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DEW Welcomes Coordinating Council for Workforce Development and Regional Workforce Advisors
Newly Passed Act Brings Positive, Long-Term Changes to South Carolina’s Workforce
Columbia, S.C. – Landmark legislation known as Act No. 67 of 2023, the Statewide Education and Workforce Development Act (the Workforce Development Act), recently became law due to overwhelming support by the House, Senate, and Governor McMaster. This law brings new responsibilities to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), including the transition of the Coordinating Council for Workforce Development (CCWD) and the Regional Workforce Advisors (RWAs) from the S.C. Department of Commerce to DEW.
The Workforce Development Act confirms DEW’s leadership in workforce development and allows our agency to improve accountability, broaden our efforts in addressing obstacles unique to rural areas, and enhance responsiveness to industry needs. The Act also expands the CCWD to include additional public and private workforce development stakeholders, as well as designates DEW’s Executive Director William Floyd as its Chair.
“Thanks to the Workforce Development Act, the CCWD has more tools and stakeholders to align South Carolina’s workforce and DEW has received more subject matter experts, such as the RWAs, to help get the job done,” stated DEW Executive Director William Floyd. “The RWAs are a vital link between school and work, as they help communicate to students, parents, educators, guidance counselors, and others about the availability and advantages of fulfilling, well-paid jobs in our state, such as health care, manufacturing, and information technology. By placing them at DEW, the Act directly connects RWAs with experienced business consultants, economists, workforce specialists, and others already at our agency whose daily focus is workforce development.”
As mentioned in a recent Post and Courier op-ed, the Act will align the workforce development efforts of multiple agencies into a unified state plan through the CCWD. This unified plan will bring long-lasting, positive changes to statewide education and workforce development. As part of this unified plan, the CCWD will be creating new tools and resources for businesses, students, educators, parents, and others that make workforce services more available than ever before. These tools include an Education and Workforce Portal that provides access to labor market information and career-planning resources. Barriers like lack of childcare and transportation needs will be studied to develop strategies that better assist jobseekers facing those obstacles, while a supply/gap analysis of the state’s current and projected employer demands will be conducted, as well.
The twelve Regional Workforce Advisors across the state are an important part of the plan’s success as they work directly with our state’s educators and communities to provide them with workforce information, resources, and a system connecting schools to work.
“Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey, III, has been a terrific collaborator during the transition of the CCWD and RWAs to DEW,” continued Floyd. “Thanks to the Act, S.C. Commerce can continue making South Carolina an economic trailblazer on a national and international scale, while DEW focuses on workforce development efforts important to current and future employers and jobseekers in South Carolina.”
“To remain globally competitive, South Carolina continually looks to strengthen its economy through diversification of industry and business recruited to the state, bringing with it a breadth of new career opportunities for all South Carolinians,” stated South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey, III. “The Workforce Development Act will empower South Carolina to build its talent resiliency under the unified leadership of the Department of Employment and Workforce, creating a centralized hub for our companies’ and citizens’ collective workforce needs. S.C. Commerce is eager to continue working with DEW to create solutions for our business community while helping keep our people trained and ready for economic opportunities not just of today, but well into the future.”
“The Workforce Development Act has entrusted DEW with important responsibilities related to South Carolina’s workforce, which we are ready to meet head-on,” concluded Floyd.