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September 29, 2014   Chamber Website Facebook Twitter YouTube

Workforce development tops agenda for October forum
October 14 • Embassy Suites Hotel, Columbia


Be part of the frank discussion during the Education and Workforce Development Forum, the Chamber’s fourth Competitiveness Agenda Series program of 2014. A highlight of the day will be the Republican and Democratic candidates for Superintendent of Education addressing participants and taking questions. Participants will learn why developing a highly-skilled and well-educated population is integral to increased job opportunities and security with dynamic companies doing business in South Carolina. Learn why the private and public sectors must work together to ensure workforce needs are addressed and strategies successfully implemented. Registration fees start at just $50 (member/multiple attendee). View the agenda.
Topics include:

  • Seven Strategies for a Better Prepared Workforce
  • South Carolina Council on Competitiveness Education and Workforce Taskforce
  • Update on the EEDA and CATE
  • ApprenticeshipCarolina, Youth Apprenticeship, SCMC, and Critical Needs Training
  • Workready Communities, WIA, SCWorks
  • Republican and Democratic Superintendent of Education candidates
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Export bank chief rallies SC business support for future funding
By Roddie Burris

U.S. Export-Import bank chief Fred Hochberg said Congress’ reauthorization of the 80-year-old bank this time around is receiving much more debate than in the previous 16 successful reauthorizations of the independent bank, which has nine months left on its current charter.
“I’m surprised we’re having this debate,” Hochberg said at the steel plant. “We supported 205,000 jobs last year. We do it at no cost to the taxpayer. We’re making sure that businesses, most of them are small (90 percent), can reach global markets. So it’s a little baffling we’re still having this debate.”
The bank said it has supported 1.2 million jobs in the country since 2009 and earned $2 billion over the past five years after the cost of operations and any loan losses.
In South Carolina, the Export-Import Bank has supported state exports valued at $2 billion since 2007, according to the bank’s statistics, including $1 billion in 2014, the equal of all exports over the previous six years.
“We’ve got nine more months and I’m gonna work real hard to find common ground (on) how we can move forward,” Hochberg said. The GOP-led House reportedly voted this week to temporarily extend the bank’s charter until 2015, rather than its normal five-year extension, and sent that proposal to the U.S. Senate.

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Everyone Plays a Role in Reemployment

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) offers a variety of job placement services for manufacturers. In SC Works centers across the state, the agency provides free skills-development workshops, hiring events and training opportunities to those who are eligible. Last year, DEW sent 5,643 jobseekers through training to upgrade existing skills or learn a completely new trade.
If you’re looking for that next great hire, DEW has a portfolio of interested candidates. In 2014 more than 200,000 jobseekers have created profiles and searched for work using SC Works Online Services.

Here are a few of the programs DEW offers to businesses interested in hiring unemployed jobseekers with barriers to employment.

  • On-the-Job Training (OJT) – This incentive compensates you for time spent training individuals for customized skill sets. The reimbursement period varies by the specific skill set you are training for. OJT will pay up to 90 percent of your new hire’s wages for up to 26 weeks.
  • Federal Bonding – Provides six months of free insurance protection against concerns you have about an applicant’s background. This program is valued at an average of $5,000 per individual.
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) – Hire an individual from a targeted population and save on federal taxes. You must submit your tax credit request within 28 days of the worker’s start date. Employees must work at least 400 days before the tax credit can be claimed. WOTC can reduce your taxes anywhere between $2,400 and $9,600.
  • Apprenticeship Credit – State tax credits can be claimed annually for up to four years on a registered apprenticeship. This incentive averages about $1,000 per apprenticeship per year.

Visit to learn more about how DEW can match you with your new hire and connect you to the right cost-savings resources. Together, we can reduce unemployment and improve the quality of life for thousands of South Carolinians.

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Sustainability in South Carolina

The September/October edition of South Carolina Business magazine, focused on the energy sector and environmental issues, is now available online. This issue features articles on SC’s Solar Bill, three things every company president must know about environmental law, navigating DHEC, 21 ways to maintain environmental health and safety and six benefits to going green. The centerfold features John D. Williams of Domtar, whose SC plant exemplifies sustainability.
Please Note: The deadline to advertise in the next edition of South Carolina Business magazine, the annual expanded issue, is October 10, 2014. Contact Deidre Macklen at 803-318-3923 to learn more.

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Help Inspire the next generation of manufacturers

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), of which the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is the state partner, supports national Manufacturing Day 2014 on Friday, October 3. Join the celebration!
Manufacturing Day provides manufacturers a unique opportunity to showcase the great benefits of a career in manufacturing and demonstrate the industry’s value to the U.S. economy. Companies can also use this day to educate communities on the services and goods they manufacture. Whether through a plant tour for community partners or an open meeting with company leadership and elected officials, Manufacturing Day is a great way for everyone to increase public awareness of the manufacturing industry.
Plan to host an official event on Friday, October 3? Visit to register your company’s Manufacturing Day event!

Manufacturing Day Host Toolkit
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GEAR UP is Important to the SC Business Community


By Otis Rawl, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce

Last week we celebrated National GEAR UP Week. A nationwide program, GEAR UP connects businesses and schools to improve academic achievement, parental involvement, graduation rates and post-secondary/college/career readiness. GEAR UP is doing great things in your community, and it is very important to South Carolina businesses as we prepare the future workforce.
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the state’s unified voice of business, utilizes its GEAR UP grant to focus on the I-95 corridor. Here, we use our resources and business partnerships to serve 7th graders, and then follow them through high school graduation and into their first year of college. SC GEAR UP focuses on 22 high schools in 15 school districts and serves 4,000 students.

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