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West Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) - There will be a new mobile workshop traveling the state this fall, showcasing skilled profession careers that are available throughout South Carolina.

The Be Pro Be Proud SC initiative launched Thursday, as Gov. Henry McMaster cut the ribbon on the new mobile workshop.

So this is going to open a lot of doors for people, said McMaster.

The truck is a 53-foot, double-expandable 18-wheeler. Its goal is to introduce students to different job opportunities across the state.

“We graduate between 45,000 and 50,000 high school kids every year. About 8,000 to 10,000 of them enter the private sector workforce, they don’t go to college and they don’t go into the military,” said Dan Ellzey, Executive Director of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW).

The mobile workshop has eight interactive stations that give hands-on exposure to skilled professions; like truck driving, construction or welding jobs.

“These are not middle-skilled jobs as we have historically referred to them. These are skilled, professional opportunities that creates huge opportunity for students to go and achieve as much as they can possibly imagine,” said Andrew Parker, Executive Director of Be Pro Be Proud.

“There are a lot of jobs, a lot of careers out there that most of the people just don’t know about. But if they have the opportunity to go into this vehicle or others like it to somehow learn what is available, and the amount of money you can make, it is mighty attractive,” said McMaster.

The mobile workshop is a way for students to experience the careers, and not just hear about them.

“You can give them flyers on it, let them read about it. But until they really see it, do it and touch it, I don’t think they truly have any idea of exactly what it means. So I think this is going to be huge in terms of educating an awful lot of our students,” said Ellzey.  “Things are going to be different, for these kids as they enter the workforce, the competition is going to be much, much tougher. And I think introducing them to jobs that they may not have really thought about, unless they got a chance to see it and see what it was all about, I think that will present them an awful lot of opportunities that they can take advantage of.”

With an aging workforce in skilled-labor careers, there will be a massive demand that needs to be addressed. Be Pro Be Proud SC can help.

“Everything’s changing. Education and training is the key to not only our future, but everybody’s future. Our job is to be sure that our people are right on the top,” said McMaster.

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