Creating a Manufacturing Career Pathway
H.3373 and H.3774 would require the Board of Technical and Comprehensive Education to collaborate with DEW, CHE, DOE, and other alphabet soup agencies to establish a manufacturing career pathway for students within the manufacturing sector, and construction career pathway for students in the construction sector respectively . The pathway created by these agencies would be required to include “industry-validated stackable certifications and multiple entry and exit points that allow students of all ages to seek additional opportunities in the manufacturing sector.” Once the pathway is created the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Employment and Workforce will post information online concerning: programs in the manufacturing career pathway, salary and wage information for manufacturing careers, and a manufacturing sector employment forecast.
These bills are little more than corporate handouts for companies engaged in the manufacturing or construction sectors. It is not the state’s responsibility to encourage its citizens to pursue certain careers, or to provide a steady stream of trained workers for favored industry. If manufacturing and construction companies wish to train or encourage South Carolina citizens to receive training in the manufacturing sector they can pursue these goals with their own dime. Between the Workforce Investment Act and ReadySC South Carolina is already spending roughly $58 million this fiscal year on workforce training with little appreciable effect to the state economy. The state should be seeking to reduce this number not increase it.