Gov. Henry McMaster today announced a partnership between South Carolina's technical colleges and the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce to provide training opportunities for unemployed individuals in the state. The initiative is made available by the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Funds.
Unemployment claimants will have an option of exploring short-term retraining programs offered at their local technical college in lieu of conducting the weekly work search required to retain unemployment benefits, according to a news release. After attending a short-term training program, the claimant continues to forgo the weekly job search.
The cost of the workforce training program is free to the student.
“As the federal unemployment programs come to an end on June 26, 2021, we want to ensure that claimants have access to all options involving training and employment opportunities,” S.C. DEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey said in the release. “If someone is ready to make a career change, exploring the state technical college programs should be your first step. This free training could lead to a certification or credential, which provides you access into new or higher paying jobs. And, our agency is making this training more accessible to people who will remain on South Carolina unemployment insurance by relieving those claimants of the weekly work search requirement if they participate in the training.”
In January, the governor awarded $8 million in one-time federal funds to the S.C. Technical College System. The funds provide scholarships to cover the cost of training as well as required course material and any assessments.
“The key to building South Carolina's critical workforce lies in quick training and education programs geared towards high-demand fields," S.C. Technical System President Tim Hardee said in the release. “Our colleges are uniquely positioned to quickly get people negatively impacted by the pandemic back on their feet — training them in these high-demand fields and building more stability for their lives. We have identified 11 programs for this initiative that are 16 weeks or less in length, lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate, and have a high placement rate in critical workforce areas.”
Programs include patient care technician, emergency medical technician, computer technology and information technology, commercial driver’s license, manufacturing technician, Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certification, OSHA certification, LEAN Six Sigma, welding, heavy equipment operator and lineman technician.