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Upstate SC Alliance launches campaign to recruit talent

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An unemployment rate of 3.4% in South Carolina has created challenges for employers. When it comes to recruiting companies to the Upstate, John Lummus, president and CEO of Upstate SC Alliance, said his organization’s focus has expanded to not only recruiting business to the region, but skilled talent as well.

“There are not enough people to fill the jobs available in the Upstate. There are across the board needs in a variety of business and industry,” Lummus said.

To address those needs, Upstate SC Alliance has launched a talent attraction initiative called Move Up. The initiative includes a new brand and website,, which promotes the job opportunities and quality of life in the 10-county Upstate region.

Upstate SC Alliance spearheaded the effort with support from the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce and Ten at the Top, according to a news release.

“Workforce has quickly become a top factor as companies consider whether to locate or expand in our region,” Lummus said. “Our region has the right ingredients not only to meet business needs, but also to provide fulfilling careers and a rich lifestyle. Move Up is here to help employers and our communities tell that story.”

More than 10,000 Upstate employers posted job openings in the last 12 months, meaning job seekers have a great variety of options, according to information from Upstate SC Alliance. In the last 12 months, there were 214,012 unique job postings in the Upstate, with a 28 days median posting duration, according to an Emsi report. Emsi is a labor market analytics firm.

The top 10 posted occupations in the Upstate, according to the Emsi report compiled by Upstate SC Alliance, are:

  • Transportation and material moving
  • Sales
  • Healthcare practitioners
  • Office and administrative support
  • Food preparation and serving
  • Management
  • Installation, maintenance and repair
  • Production
  • Business and financial operations
  • Architecture and engineering

“I hear daily from company leaders that their most difficult barrier to meeting current and future demands of their business is the challenge of finding the right people,” Steve Hall, vice president of business development for Find Great People, said in a news release. “When attracting talent to the region we need convincing facts and data, as well as the ability for individuals and families to see themselves living in a community, are two critical elements to successfully recruiting a candidate. The Move Up initiative provides employers across the region with a tool for both.”

Numbers provided by Upstate SC Alliance show higher than average job growth, a decreasing labor force and the low unemployment rate combining to put pressure on Upstate employers.

“Ultimately, the goal of the initiative is to help Upstate employers fill their open positions and grow their operations. That means helping connect job seekers with a community and career that speaks to them,” Lummus said in the release. “How do we get there? It all starts with Upstate employers knowing about the brand and using it to their advantage.”

Lummus said the first step was developing the website and getting employers on board. The next phase is to develop target markets. There’s also a social component that relies on Instagram and Facebook interactions using the hashtags #MoveUpSC and #AreYouUpForIt.

The website introduces viewers to communities from Abbeville to Seneca to Gaffney, and everywhere in between, through interactive maps. It conveys the types of housing available and cost of living comparisons to other cities. It also outlines the business environment — the companies and the types of jobs available. The site also has suggested visit itineraries and links to Upstate destination marketing organizations.

“At AnMed Health, we recruit the best and brightest by showing potential teammates the benefits of joining an innovative, growing and cutting-edge health system where their voices are heard,” Bill Manson, AnMed Health CEO, said in the release. “Our location in the beautiful and family-friendly area helps to convey that the Upstate is a fulfilling and great place to live and work. Move Up is an excellent benefit to help us attract top-notch talent.”

Reach Teresa Cutlip at 864-720-1223.

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