Governor Mark Sanford continues to push for an overhaul of the Employment Security Commission, while Employment Security Commission officials say that the state needs more industry. Contrast that with a study of more than 150 industries located in the upstate where plant managers said there is a shortage of skilled workers.
John Deworken is Vice President for Public Policy for the Upstate Chamber Coalition, representing 8000 businesses in eight counties.
“Overwelmingly they said to us, ‘We can’t find skilled workers,’ ” said Deworken. “So, as a result, we have an employment rate which is highest in the Southeast. That means there are a lot of people who can’t find jobs, and a lot of employers who can’t find skilled workers.”
Deworken says the big question is how to get workers to more training and connect them to industries that need them. He says South Carolina workers, including the unemployed, need better job training, “so that when they are susceptible to being laid off, then they have a workforce set, they have skills which they can rest their laurels on and go out and get another job.”
Deworken emphasized the importance of a good education system. “It’s vitally important that K-12 and beyond that we are able to offer programs to increase the skill set of our workers, and secondly, that our workers take a personable accountability, taking advantage of what’s available to them, to increase their skill set as well.”