Skills gap in work force addressed

  • Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Trident Regional Education Center and Lowcountry Manufacturers Council to address the critical gap between the skills of potential employees and those needed by manufacturers.

Nationally, 600,000 jobs are left unfilled each year due to the skills gap, costing the creation of a potential 405,441 additional jobs as well as $17,590,000,000 in lost income taxes (Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, 2011).

Through the Trident Region STEM and Manufacturing for Educatorsí Day (SMFED) series, teachers and counselors are educated about the realities and opportunities in STEM and Manufacturing professions, providing them with the knowledge to create industry-related lesson plans and activities. Sessions also help the community become familiar with the dynamic advancements in the manufacturing industry.

The 2014 STEM and Manufacturing for Educatorsí Day (SMFED) series consists of two-full day sessions and a culminating event. The introductory session, hosted by Alcoa Mt. Holly, allowed educators of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties to tour the facility, learn about the history of Alcoa and employability skills from subject matter experts. During the second session, educators visited Robert Bosch, LLC and Boeing South Carolina, meeting with company leaders and exploring the companiesí manufacturing processes.

The valuable knowledge gained will help educators create lesson plans and classroom activities that connect the classroom experience to the world of work. These unique plans create awareness of the industry, identify skill needs and emphasize the relevancy between classroom lessons and the regionís manufacturing industry.

The culminating event provided an opportunity for the participants and business leaders to exchange best practices and ideas about incorporating workforce skills into classroom activities. ReadySC representatives presented pre-employment technical training opportunities followed by a panel of human resources professionals from Leatherwood Industries and the South Carolina Ports Authority.

Additional industries establishing SMFED events include Briteline, Cummins, Pegasus Steel, Nucor Steel, MWV, Tognum, State Ports Authority, VTL Precision, Hubner Manufacturing, Leatherwood Industries and Allied Reliability Group. To learn more and get involved, contact Suzi Raiford, Education Initiatives Director, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce sraiford@charlestonchamber.org.

SMFED 2014 is funded by Dream It, Do It South Carolina and The Alcoa Foundation.

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