Mobile Workshop in Specialized 18-Wheeler Exposes South Carolinians to Skilled-Trades
COLUMBIA, S.C.-- The South Carolina business community today unveiled Be Pro Be Proud SC, a mobile workshop housed in a specialized, 53-foot, double-expandable 18-wheeler, in advance of kicking-off its inaugural 2020-2021 statewide tour. The Be Pro Be Proud SC project was created through a public-private collaboration to introduce students to the skilled trades and educate them on the opportunities that exist in the state. Taking a unique, targeted approach to removing the stigma from “blue-collar” jobs, its goal is to educate students and the public on the appeal and the importance of these jobs for our economy.
Modules simulating the actual work in various sectors including forklift operation, commercial driving, utility bucket operation, diesel technology, heavy equipment operation, welding, carpentry and construction, technology, and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine operation, will be housed within the workshop. Over the next year, the trailer will travel throughout the state to schools, fairs, career centers, conventions, government events, military re-entry programs, and more.
The project was made possible in South Carolina through a public-private collaboration of leaders throughout the state including the Associated Industries of South Carolina Foundation (AISCF), which consists of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the South Carolina Trucking Association, Carolinas AGC, Home Builders Association of South Carolina, and the Forestry Association of South Carolina, as well as the Department of Employment & Workforce (DEW) and other state education, workforce, and economic development agencies.
Capital to build the mobile workshop and provide the job simulators comes from the private sector, including many key SC Chamber of Commerce members like Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Nucor Steel, Spinx, Duke Energy South Carolina, and Total Comfort Solutions.
For more information, visit the Be Pro Be Proud SC website at https://www.beprobeproudsc.org/. You can also follow #BeProBeProudSC to find out where the trailer will be next.
SC Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Ted Pitts: “Be Pro Be Proud SC will help fill the talent pipeline for the skilled trades in South Carolina. Introducing our kids to opportunities that exist right here in South Carolina through hands-on experiences and then linking them with training and potential future employers will help us fill high-demand jobs with home-grown talent.”
Governor Henry McMaster: “The Be Pro Be Proud SC initiative motivates and arms hardworking South Carolinians with knowledge of lucrative employment opportunities. This initiative not only creates a stronger, more skilled workforce, but builds pathways for South Carolinians to achieve their very own American dream.”
Nephron Pharmaceuticals CEO Lou Kennedy: “Nephron is strong because our team is strong, thanks in no small part to the fantastic workforce development opportunities we have had access to in our great state. We are proud to be key supporters of Be Pro Be Proud SC. The program is a game-changer. It introduces South Carolina’s students to opportunities in highly-skilled professional fields, which are well-paid, providing young people with the inspiration and resources to achieve their dreams.”
Spinx CEO Steve Spinks: “Spinx is excited to be a key sponsor of the “Be Pro Be Proud SC” initiative. This innovative program will promote and educate our talented young people about the great opportunities that exist right now, here in South Carolina. As a South Carolina-based business, Spinx is proud to assist the SC Chamber in this important project of connecting the next generation with great local career opportunities.”
Duke Energy South Carolina State President Mike Callahan: “As 2020 continues to prove, providing reliable electricity to South Carolina homes and businesses is an essential service, and the utility companies that provide that service are critical to the economic success of our state. Increasing the talent pipeline for electric industry jobs is necessary to build the smart-thinking power grid of tomorrow. That’s why programs like Be Pro Be Proud are so important, and why Duke Energy is on board.”
Total Comfort Solutions President Todd Hyneman: “South Carolina’s blue-collar workforce is essential to the future of our state, so getting these type of job opportunities in front of our young people is exciting. The future of Total Comfort Solutions depends on young people being interested in the technical opportunities that are available to them. We are happy to be a part of the team bringing this program to South Carolina’s schools.”
SC Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey: “Now more than ever, finding meaningful work that can withstand economic downfall, including a pandemic, is critical for many South Carolina families. The jobs built into this interactive experience are important to the state’s economy and provide exposure to skilled-based careers that students may not have considered. Understanding the salaries, benefits and long-term stability tied to these essential functions will help individuals evaluate their career options.”