V. Be Pro Be Proud S. C. Workforce Initiative

›› continued from page 11

NOT SUPPORTED BY HOUSE CONFEREES Governor McMaster has made this a priority issue for his administration

The Be Pro Be Proud S. C. initiative will be leading the movement to bring a new generation of PRIDE, PROGRESS & PROFESSIONALS to South Carolina’s skilled workforce through a unique private/public partnership.

Currently, tens of thousands of workers are needed in the skilled trades and supply chain-related industries in South Carolina, but the state lacks a collaborative initiative targeting this workforce. S. C. citizens, young and old, who are “at-risk” and/or not college-bound can be encouraged to find a path to rewarding, prideful professional careers. Parents, as well as adults seeking better work opportunities, need to be convinced there is a relatively quick, low-cost path to good jobs and rewarding careers.

The HBASC and its workforce allies are sorely disappointed by the House’s unwillingness to support the BPBP Skilled Trades Workforce Promotion Initiative. The budget provision was nixed by the Budget Conference Committee during negotiations last week.

House conferees, Representatives Brian White (Chairman -R-Anderson); Mike Pitts (R-Greenwood); and Leon Stavrinakis (D-Charleston) refused to support the initiative.

All three Senate conferees, Senators Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence) Nikki Setzler (D-Lexington) and Sean Bennett (R-Dorchester) supported this effort throughout the process.

The following group of organizations worked together under the auspices of the Associated Industries of S. C. Foundation to support the initiative.

• Homebuilders Association of SC

• SC Trucking Association

• Carolina’s Associated General Contractors

• Forestry Association of SC

• SC Chamber of Commerce

• SC Farm Bureau

• SC Petroleum Marketers Association

• SC Timber Producers Association

• Palmetto Agribusiness Council

• SC Motor Coach Association

• Carolinas Ready-Mix Concrete Association

• SC Propane Gas Association

• SC Beverage Association

• SC Asphalt Pavement Association

• SC Retail Association

• SC Beer Wholesalers Association Our 16-member coalition (The Associated Industries of South Carolina Foundation) will pursue every avenue going forward to find money to implement this program. We will search state agencies’ budgets, state, and federal grants, etc.

We are meeting with Governor McMaster, who championed this for us, and will find a means of moving this initiative forward!