At a time when job loss is causing despair everywhere you look, the Governor’s State Workforce Investment Board is trying to help. The board is receiving eight million dollars of federal stimulus dollars for job training in the Palmetto State. Another 59 million will go directly to the local offices, to 12 locations throughout the state, under direction of the board. The Workforce Investment Board was created through federal legislation in 1998, and is similar to the previous Job Training Partnership Act. Pat Hudson Chairs the Board. During a recent meeting, Hudson pointed out that there will be a lot of scrutiny about how the funds are spent.
Hudson says the board is made up of a lot of dedicated people working together to make a difference in a time of need. “It’s a board that’s made up of a great partnership of the government, of community-based organizations, of organized labor. It really is a model of how you can bring different constituencies together to help South Carolina and help our economy.”
The governor recently appointed ten new members to the 30-member State Workforce Investment Board. Hudson says he knows the work of the Workforce Investment Board will help more South Carolinians to get training, at a time when the number of employment opportunities has dropped. “It’s a real opportune time for people to get training. One of the things we find, and this is not unique to South Carolina, is that at a time when you’ve got a lot of people looking for work, you also have jobs that are going begging, because they can’t find qualified employees to fill those positions. So we’ve identified that there really is a need to get our people the skills they need, to fill those current vacancies, and also for future high-growth, high-wage jobs, that we know will be coming in the future.”
Hudson says in addition to providing services to job seekers and young people, his group will also help businesses. “We can assist them in screening job applicants. We can assist them, in appropriate cases, providing them with funds so they can get training for their current workers. We call that incumbent worker training, and in some instances there’re funds available for on-the-job training.”
Hudson also chairs the National Association of State Workforce Board Chairs. To find out about services, contact your nearest Job Service One-stop Center. Programs just for teenagers are also available.