Governor Henry McMaster and the Associated Industries of South Carolina  Foundation Announces “Be Pro Be Proud S.C.” Workforce Initiative

Governor Henry McMaster and the Associated Industries of South Carolina Foundation Announces “Be Pro Be Proud S.C.” Workforce Initiative

Campaign aimed at bringing pride and professionals back to South Carolina’s skilled workforce

The Associated Industries of S.C. Foundation in partnership with Governor Henry McMaster, state agencies including the S.C. Technical College System, S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce and the S.C. Department of Commerce today announced the launch of a new initiative, “Be Pro Be Proud S.C.,” to bring a new generation of pride, progress and professionals to South Carolina’s skilled workforce.

Today’s skilled professional workforce is aging out and the next generation of new talent is not sufficient to fill the demand. Nationwide, there are an estimated 4.6 million job openings, with approximately 60,000 of these openings here in South Carolina. The majority of these are in skilled technical fields. This gap in our state’s employment can be directly attributed to a lack of knowledge, interest and preparation.

“We must have the workers to do these skilled jobs, and we believe the impediment is that they don’t realize what all is available,” said the Hon. Henry McMaster, Governor of South Carolina.

The initiative targets many key audiences including high school and nontraditional students, current skilled professionals, legislators, parents, teachers, career coaches and employers to dispel the myths about skilled trade professions, showcase current skilled professionals’ true vocational pride, highlight the many career opportunities available within these trades and provide necessary resources and training to those interested.

“Since 2006, SC has lost 26.8% of all residential construction jobs, which totals almost 17,000 jobs which were predominantly self-employed. ,” said James Garman, Home Builders Association of South Carolina President. “The need is great and growing. The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce estimates an additional 24,000 new construction workers are needed to meet the state’s current building needs.”

Research conducted prior to the development of this campaign indicates that 82 percent of companies regularly have positions they are unable to fill with qualified workers. Furthermore, experienced tradesmen for these open positions average $50,000.

The Homebuilders Association of SC; SC Trucking Association; Carolina’s Associated General  Contractors; Forestry Association of SC; SC Chamber of Commerce; SC Farm Bureau Federation, SC Petroleum Marketers Association; South Carolina Timber Producers Association; Palmetto Agribusiness Council; SC Motor Coach Association; Carolinas Ready-Mix Association; SC Propane Gas Association, SC Beverage Association, SC Retail Federation, SC Beer Wholesalers Association, SC Asphalt Pavement Association, have voiced their support for this initiative, including providing financial support of the campaign.

The “Be Pro Be Proud S.C.” initiative will use a mobile unit to travel the state and visit schools and events to showcase skilled trade professions and broaden awareness of their impact on our state’s workforce. The “Be South Carolina Pro” mobile unit is an engaging tool that will provide information about training resources, currently available positions and descriptions, skills needed, and how to start the process of starting a skilled professional career.

“I have been told that only one of three parents says they would encourage their children to pursue construction careers, despite the advanced skills and high pay characteristic of the existing opportunities in the construction industry,” said James Garman. “The Be Pro Be Proud SC will offer South Carolinians new insight into the skilled professional workforce requires a team approach that includes employers, schools, elected officials, students and parents who recognize skilled professions for the financial and rewarding career opportunities they are. The HBA of SC will also work to provide apprenticeships in the construction field to help attract and cultivate future talent.”

The initiative will include a website, which will serve as a content hub for young professionals to learn more and even find training and job opportunities. Employers can also use the site to actively engage students, current skilled trade professionals can become ambassadors and work with students to spur interest, and parents and educators can arm themselves with the necessary materials for encouraging students to learn about potential career opportunities. Social media channels designed to help keep top-of-mind awareness about the need for skilled professionals will also support the initiative and provide relevant updates during the campaign.

Workforce Development: Clemson Interns

Clemson University Construction Science and Management program students are seeking part-time internship opportunities during the 2016-2017 school year. These students are active in the Construction Science and Management Guild and the Home Builders Association Student Chapter. If you are interested in helping future home builders build their resume for their planned career, and get access to a valuable workforce for your business, please contact Professor Jason Lucas ( or Michael Dey (

Need Employees?

YouthBuild Greenville will host a job fair where potential employees have booths that employers can visit to gather resumes and learn more.

September 8, 2016
45 E. Main Street
Greenville, SC 29611
1:30 pm-3:30 pm

Instead of employers setting up booths and jobseekers circulating among the booths, jobseekers sit at tables with a stack of their resumes while employers circulate. The benefits are:

  • Less of a financial and logistical burden on employers.
  • Jobseekers are made to market themselves to the potential employer versus the tradition of employers marketing themselves to the jobseeker.
  • Past Job Fair employers and jobseekers have reported that this type of event is more relaxed and is conducive to more meaningful conversation.
YouthBuild Greenville is a program that is combining GED instruction, Construction Training, work experience, long-term case management, leadership development, and placement/retention services all in the Woodside community. YouthBuild students assisted with a Habitat for Humanity Build and completed several construction-based community service projects.

For more information or to RSVP contact Ashley Mayfield, YouthBuild Case Manager at

President Obama Signs Jobs Training Bill Into Law

President Obama on July 22 signed into law H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Championed by NAHB, the legislation will help alleviate labor shortages in the housing industry by providing investment and resources to train workers for careers in home building and other industries.

Further, the law reauthorizes the Job Corps and Youthbuild programs as federal programs operated through the U.S. Department of Labor.

In partnership with NAHB and Job Corps, HBI, formerly the Home Building Instutute, is a national leader for career training and job placement in the building industry. HBI’s Job Corps training programs are national in scope, but implemented locally using proven models that can be customized to meet the workforce needs of communities across the United States and internationally.

At the signing ceremony, Obama said the bill “will give communities more certainty to invest in job-training programs for the long run. It will help us bring those programs into the 21stcentury by building on what we know works based on evidence, based on tracking what actually delivers on behalf of folks who enroll in these programs – more partnerships with employers, more tools to measure performance, more flexibilities for states and cities to innovate and to run their workforce programs in ways that are best suited for their particular demographic and their particular industries.”

Job Corps prepares students with the skills and experience they need for successful careers through pre-apprenticeship training, job placement services, mentoring, certification programs, textbooks and curricula. With an 80% job placement rate for graduates, HBI Job Corps programs provide services for disadvantaged youth in 73 centers across the country.

View a summary of the bill.

Workforce Development a Continuing Problem as South Carolina Gets C- for Manufacturing, Logistics.

A recent study compiled by Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research, and highlighted in Upstate Business Journal, gave South Carolina and overall grade of C- for the states logistics and manufacturing. While South Carolina has improved from previous studies moving from a D to C- the report maintains that human capital continues to be a problem. Part of the problem is low educational achievement  among adults therefore hindering workforce development and creating problems in other areas of the study.

In the “2013 Manufacturing and Logistics National Report” South Carolina received:

A in Manufacturing                        
A in  Global Reach                           
B in Sector Diversification             
C in Tax Climate                    
C-in Productivity and Innovation
D in Worker Benefit Costs     
D+ in  Expected Liability Gap
D+ in Logistics                       
D in Human Capital 

To read more from UBJ about this article click here.