SC building a Work Ready workforce

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South Carolina is striving to be the first state in the nation to certify all of its counties as Work Ready.

Recently two more counties, Charleston and Lancaster, have received certification bringing the number of certified counties to 41. Counties received certification through the South Carolina Work Ready Communities (SCWRC) initiative by meeting specified workforce and education goals.

This initiative has helped attract international business development by providing a robust workforce pipeline. Employers connect to a skilled workforce which them hire the right people for their jobs by drawing candidates from a pool of qualified applicants.

“The Work Ready initiative is providing employers with a skilled workforce, which is driving the state’s employment number where, in August, we saw more people working than any time in the our state’s history. Companies are deciding that South Carolina is a great place to do business,” said Cheryl M. Stanton, Executive Director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

Individuals receive a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) that documents potential employees’ skills showing they have the fundamental skills needed to succeed. Businesses can recommend or prefer that individuals have an NCRC. 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.

A business interested in supporting the Work Ready effort, it can become a S.C. Certified Work Ready Community Business Champion by:

  • Profiling key jobs (job profiling is a job analysis system that identifies the exact skill levels required for success in a given position).
  • Using job profiles and the NCRC as part of your hiring and training process.
  • Sharing with others how your company is benefiting from participating.

A map of South Carolina’s 41 certified counties is available here.

For additional information, visit www.scworkready.org.

 

Gov. Haley secures Disaster Unemployment Assistance Eligibility for two more counties

Gov. Nikki Haley and the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) have announced that Fairfield and Marion are eligible to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) after FEMA approved them for individual assistance. This brings the total number of counties eligible to 22.

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

The other counties included are Bamberg, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Florence, Greenwood, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg. Other counties may be added at a later date.

If you have questions regarding your eligibility, call 888-834-5890.

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

To be eligible, workers or business owners must meet one or more the following criteria:

  • 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.

Applicants can file immediately. Please check www.dew.sc.gov for updates on this program. Applicants have 30 days from the time a county has been declared a disaster to file a claim under this program.

Gov. Haley Secures Disaster Unemployment Insurance

Gov. Nikki Haley and the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce have ensured that Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) will be made available to assist people who became unemployed as a direct result of the recent storm and ensuing floods.

The counties included in the DUA program are Bamberg, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Florence, Greenwood, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg. Other counties may be added at a later date.

If you have questions regarding your eligibility, call 888-834-5890.

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.

Applicants are encouraged to immediately. Please check www.dew.sc.gov for updates on this program. Applicants have 30 days from the time their county has been declared a disaster to file a claim under this program. The last day to file will be Nov. 6.

Three More S.C. Counties Certified as Work Ready

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Governor Nikki Haley announced today that Calhoun, Chester and Orangeburg counties received certification through the South Carolina Work Ready Communities (SCWRC) initiative. The three counties join the 36 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.

“We are only seven counties away from being the nation’s first certified work ready state with the recent certifications of Calhoun, Chester and Orangeburg counties, and that is cause to celebrate,” Gov. Nikki Haley said. “This again confirms that all of Team South Carolina is working hard toward providing our citizens with opportunities and our businesses with the best workforce in the world. We have always said that our state’s greatest asset is our workforce because of the hardworking, skilled people who call South Carolina home.”

“It is exciting to think that there are now 39 South Carolina counties certified as work ready and what it means to our citizens, local communities and our state,” said Cheryl M. Stanton, Executive Director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. “The Work Ready initiative is providing employers with a skilled workforce, which is driving the state’s employment number where, in August, we saw more people working than any time in the our state’s history. Companies are deciding that South Carolina is a great 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 39 certified counties is available here.

For additional information, visit www.scworkready.org.

Three Additional S. C. Counties Certified as Work Ready

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Governor Nikki Haley announced today an additional three counties in the Palmetto State are now certified through the South Carolina Work Ready Communities (SCWRC) initiative. Having met the specified workforce and education goals, Georgetown, Kershaw, and York counties join the other 33 in the state already certified. 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.

“We have always said that our state’s greatest asset is our workforce because of the hardworking, skilled people who call South Carolina home,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “The fact that Kershaw, Georgetown, and York have now joined 33 other counties by being certified as work ready proves that all of Team South Carolina is hard at work towards providing our citizens with opportunity and our companies with the best workforce in the world.”

“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 36 certified counties is available here.

For additional information, visit www.scworkready.org.

 

Greenville County Certified as Work Ready Community

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Gov. Nikki Haley announced today that Greenville County has achieved all the necessary criteria to become a certified South Carolina Work Ready Community (SCWRC), a designation that exemplifies a community’s highly skilled workforce and business friendly climate.

Greenville’s certification brings the total number of South Carolina certified counties to 33, more than any other state in the nation, and continues to move the Palmetto State closer to the goal of being the first certified work ready state in the country.

“The fact that South Carolina has more Certified Work Ready communities than any other state in the country is a real reason to celebrate and shows that the Team South Carolina approach is working,” Gov. Haley said. “Greenville’s certification proves what many already know—that our state couldn’t be more committed to offering a world-class workforce and a pro-business environment where our citizens and our companies can thrive.”

SCWRC provides a framework to bolster economic development using a community-based approach grounded in certifying counties as work ready. By achieving the work ready certification, Greenville County has met numerous specified workforce and education goals, demonstrating to businesses a strong workforce and commitment to economic growth.

“We are extremely pleased to be celebrating the accomplishments of Greenville County today,” said Cheryl M. Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. “This certification is a true testament to the efforts put forth by Greenville County to build a community that attracts businesses, employs its citizens and improves the overall quality of life for all of its residents.”

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), meet or exceed the three-year graduation rate average or improvement percentage and engage business support.

Greenville County adds to the roster of 32 other counties that have attained certification since the initiative began in 2013. A map of all certified counties can be viewed here.

For additional information, visit www.scworkready.org.

State Makes Final Unemployment Trust Fund Loan Payment

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DEW Executive Director Cheryl Stanton is joined by Gov. Nikki Haley, members of the SC General Assembly and business representatives from across the state to announce the early payoff of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund loan. (DEW)

Early Payment Saves Millions In Tax Dollars, Reestablishes Solvency

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) announced that the almost $1 billion federal loan used to help pay state unemployment insurance benefits since 2008 has been repaid. DEW made a final $120 million early payment today to the U.S. Department of Labor. The deadline to pay off the loan was scheduled for November 2015. However, early and voluntary payments on the loan by DEW between 2011 and 2015 led to returning the trust fund to solvency, saving businesses more than $12 million in interest payments.

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Depiction of the life of Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund loan, now fully paid off. (DEW)

Governor Nikki R. Haley and DEW Executive Director, Cheryl M. Stanton, were joined by Sen. Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee), Sen. Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson), Rep. Bill Sandifer (R-Oconee), Rep. Kenny Bingham (R-Lexington), and several key members of the business community at the State House today for the announcement.

“This loan payoff is truly a cause for celebration,” said Governor Nikki Haley. “Restoring solvency to the state’s unemployment trust fund is another step in our state becoming debt free and is quantitative proof that our citizens are finding work, businesses are strengthening our workforce and economy, DEW is cracking down on fraudulent claims and the South Carolina is truly open for business.”

The loan, which reached its peak of $977.7 million in March 2011, was issued by the federal government during the height of the Great Recession. As the recession remained, South Carolina was forced to borrow to ensure that unemployment payments could continue during the economic decline.

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Timeline of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund loan payoff. The loan peaked at $977.7 million in March 2011 and was satisfied early through voluntary payments. (DEW)

“Thanks to the great work of businesses now employing the most South Carolinians in our state’s history, the work of the General Assembly on tightening eligibility of benefits and the great work of employees at DEW protecting the integrity of the trust fund, we have repaid the federal government early, and are now on track to rebuild the fund to an adequate level for the state. This has been a true team effort with our business community and workforce training partners working tirelessly to not only create jobs, but also to fill them with skilled workers, and actively fighting fraud and abuse to the system,” said Director Stanton.

Senator Thomas Alexander said, “South Carolina’s ability to pay off its unemployment trust fund loan early is a true testament to the fortitude of the employers in the Palmetto State, the Department of Employment and Workforce, and our state’s General Assembly. Working together, we are continuing to demonstrate that South Carolina leads the nation as a business friendly state.”

Thirty-six different states have taken advances from the federal government during the last six years. However, since the inception of the loan, South Carolina has been the only state to continually maintain the full 5.4% Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) credit, saving the business community millions of dollars in higher federal taxes.

“By paying off the loan early, we are saving employers in our state from having to pay over $12 million in federal unemployment taxes,” said Representative Bill Sandifer. “We can then use that money to grow our economy, create jobs, and find innovative ways to put more money back in the pockets of South Carolina taxpayers, which is something we strive to do whenever possible.”

Three Additional S.C. Counties Certified as Work Ready

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Gov. Nikki Haley announced today that three more South Carolina counties are now certified as work ready, continuing to outpace the nation in an initiative that showcases the highly skilled workforce that businesses require in a competitive economy.

The latest South Carolina Work Ready Communities (SCWRC) are Hampton, Oconee and Spartanburg counties.

“Communities across South Carolina are continuing to showcase our state’s greatest asset – its people and the strong, loyal workforce they make up,” Gov. Haley said. “The certification of these three counties puts South Carolina one step closer to becoming the nation’s first certified work ready state, and truly represents our dedication to providing businesses with a workforce capable of meeting the demands of any industry.”

The three newly-certified counties have all met specified workforce and education goals, demonstrating to businesses a strong workforce and commitment to economic growth. The Palmetto State now has 32 counties with this designation, which is more than any other state in the nation.

“We are excited every time a county earns the certified work ready designation,” said Cheryl M. Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. “Becoming a certified work ready community creates an opportunity for citizens in that county because it sends a clear message that the community is open for business, and companies who invest here will find the workforce they need to be successful.”

SCWRC 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 has to reach or exceed goals in earning National Career Readiness Certificates (achieved through WorkKeys® testing), meet or exceed the three-year graduation rate average or improvement percentage, and engage business support.    The latest work ready counties join the ranks of 29 others that have been certified since the initiative began in 2013. Find a map of certified counties here.

For additional information, visit www.scworkready.org.

Visit SCWorkforceInfo.com for All Things Jobs

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Maybe you’re fed up with your current job, and need a change of pace. Maybe you’re interested in moving to South Carolina, and want to see what’s out there for you. Maybe you’re a student eager to see if you can put your degree to work after graduation. Or, maybe you’re just curious about the nature of the workforce on local, state and national levels. No matter what it is you’re looking for, you can almost certainly find it at SCWorkforceInfo.com.

SCWorkforceInfo.com is your go-to for information on all things job-related in South Carolina. SCWorkforceInfo.com provides helpful information for employers, businesses, educators and career advisors.

The website compiles information from both the Business Intelligence Department of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics to allow both employers and prospective employees to make informed decisions about their education, career and money. SCWorkforceInfo.com also provides up-to-date county, state and national unemployment statistics. See a monthly report from DEW which includes information on how many people are employed, unemployed, and how many unemployment insurance claims have been made. With a few keystrokes, you can easily see how your hometown measures up or if making the move is the right choice. SCWorkforceInfo.com provides an economic outlook for the state of SC every month, as well as Community Profile Reports that disclose statistics on demographics, economic, education and industry by region, county or workforce.

Visit SCworkforceinfo.com for all the labor market information you need.

JAG-SC Shines Spotlight on Community Service

Young people serving their communities took the spotlight recently at the Jobs for America’s Graduates-SC (JAG-SC) annual Career Development Conference.

The annual event, held April 30 at Brookland Baptist Banquet and Conference Center in West Columbia, featured more than 600 students from 25 high schools.

Students from Swansea High received a Jefferson Award for community service.

Students from Swansea High received a Jefferson Award for community service.

U.S. Marshal Kelvin Washington, who delivered a motivational speech to the group, encouraged the young people to place service over self.

“Take care of the folks that are not in a position to take care of themselves,” Washington said. “Changes in your community begin with changes in you.”

JAG-SC students’ dedication to improving their communities was evident in projects presented at the conference. This academic year, JAG-SC schools partnered with the Jefferson Awards Students in Action program. Founded by former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1972, the Jefferson Awards Foundation is dedicated to activating and celebrating public service.

So far this school year, JAG-SC schools logged more than 25,000 volunteer hours, according to Jefferson Awards Regional Director Heather Love. During the conference, the top three schools delivered oral presentations outlining their service projects. Swansea High, which runs a food bank for the community, received top honors.

Also at the conference, Manning High was crowned the state champion after collecting the most points from all of the day’s competitive events, which covered topics such as interviewing skills, public speaking, decision making and essay writing.

Luis Romero of Swansea High won the Governor’s Award, given annually to recognize the JAG-SC student who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and commitment to his or her goals.

Coordinated by the SC Department of Employment and Workforce, JAG-SC is a high school dropout prevention program focused on academic success and career readiness skills. Currently in its 10th year, it has served more than 8,000 students.

With the help of a dedicated career specialist at each participating school, JAG-SC 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.