COLUMBIA, S.C.- June 18, 2009 – A collaboration among state and local agencies aims to increase the state’s capacity to provide opportunity for dislocated workers and eligible adults to receive the job training to meet the needs of today’s challenging marketplace and to do so at an accelerated rate. The State Workforce Investment Board in coordination with the Department of Commerce today announced that it will provide a $4 million grant to the South Carolina Technical College System’s QuickJobs Carolina™ initiative. The grant funds are part of South Carolina’s portion of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) allocation in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The funds were secured in March and Commerce’s proposal was later approved by the State Workforce Investment Board.
QuickJobs Carolina™ is an ongoing training initiative of the South Carolina Technical College System. Additional courses offered with stimulus funds are designed to quickly prepare WIA-eligible job seekers, the unemployed and other citizens of the State for available jobs. These courses offer training in high demand industry areas with particular focus on the following five sectors: Advanced Manufacturing; Construction Trades; Energy; Health Care; and Transportation and Logistics. Within these five industry sectors, the program offers 24 different pathways for workforce training.
“Secretary Taylor encouraged us to find a vehicle that could put these grant dollars to work quickly and effectively. We were particularly interested in programs aimed at giving job seekers the skills needed to compete in today’s marketplace. QuickJobs has a proven track record of better aligning workforce skills training with the demands of businesses across the state, and putting people on a path to employment quickly,” said Pat Hudson, Chairman of the State Workforce Investment Board and Dr. Peggy Torrey, Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development at the S.C. Department of Commerce. “Even in these tough economic times, we still see jobs going unfilled because those seeking employment lack the appropriate skills. We are pleased to work with the State Technical College System to expand training programs and confident that this partnership will yield a clear path to employment for those that further their skills through QuickJobs.”
Participants completing a program at one of the 16 local technical colleges will have the entry-level skills to perform tasks under supervision of experienced employees with opportunities for gaining industry-recognized credentials within six months to one year. Participants may also choose to apply credits earned through the QuickJobs Carolina™ training program to further higher education or complete a degree.
“The condition of ‘jobs without people and people without jobs’ is an unacceptable status quo,” said Dr. Barry Russell, President of the South Carolina Technical College System. “We have seen great success with QuickJobs programs and this focused collaboration allows us to provide a creative workforce solution to the entire state. QuickJobs Carolina™ has been a priority for the Technical College System and for our business partners over the past couple of years. Providing South Carolina’s citizens with educational and career pathways clearly must be a part of how we address the challenges of these economic times.”
QuickJobs programs will be offered at the 16 technical colleges in the state and ARRA dollars will fund up to 360 classes in total, paying for instructors, facilities and curriculum development, up to $10,000 per course. Local workforce investment boards will send eligible students through the program at reduced tuition using stimulus dollars allocated for local areas.
Anyone interested in finding out more information about the program can contact their local One-Stop Career Center. For a list of One-Stops and contact information, please visit www.workforcesouthcarolina.org.