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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Sector Strategies aims to fill the workforce pipeline

Posted on February 24, 2016 by Emily Fitzpatrick Palmetto Workforce Connections

In the coming months, you will be hearing quite a bit about building a workforce pipeline through Sector Strategies.

But this is not “just another program,” says Cheryl Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

What it is, however, is a regional, industry-focused approach to building a skilled workforce pipeline through regional collaboration between industry, education and government. Sector Strategies is proving to be one of the most effective ways to address the talent needs of employers.

This initiative is slated to be rolled out around mid-April, but the roll out is only the beginning, said Stanton, during the Workforce Development Symposium held recently in Columbia.

The goal is to build regional talent pipelines in critical industries to address workers’ skill shortages and to create career pathways for workers in specific industry sectors. All industry across the state will benefit from this effort.

This is happening through the analysis of data and on-the-ground intelligence to drive career pathways and talent pipeline development strategies. This allows for customized solutions by economic region rather than a cookie-cutter approach for all.

In order to have world-class Sector Strategies, there must be a shared vision in each region, it must be guided by industry that validates competency needs and partners in the programs’ designs, and it must lead to strategic alignment, which allows students and workers to move seamlessly between academic and career technical programs, to and from work, and to advanced credentials.

As part of this plan, the state has been divided into four regions. They are Upstate, including Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Edgefield, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Saluda, Spartanburg and Union counties; Central, including Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Lexington, Orangeburg and Richland counties; Pee Dee, including Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Sumter and Williamsburg counties; and South Coast, including Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester Hampton and Jasper counties.

The plan has also identified five critical industries in the state. They are diversified manufacturing, which includes metal and metal fabrication, textiles, lumber and wood products and chemicals, rubber and plastics; business information technology services; health care; transportation, logistics and wholesale trade; and construction.

“The end result of the intentional and thoughtful process of Sector Strategies and data-driven planning is where all business in South Carolina benefit – and that is the end of the pipeline,” Stanton said. “By matching individuals’ strengths and life stage with the demands of South Carolina’s industries, businesses can continue to find the employees they need in order to grow and compete.”

New Wallace Elementary/Middle School officially opens its doors

Monday night’s meeting of the Marlboro County Board of Education had a celebratory tone, as Janice Henson, principal of Wallace Elementary/Middle School, appeared with the following message: “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

She referred, of course, to the new Wallace school, which had opened that very day. She said students and staff alike were thrilled with the new school, and she expressed gratitude to the board and administration for making it possible.

“We have a school that we can be proud of, and that our children deserve,” said Henson.
In response, the district superintendent, Dr. Helena Tillar, thanked Henson and her staff, as well as the district’s technology, maintenance and custodial staff, for a smooth transition to the new school.

The public will have the chance to see it very soon, as an open house has been scheduled for Sunday, February 28, at 3 p.m.

In her monthly report to the board, Tillar said the district must decide how to dispose of equipment that remains in the old Wallace school and will not be moved to the new school.

Board member Danny Driggers pointed out that the old Blenheim school gym, which Marlboro County now owns and operates for recreation, needs an HVAC unit and could benefit from the old one in Wallace.

Tillar said the district may donate items such as the HVAC unit to government entities. Some items may also be used in other schools as needed. And she suggested an auction to deal with the remaining items.