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Back to Work

In 2016, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) piloted the Back to Work program to assist those living in interim housing with challenges, such as homelessness or addiction, transition into the workforce.

The curriculum is a 40-hour, boot-camp style program that teaches skills such as interviewing, résumé writing, conflict resolution, financial planning, dressing for success, understanding diversity in the workplace, soft skills and more. Each participant works with a coach who mentors them to achieve employment and self-sufficiency. The final step is a targeted hiring event where participants interview with employers looking to hire individuals with their skills.

Classes are usually held in the facilities of partner organizations, local libraries, or SC Works Centers. The Back to Work program is offered in a two-to-three-week intensive course or a five-week course, depending on the partner organization’s need.

All graduates receive a certificate of completion at an event attended by representatives from the partner organization, DEW, community organizations, and the graduates’ families. Frequently the keynote speaker is a program alumnus who shares their success story, describing the benefits of long-term employment.

Since the success of the first program in Columbia, Back to Work has expanded throughout the state in partnership with organizations such as:

If you are a jobseeker interested in participating in Back to Work or would like more information about the program, contact your local SC Works center.

Organizations interested in offering a Back to Work class at your location, please contact: backtoworkprogram@dew.sc.gov.