Nikasha N Dicks
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Innovative Partnership to Create Training Opportunities for Unemployed Individuals

On June 8, South Carolina Governor McMaster announced an innovative 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 (GEER) Funds.

Unemployment Insurance (U.I.) claimants will have the option of exploring short-term retraining programs offered at their local technical college in lieu of conducting the weekly work search. Upon enrolling in and attending a short-term training program, the U.I. 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. 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," said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey. "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, Governor McMaster 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," said S.C. Technical System President Tim Hardee. "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."

The identified training programs are being offered at technical colleges across the state and include:



  • Patient Care Technician
    This healthcare program teaches you how to administer basic care to patients.  Patient Care Technicians interact directly with patients to help with daily tasks.
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
    Learn the basic knowledge and skills necessary to stabilize and safely transport patients ranging from non-emergency and routine medical transports to life-threatening emergencies.


Computer Technology and Information Technology

  • CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) A+ Certification
    The industry standard for establishing a career in IT, this program teaches you how to support today’s core technologies from security to cloud to data management and more.


Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
    This program offers hands-on training and in-depth classroom instruction necessary to understand and master the daily requirements of a career in professional truck driving.



  • ManuFirstSC (Manufacturing Technician)
    A basic manufacturing certification for individuals needing entry-level eligibility for manufacturing employment. The program covers the areas of manufacturing safety, quality awareness, production and processes, and maintenance awareness.
  • MSSC (Manufacturing Skill Standards Council) Certification
    This program helps individuals learn the basic skills and knowledge required for advanced manufacturing and supply chain logistics jobs.
  • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Certification
    Learn about common job-related safety and health hazards during this 10-hour or 30-hour training course.
  • LEAN Six Sigma
    Learn how to help an organization operate more efficiently by analyzing and improving their processes with the tools that you learn in this training program.
  • Welding
    Learn various welding techniques through a wide selection of course offerings.
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
    With a combination of in-class and hands-on instruction, this training will prepare you for a variety of construction jobs by teaching equipment safety, identification, operation, and basic maintenance. 
  • Lineman Technician
    Learn to use the tools and equipment required for safe installation and repair of underground and overhead utilities through a combination of work in the classroom and field settings.

Claimants will receive specifics about the program via email from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. 

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