SC Chamber Announces Workforce Innovator Award Winners at 2018 Workforce Development Symposium

COLUMBIA, S.C. –The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the winners for this year’s Workforce Innovator Award. These companies have used their own resources and ingenuity to address the skills gap and help create a South Carolina workforce of the future by implementing innovative private sector solutions. Awards were presented on October 30, 2018 at the 2018 Workforce Development Symposium, hosted in partnership with South Carolina Department of Education and Workforce, the Chamber Education & Workforce Foundation, the South Carolina Workforce Development Board, and the South Carolina Technical College System, and presented by Bank of America.


Small employer (fewer than 200 SC employees): Dennis Corporation

Dennis Corporation recognizes the unique value of internship programs and on-the-job training opportunities in mentoring students for a career in the engineering, surveying and construction management professions by fielding two programs: the Student Internship Program and the Business Mentoring Program. Candidates for the Student Internship Program are recruited from high schools, universities and career fairs. Business Mentoring Program candidates are recruited from two specific core groups of disadvantaged and minority individuals. These groups include local high school students who may not be academically prepared or financially able to continue their higher education, and local residents, either employed or unemployed, seeking a career in an engineering-related field. By implementing this dual program, Dennis Corporation has reached a broad base of candidates.

Medium employer (200-999 SC employees): Volvo Car US Operations, Inc.

In 2015, Volvo Cars chose Berkeley County for its first manufacturing facility in the U.S. and announced the creation of nearly 4,000 jobs. Recognizing that many in the rural areas of the Lowcountry lack manufacturing experience, Volvo Cars partnered with the SC Department of Commerce, Trident Technical College, readySC, and Berkeley County Administration to develop a curriculum that would provide the necessary training for those without manufacturing experience and satisfy Volvo’s one-year manufacturing experience requirement.

Large employer (999+ SC employees): MAU Workforce Solutions

In 2014, MAU saw a lack of trained candidates for material handling/forklift positions for many of its clients. To meet the need, MAU developed its Skill School as a solution for its clients. Under the direction of MAU President, Randy Hatcher, a cross-departmental team was created for the planning of a Skill School. Members of the team included those from MAU’s internal operations team, business development, marketing, safety, as well as the on-site team representing the initial Skill School client site. MAU also partnered with clients when developing the curriculum to ensure it would be adequately comparable to the training previously provided at manufacturing facilities. This has led to an approach of providing training for both individuals with and without prior experience, with three separate courses catering to different existing skill levels.

About the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s first state chamber Accredited with Distinction by the U.S. Chamber, is the state’s largest statewide broad-based business and industry trade association. As a champion for business, the Chamber is a catalyst for increasing wealth and enhancing the state’s global competitiveness in order to improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians.

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