A Workforce Win - Mobile Trades Initiative Approved in South Carolina

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Carolinas AGC (CAGC) is proud to be the only commercial construction association involved in successfully pushing for state funding for a critical skilled trades initiative. It won't be long before South Carolina begins to see a tricked out 18-wheeler that serves as a mobile skilled trades workshop, rolling down the interstate and showcasing skilled trades at schools, football games, and fairs.

South Carolina is following in the footsteps of Arkansas, which rolled out a program for skilled professionals called Be Pro Be Proud in 2016. This concentrated effort delivers students, parents and teachers, real information about opportunities that exist across several skilled trade professions.

Younger generations have been told that in order to be successful and attain the "American Dream" they must go to college and obtain a degree. But through the Be Pro Be Proud movement in Arkansas, that perception is changing, and it will now in South Carolina as well.

"The Be Pro Be Proud truck is going to provide a vision for those considering entering the construction field. By showing a vast array of opportunities for a lifelong and well-paying career, this initiative will have a huge impact on our students, our industry, and our state. I am very thankful for the efforts of the coalition and the SC Legislature to see this to fruition and look forward to seeing great results from this investment," said Marty McKee of King Asphalt.

Carolinas AGC along with the SC Trucking Association, the SC Homebuilders, the SC Forestry Association and the SC State Chamber of Commerce formed a small coalition nearly three years ago that has worked tirelessly to obtain funding from the state to start a Be Pro Be Proud initiative in South Carolina. Our groups and other interested industries will make this a true Public Private Partnership as we all raise money to help propel this initiative forward.

"When high schools stopped having dedicated shop classes, the exposure to hands-on skilled trades stopped as well," said Leslie Clark, Director of Government Relations and Divisions for Carolinas AGC. "The construction industry has reached a critical shortage of workers and we hope the Be Pro Be Proud truck, as well as the programs we are pushing through our Build Your Career program, will help us begin to address that shortage."