Lt.Governor Andre Bauer says he has been touring unemployment offices around the state in recent weeks, taking stock of attempts to reduce the state’s jobless rate–which was 12.1 percent for the month of June.Baurer says difficult times require using all the sources available and he says the state’s Unemployment Office in Lexington County is a good example of that. “They have 55 folks graduating with a GED who didn’t have them before and now have them because they were looking for work. They have special programs for veterans who’re out of work, and anyone can go online and see the jobs that are out there and there are some. The state’s unemployment offices will even help you find the necessary training, be it through the workplace or through the technical education system.”
Bauer, who presides over the Senate, says he puts his “executive hat” on when the General Assembly is not in session.
Bauer says the important thing is for those looking for jobs not to give up. “They need to continue to get the word out there that they are looking for work, and go online and look for positions. Companies that have jobs need to report them to state unemployment offices.” Bauer is planning several job fairs at churches.
But the Lt. Governor’s travels, in light of the recent controversy surrounding Governor Mark Sanford, beg the question: Isn’t job creation mainly the Governor’s job?
“I don’t think it’s just the Governor’s job,” said Bauer. “Even if you’re an elected official on the city and county level you ought to be doing all that you can to find jobs, and to get rid of taxes, fees and restrictions that cause a business to look elsewhere. And any state officials are elected to do anything they can to create an environment where South Carolinians can grow and propsper.”
Bauer has indicated an interest in running for Governor, to replace Mark Sanford when his term is up.
Bauer would like for state lawmakers to consider the creation of regional offices carrying out the work of the Department of Commerce.
He says as in touring the state, he’s hearing concerns from the business and industrial communities,and getting ideas that would foster job growth, even among small companies. “I keep hearing a multitude of things, like taxes are too high on the city and county levels, and that there are too many restrictions. Say I’m an air conditioning contractor, it’s not like I can get one license through the state. I have to get one from every municipality were I work.”