To meet the technical training needs of our business and industry, including those innovation companies that the state desires to recruit, South Carolina must find ways to develop and prepare non-traditional populations for the workforce. The SC Technical College System Foundation will support the System through initiatives that focus on innovation and workforce excellence.
The SC Technical College System will respond to strategic economic development opportunities and initiatives in South Carolina by investing in the development of new programs and services in support of emerging clusters, such as alternative fuels and agribusiness. A fund to support innovation will allow the System to be flexible and adaptive in seeding innovative, collaborative projects among the Technical Colleges and in responding with creativity and innovation in support of targeted System-wide initiatives. The SC Technical College System seeks resources that will allow us to move in concert with the state's economic development strategies of focusing on education, building on existing and emerging industrial clusters to create better wealth and opportunity, and building an environment of fostering innovation.
Providing a highly skilled talent pool is one of the best investments a region can make when seeking to gain a competitive edge in the emerging economy. The U.S. Department of Labor has identified high growth sectors that are projected to increase in substantial numbers in the future and are being transformed by technology. Sectors that are targeted for growth in South Carolina include advanced manufacturing, automotive, construction, alternative fuels, and agribusiness. Further, South Carolina's business and economic development communities have expressed an urgent need for more effective ways to transition the state's potential workforce into skilled employees, particularly in industry-critical and high demand areas such as welding and commercial truck driving. If additional resources were available, the SC Technical College System could leverage these resources to help expand programs, develop accelerated job readiness programs based upon an annual identification of critical need areas, provide equipment matching funds, and prepare more individuals for employment in targeted fields.