Disaster Unemployment Assistance available for two counties affected by Hurricane Matthew

For Immediate Release

October 17, 2016

Disaster Unemployment Assistance available
for two counties affected by Hurricane Matthew

COLUMBIA – Gov. Nikki Haley and the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce announced today that Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) will be made available to assist people who became unemployed as a direct result of Hurricane Matthew.

The counties included in the DUA program are Marion and Orangeburg counties. Other counties may be added at a later date.

The DUA program makes funds available to assist people who became unemployed as a direct result of Hurricane Matthew. It also is available to small business owners and the self-employed, including 1099 contract workers, who lost personal income due to the disaster.

DEW Executive Director Cheryl Stanton said South Carolina workers may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits under the DUA program.

Workers or business owners meeting the following criteria may be eligible for benefits:

  • Individuals who are unemployed due to the disaster, and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Self-employed individuals and small business owners who lost income due to the disaster.
  • Individuals who were prevented from working due to an injury caused by the disaster.
  • Individuals who have become the major supplier of household income due to the disaster-related death or injury of the previous major supplier of household income.
  • Individuals who are unable to reach their job or self-employment location because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster.
  • Individuals who were to commence employment or self-employment but were prevented by the disaster.

Individuals must first apply for regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. To apply, call 1-866-831-1724 or go to mybenefits.dew.sc.gov. The deadline for applying is 30 calendar days from the date that DEW announces the availability of DUA in the county. If the individual is found to be ineligible for UI benefits, a DEW representative will contact them directly and will assist with the DUA application.

Applications filed after the deadline will be considered untimely and DUA benefits may be denied unless the individual provides good cause for filing after that date. Applicants must submit their Social Security number, check stubs and other documentation to support the claim that they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. In some cases, additional documentation may be required.

Please check www.dew.sc.gov/dua for updates on this program.

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About SCDEW

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce is putting South Carolinians to work. The agency invests in building a pipeline of quality workers, matches workers with jobs, and is a bridge for individuals who find themselves out of work for no fault of their own. This promotes financial stability and economic prosperity for employers, individuals and communities. SCDEW is dedicated to advancing South Carolina through services that meet the needs of the state’s businesses, jobseekers and those looking to advance their careers.

Statement on August 2016 Unemployment Rate

For Immediate Release

Sept. 20, 2016

DEW Executive Director Cheryl Stanton’s Statement

August 2016 Employment Statement

“South Carolina’s economy continued its robust growth in August as the state’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest level since May 2001. When businesses decide to expand or locate here, they are showing confidence that a pool of skilled workers is available,” said Cheryl Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. “In the last year, more than 54,000 people have found work and are again providing for themselves. However, we still have work to do in finding jobs for the 117,000 unemployed.”

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About SCDEW

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce is putting South Carolinians to work. The agency invests in building a pipeline of quality workers, matches workers with jobs, and is a bridge for individuals who find themselves out of work for no fault of their own. This promotes financial stability and economic prosperity for employers, individuals and communities. SCDEW is dedicated to advancing South Carolina through services that meet the needs of the state’s businesses, jobseekers and those looking to advance their careers.

Employment Situation for August 2016

For Immediate Release

Sept. 20, 2016

 

South Carolina’s Employment Situation August 2016

 Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.1 Percent,

Fourth Consecutive Monthly Drop

South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped for the fourth consecutive month to 5.1 percent in August from 5.2 percent in July.

Unemployment fell by 3,856 people to 116,998. Employment also decreased by 2,009 to 2,180,876. This resulted in a decline in the labor force of 5,865 to 2,297,874. Since August 2015, employment has increased by 54,553 along with an increase of 45,086 for the labor force. Unemployment fell by 9,467.

Nationally, the unemployment rate remained the same from July to August at 4.9 percent.

Nonfarm Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted1)

Seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payroll employment in August increased by 5,700 over the month to a record high level of 2,060,800.

 Industries experiencing employment increases were Education and Health Services (+2,600); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+1,400); Other Services (+900); Manufacturing (+400); Information (+300); Construction (+200); Financial Activities (+200); and Professional and Business Services (+100). Government employment remained the same, and Leisure and Hospitality (-400) noted a decline.

Compared to August 2015, seasonally adjusted, nonfarm employment increased 50,500 with upswings in Professional and Business Services (+13,100); Education and Health Services (+11,200); Government (+8,800); Construction (+5,400); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+4,500); Financial Activities (+3,700); Leisure and Hospitality (+2,100); Manufacturing (+2,000); and Other Services (+300). Information (-700) saw a dip in payroll.

Nonfarm Employment by Industry (Not Seasonally Adjusted2)

From July to August, not seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payroll employment tallied an increase of 1,600 to a level of 2,056,600. Historically, employment experiences growth during August as schools gear up for the fall semester. The rise was due to increases in Education and Health Services (+3,300); Government (+2,000); Other Services (+900); and Financial Activities (+100). Losses occurred in Leisure and Hospitality (-2,500); Professional and Business Services (-1,300); and Construction (-900). There was no movement in Mining and Logging; Manufacturing; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; and Information during the month of August.

Year over year, not seasonally adjusted, nonfarm jobs improved (+43,700) with growth in Professional and Business Services (+12,600); Education and Health Services (+9,400); Government (+5,300); Construction (+5,200); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+3,900); Financial Activities (+2,800); Leisure and Hospitality (+2,600); Manufacturing (+2,200); Mining and Logging (+100); and Other Services (+100). Information (-500) fell slightly.

 

1Seasonally Adjusted: Seasonal adjustment removes the effects of events that follow a more or less regular pattern each year (i.e. tourist-related hiring and school closings in the summer). These adjustments make it easier to observe the cyclical and other nonseasonal movements in data over time.

 

2Not Seasonally Adjusted: Effects of regular or seasonal patterns have not been removed from these data.

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South Carolina a fully certified work ready state

For Immediate Release
July 5, 2016

COLUMBIA—Gov. Nikki Haley announced today that the final two counties, Jasper and Richland, have received certification through the South Carolina Work Ready Communities (SCWRC) initiative, making South Carolina the first state in the nation to become fully certified as work ready. All 46 counties have met the specified workforce and education goals.

Being fully certified will assist all regions of South Carolina in their efforts to attract and retain international business development due to its commitment to economic growth and development of a robust workforce pipeline.

“We couldn’t be more excited to announce that South Carolina is the first state in the nation to have every county become certified work ready. Team South Carolina’s is paying off – we have seen our state become one of the most competitive environments for business development in the world, and we’re just getting started,” Gov. Haley said.
“Today is a day to celebrate as South Carolina becomes the first state in the nation to have every county certified work ready,” said Cheryl M. Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. “With our commitment to the Work Ready initiative and the continued development of a skilled workforce, it is not surprising that employment numbers have been at historic highs over the last year, and companies continue to expand and choose South Carolina as the place to do business.”

The South Carolina Work Ready Community initiative provides a framework to strengthen economic development using a community-based approach, grounded in certifying counties as work ready.

To become a South Carolina Work Ready Community, each county had to reach or exceed goals in earning National Career Readiness Certificates (achieved through WorkKeys® testing), had to meet or exceed the three-year graduation rate average or improvement percentage, and had to engage business support.

A map of South Carolina’s 46 certified counties is available here.

For additional information, visit www.scworkready.org.
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About SCDEW
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce is putting South Carolinians to work. The agency invests in building a pipeline of quality workers, matches workers with jobs, and is a bridge for individuals who find themselves out of work for no fault of their own. This promotes financial stability and economic prosperity for employers, individuals and communities. SCDEW is dedicated to advancing South Carolina through services that meet the needs of the state’s businesses, jobseekers and those looking to advance their careers.

DEW Launches New Website

For Immediate Release

June 21, 2016

DEW Launches New Website to Better Support Workforce Development, Employers and Jobseekers

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) has launched a new version of the dew.sc.gov website. The update not only refreshes the look and feel of the site, it also reorganizes the site’s navigation.

DEW reviewed site analytics and conducted internal interviews and focus groups in order to build and restructure the website. Some of the new features include a cleaner look and feel that improves readability of the site, homepage icons directly linking users to the most searched DEW information and new tabs that better align subject matter.

Always focused on the goal of connecting jobseekers and employers, the new website efficiently hosts information about unemployment, helping people find jobs, matching businesses with qualified candidates and collecting and disseminating state and federal statistics.

“We are excited to launch our new website. Our goal in developing this site was to help people easily find the information about benefits they may need and the services we provide. We are committed to assisting those in need and the businesses we serve efficiently and in a manner they deserve,” said Cheryl Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

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About SCDEW

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce is putting South Carolinians to work. The agency invests in building a pipeline of quality workers, matches workers with jobs, and is a bridge for individuals who find themselves out of work for no fault of their own. This promotes financial stability and economic prosperity for employers, individuals and communities. SCDEW is dedicated to advancing South Carolina through services that meet the needs of the state’s businesses, jobseekers and those looking to advance their careers.

Aiken, Union counties receive work ready certification

SC-Work-Ready-Communities-300x92

Gov. Nikki Haley announced today that Aiken and Union counties have received certification through the South Carolina Work Ready Communities (SCWRC) initiative. Aiken and Union join the 42 other counties that have met the specified workforce and education goals.

South Carolina leads the nation with the most certified work ready communities, and continues to attract international business development due to its commitment to economic growth and a robust workforce pipeline.

“With Aiken and Union counties being named Certified Work Ready, we are only two counties away from reaching our goal of being the first state in the country to be fully certified. This is a testament of Team South Carolina’s hard work in making sure we have the most competitive business environment in the world for companies looking for a place to call home,” Gov. Haley said.

“We celebrate what this means for these counties and our state” said Cheryl M. Stanton, Executive Director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. “With the Work Ready initiative, and a continuing commitment to skilled workforce development, it is not surprising that employment numbers have been at historic highs over the last year, and companies continue to expand and choose South Carolina as the place to do business.”

The South Carolina Work Ready Community initiative provides a framework to strengthen economic development using a community-based approach, grounded in certifying counties as work ready.

To become a South Carolina Work Ready Community, a county must reach or exceed goals in earning National Career Readiness Certificates (achieved through WorkKeys® testing), must meet or exceed the three-year graduation rate average or improvement percentage, and must engage business support.

A map of South Carolina’s 44 certified counties is available here.

For additional information, visit www.scworkready.org.

Two groups receive apprenticeship grants for innovative workforce programs

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Tri-County Technical College have been awarded apprenticeship grants from the State Workforce Development Board (SWDB), which made available $267,000 for innovative apprenticeship grant initiatives.

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce received $119,000 to provide apprenticeships for youths with barriers to employment. As the managing partner of the regional consortia for the Workforce Academies Youth Apprenticeship Program, the chamber’s project would be to enroll, train and place an additional 200 youth apprentice students between April 2016 and May 2018. This grant will support 68 tuition and expense scholarships through the end of the grant period. The average summer earnings of an apprentice are $3,200.

Partnering with the Charleston chamber are IFA Rotorion, Trident Workforce Development Board (TWDB) and its Palmetto Youth Connections (PYC) and Education 2 Employment (E2E).

Tri-County Technical College (TCTC) received $148,000 to provide highway construction apprenticeships to unemployed ex-offenders. The program, Highway Construction Pathway for ex-offenders, will help individuals with criminal records and skill deficiencies find meaningful employment in highway construction entry-level jobs such as flagger, quality control technicians and CDL B dump truck drivers.

TCTC has partnered with Greenville Technical College, Piedmont Technical College and Spartanburg Community College. This collaborative group will align with South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVR) and the institutions’ Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs)—Greenville County Workforce Development Board, Upper Savannah Workforce Investment Board, Upstate Workforce Investment Board, and WorkLink—as project partners.

Across industries, apprenticeships have proved to be effective because they benefit both the business community and the workforce. They are a focus of SWDB, which is the governor’s arm for economic development.

“We are pleased to partner with the Charleston Metro Chamber and Tri-County Tehnical College to help them provide opportunities to people who must overcome employment barriers every day. The State Workforce Board has placed an emphasis on the development of apprenticeship opportunities as they are a proven method of producing a highly skilled and productive workforce,” said Mikee Johnson, SWDB chairman and president of Cox Industries.  “All of this makes South Carolina an exceptional place to do business.”

“It is exciting to see what innovative apprenticeships are going on in our state to meet both the needs of our citizens and of our businesses,” said Cheryl Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce and SWDB member. “By thinking beyond traditional apprenticeships, we are finding smart ways to bridge the gap between education and employment and helping industries grow and retain its workforce.”

OPE summits demonstrate benefits of hiring veterans

Businesses learned about the benefits of hiring veterans at the first of three Operation Palmetto Employment (OPE) summits that are being held across the state.

Employers, hiring managers, veteran employment representatives and military service members attended the first summit, held in the Midlands on April 14, and received information and insight into recruiting and retaining military hires through OPE, South Carolina’s military employment initiative.

Launched by Gov. Nikki Haley as a statewide military employment initiative, OPE partners with various state agencies, educators, workforce development representatives and others to streamline and increase the efficiency of the employment process for South Carolina’s military community and reduce duplicated efforts of service providers.

“Through the collaborative work of its partner agencies and organizations, OPE is a tool that employers can use to access South Carolina’s military talent,” said Lieutenant Colonel David Gayle, representing the South Carolina Military Department and the South Carolina National Guard.

The OPE Midlands Summits include cabinet agency and military installation briefs, employer success stories, roundtable discussions and professional development sessions designed to further connect and inform private sector employers and hiring managers, employment service representatives and government officials on the true value of military hires. As a statewide partnership, OPE serves military job seekers and the employers who hire them — at no cost to either.

“South Carolina’s unemployment rate for veterans is 4.4 percent,” said Darrell Scott, Chief of Staff at the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. “This rate is below the national average of 4.9 percent, and below the state average of 5.5 percent.” Scott reported that more than 23,000 veterans received services in 2015, and more than 8,000 entered employment.”

OPE will host two more regional summits in May: the OPE Upstate Summit on Wednesday, May 4 at the Spartanburg Readiness Center at USC-Upstate, and the OPE Lowcountry Summit on Thursday, May 26 at Verizon Solutions Center in North Charleston. Seating is limited for both events; advance registration is required via Eventbrite.com.

Click here to watch a feature by reporter Sonia Gutierrez of WLTX-News 19 in Columbia.

To learn more about Operation Palmetto Employment and connect with OPE representatives in your area, email OperationPalmettoEmployment@gmail.com or call 803-299-4019.

JAG students find career development more to do with development than career

DSC_1240

A coach encourages a CHS athlete during a track and field event.

A group of Jobs for America’s Graduate (JAG) students in Clinton High School is carrying on a tradition of “everyone belongs” in a special way — literally.

As part of the JAG career-development program coordinated by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, a friendship class was added to the curriculum five years ago to give CHS students an opportunity to “look for things that need to be changed,” according to their teacher, Nancy Wood. The JAG students at the Clinton, S.C. high school decided they wanted everyone to belong.

This year’s JAG class at CHS created one of their opportunities for success and growth in the cafeteria. When they noticed a group of Special Education students who regularly sat together at their own table, the JAG kids decided to find out more about them and get to know them. So, the students went to their JAG specialist and talked about how they could help create more opportunities for the Special Education students to be part of the traditional school life.

The two groups began to sit with each other at lunch, and twice a week the JAG students would act as peer mentors for their new friends during a common class period. As the relationships grew, the JAG group discovered that the Special Education students were preparing for the Special Olympics. From there, it was no longer about working to include a group of students in school life; it was all about athletic training. And it was this mission that led to the deeper connection of the kids.

Twice a week, and with Coach Anson Cunningham’s help, six student coaches and six student athletes got together during a free class period to train. They worked together as a group on stretching and strengthening, and they worked in pairs to refine the athletes’ sports of track and the softball throw.

On March 18, their training was put to the test at the Special Olympics Area 5 Spring Games. This group of friends traveled to Presbyterian College Stadium, six competed, six to coached and volunteered, and all to support each other.

The student coaches are Zion Anderson, Monisha Cheeks, Jordan Jackson, Monique Kennedy, Derricki Light and Whitney Swindler.

The national JAG programs focuses on job preparation activities such as identifying interests and skills, testing workplace competencies, and academic-success coaching. Administered in South Carolina by DEW, the JAG program prepares South Carolina’s youth to be “College and Career Ready.” Student, parents, teachers and communities work together to create new opportunities for success in school and on the job.

Here is how local businesses can get involved in JAG:

  • Speak in a classroom – represent your business or field of expertise.
  • Provide a job shadow or internship opportunity in your workplace.
  • Volunteer at a student event to facilitate workshops, run leadership activities, or be a competitive event judge at the annual Career Development Conference.
  • Spread the word about JAG to your friends, coworkers and business affiliates
  • Take a personal stake in the success of South Carolina’s students by making a financial donation to ensure that the programs and services continue into the future.

 

Sector Strategies aims to fill the workforce pipeline

In the coming months, you will be hearing quite a bit about building a workforce pipeline through Sector Strategies.

But this is not “just another program,” says Cheryl Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

Sector StrategiesWhat it is, however, is a regional, industry-focused approach to building a skilled workforce pipeline through regional collaboration between industry, education and government. Sector Strategies is proving to be one of the most effective ways to address the talent needs of employers.

This initiative is slated to be rolled out around mid-April, but the roll out is only the beginning, said Stanton, during the Workforce Development Symposium held recently in Columbia.

The goal is to build regional talent pipelines in critical industries to address workers’ skill shortages and to create career pathways for workers in specific industry sectors. All industry across the state will benefit from this effort.

This is happening through the analysis of data and on-the-ground intelligence to drive career pathways and talent pipeline development strategies. This allows for customized solutions by economic region rather than a cookie-cutter approach for all.

In order to have world-class Sector Strategies, there must be a shared vision in each region, it must be guided by industry that validates competency needs and partners in the programs’ designs, and it must lead to strategic alignment, which allows students and workers to move seamlessly between academic and career technical programs, to and from work, and to advanced credentials.

As part of this plan, the state has been divided into four regions. They are Upstate, including Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Edgefield, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Saluda, Spartanburg and Union counties; Central, including Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Lexington, Orangeburg and Richland counties; Pee Dee, including Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Sumter and Williamsburg counties; and South Coast, including Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester Hampton and Jasper counties.

The plan has also identified five critical industries in the state. They are diversified manufacturing, which includes metal and metal fabrication, textiles, lumber and wood products and chemicals, rubber and plastics; business information technology services; health care; transportation, logistics and wholesale trade; and construction.

“The end result of the intentional and thoughtful process of Sector Strategies and data-driven planning is where all business in South Carolina benefit – and that is the end of the pipeline,” Stanton said. “By matching individuals’ strengths and life stage with the demands of South Carolina’s industries, businesses can continue to find the employees they need in order to grow and compete.”