Letters to the Editor

March 20, 2014

Williamson: SC technical college system critical to state’s success

Columbia, SC

Columbia, SC

I am honored to take the helm of one of the nation’s premier technical-college systems. More than 50 years after its creation, South Carolina’s technical college system remains focused on the important work of growing our state’s workforce. The system continues to dedicate its resources to educating and training a world-class workforce for competitive, high-demand jobs in our state.

The stats are impressive. The system educates more undergraduates than all of the state’s other public colleges and universities combined. Eighty-three percent of our graduates are either employed in a job related to their education or are continuing their education. What’s more, our innovative Apprenticeship Carolina program has increased the number of registered apprenticeship programs in the state more than seven-fold. Additionally, our readySC program is consistently listed as a top economic development incentive for workforce training and recruitment.

The system’s reach is even more impressive. Those educated and trained by the system provide the necessary services upon which the citizens of our state rely daily. First responders, registered nurses, medical assistants, radiologic technicians, preschool teachers, funeral directors, paralegals and HVAC technicians are just a sampling of the many careers that technical-college students pursue. It is impossible to imagine our state without these essential workers.

In fact, these career options are predicted to grow. Studies show that almost half of future jobs in South Carolina will require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. These are good jobs for our state — jobs with competitive wages and benefits that the system is perfectly poised to educate and train South Carolinians to fill.

The system has a direct and profound impact on the daily lives of South Carolinians. Focused on enhancing employability and improving quality of life, it plays an important role in the state’s economic- and workforce-development efforts — a role that is critical to our state’s continued economic success.

James C. “Jimmie” Williamson

President, S.C. Technical College System


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