when going to a job interview.


Even if you are applying for a position within a workplace that is considered laid-back, overly casual clothes can be ill-perceived as lazy. Shorts, shirts or other pieces of clothing with name brands written across the chest, hats, etc. are all things that you should choose not to wear to your interview.

Upon first glance, this outfit might actually seem okay, and for the most part it is. She has closed-toe shoes, black slacks and a black blazer on, which are all great articles of clothing tshirtto wear to an interview. What doesn’t work for this outfit is the green t-shirt. Even by trying to dress it up, it is too casual. Instead pair the great outfit with a nice blouse.





Have you ever heard the saying, “too mpearlsuch of a good thing?” This outfit would be a great choice for an interview if she had chosen to wear just one strand of pearls. While layering pieces is a big trend right now, an overabundance of any kind of jewelry makes for a distracting statement. Your potential employer may be inclined to pay more attention to your accessories than what you are saying in your interview. Also be careful not to choose jewelry that is too flashy. A good rule of thumb is to choose a simple stud earring. If adding more jewelry is appropriate with the outfit you have chosen to wear, pair the simple earrings with an equally simple necklace OR bracelet, not both.


Novelty clothing is fun, and can be a way that you like to show your personality. Ties that have Fourth of July fireworks or Santa Claus, or shirts that designed with camo or have fun designs on them might be something that you refrain from wearing in an interview.

What you should choose to wear instead is a solid button-up dress shirt. Great colors to pick are white or a light blue camodepending on the suit color, which includes dress pants, a jacket and button-up shirt. If you do decide to go with a tie that has design on it, make sure that it is subtle like stripes or even something that looks like the tie pictured. Just remember that not every tie goes with every shirt. The color of your tie should also complement the other colors of your outfit.

shoesLike clothing, shoes have to be carefully chosen for an interview. Great examples of a too casual shoe are tennis shoes and even Sperry’s.

For men, a nice business shoe that goes with the color of your suit is the most appropriate choice.

As a woman, refrain from wearing shoes that are more appropriate for the weekend or evening than they are for the office. You may have some interview jitters, and the last thing you should worry about is whether or not you are going to trip in shoes like the ones pictured. Some tips when choosing shoes for your interview outfit are:

  • your shoes should be closed-toe.
  • nude and black colored shoes are the two best colors.
  • you can wear flats or heels, but if you choose heels, find a pair that is only about two inches tall.



What about pants? Trends come and go, leggingsbut leggings have stuck around for a while. Some people try to make them interview appropriate by pairing them with a nice blouse or shirt, but that doesn’t mean they work. If you are going to wear pants, wear a nice pair of slacks.





For men and women alike, colored pants are something you should not choose to wear to an interview. Like many other pieces of clothing in this article, they are a bit too flashy. You should choose pants that are blue, black or grey because these colors convey confidence and are not distracting.


Women’s fashion is ever dressy-pantsevolving because – who wants to wear dull clothing? Certainly not these ladies in the pants that DEW refers to as ‘fancy pants’. While they are a bit dressier than jeans, they aren’t dressy enough for an interview. Any kind of designed pants should be left at home on the hanger, at least while you are in your interview.


These are just a few of the more common of the items shouldn’t be worn to an interview. Some things to think about when you are trying to pick out your outfit are:

  • Blues, black and greys are the best colors because they are conservative in what should be a conservative environment. The website Style Caster wrote an article about what the colors that you wear to an interview can mean to an employer. Check it out here.
  • Now that you know what not to wear, you are probably wondering what you should wear. Go to The Balance where they have written Interview outfits for Women and Interview outfits for Men and offer even more advice about style tips for your next interview.
  • If you have to ask yourself, “Is this appropriate?” just go ahead and change clothes so that your attention isn’t anywhere but the interview.

If you are in need of business attire there are plenty of places that you can go to find great deals. Most times you can find great business casual clothing at local consignment shops, and this includes Goodwill. If you do choose to shop with Goodwill, every purchase goes toward providing workforce programs and services to those in need. You can learn more about those programs and services here.

Ultimately our goal is to get all South Carolinians back to work, and that starts with the first impression. Make it a great one.