president’s message
S. C. Needs A Skilled Professional Workforce
Jim Garman President, HBA of South Carolina

The HBA of SC In partnership with Governor Henry McMaster, the S. C. Technical College System, S. C. Department of Employment and Workforce and the S. C. Department of Commerce and other trade associations worked to launch a new initiative, “Be Pro Be Proud S. C.”The goal of Be Pro Be Proud S. C. is to bring a new generation of pride, progress and professionals to South Carolina’s skilled workforce. The initiative was not approved by the House during the budget conference committee, but the HBA will continue to work to bring this initiative to our state.

Today’s skilled professional workforce is aging out and the next generation of new talent is not sufficient to fill the demand. Nationwide, there are an estimated 4.6 million job openings, with approximately 60,000 of these openings here in South Carolina. The majority of these are in skilled technical fields. This gap in our state’s employment can be directly attributed to a lack of knowledge, interest and preparation.

“We must have the workers to do these skilled jobs, and we believe the impediment is that they don’t realize what all is available,” said the Hon. Henry McMaster, Governor of South Carolina.

The initiative will target many key audiences including high school and nontraditional students, current skilled professionals, parents, teachers, career coaches and employers to dispel the myths about skilled trade professions, showcase current skilled professionals’ true vocational pride, highlight the many career opportunities available within these trades and provide necessary resources and training to those interested.

Since 2006, SC has lost 26.8% of all residential construction jobs, which totals almost 17,000 jobs which were predominantly self-employed. The need is great and growing. The S. C. Department of Employment and Workforce estimates an additional 24,000 new construction workers are needed to meet the state’s current building needs.”