NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (Dec. 3, 2018 Federal Incumbent Worker Training Assistance (IWT) funds totaling $100,000 are available through the Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to assist tri-county employers in training current employees.

Private-sector employers in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties are eligible to receive funds, which must be used to train incumbent workers. The program is meant to assist with expansion, new technology, retooling, new services/product lines, and/or new organizational structuring. Incumbent worker training is not intended to fund periodic safety and refresher courses or occupational training for new hires.

Application submission deadline is 5 p.m. on Dec. 13, 2018.

“These funds will keep our region’s businesses and workers competitive in today’s rapidly evolving economy,” said BCDCOG executive director Ron Mitchum. “We encourage all eligible employers to apply quickly.”


To qualify as an incumbent worker, individuals must:

  • Be employed
  • Meet the Fair Labor Standards Act requirements for an employer-employee relationship
  • Have an established employment history with the employer for six months or more, unless the training is for a group of employees and the majority of employees in the specific training have been employed with the business for six months or more.


Businesses or consortia participating in IWT are required to pay for the non-Federal share of the cost of providing training to their employees, which must not be less than:

  • 10 percent of the costs for a business location with no more than 50 employees.
  • 25 percent of the costs for a business location with more than 50 employees, but no more than 100 employees.
  • 50 percent of the costs for a business location with more than 100 employees.


IWT funds (excluding Rapid Response funded-IWT) are awarded on a competitive basis and given priority based on:

  • Characteristics of the employees to be trained
  • The relationship of the training to the competitiveness of both the employer and employee
  • Per-participant cost
  • Credential and skills gained as a result of the training
  • Trainings in one of the in-demand sectors in the Trident area: Diversified Manufacturing, Transportation, Distribution & logistics, HealthCare, Information Technology, Construction Trades, Hospitality & Tourism.
  • Employer size (The employer size defined in the application.)
    • Small: 50 or fewer employees
    • Medium: 51 to 100 employees
    • Large: 101 or more employees

Note: Businesses should list trainings in order of priority of need, because, at times, not all programs listed on applications may be approved due to funding availability.


  • Training entities and providers are not eligible for IWT funding or to act on behalf of a business or group of businesses as a third party.

For more information or assistance with the application process, contact Sharon Goss, Workforce Development Director, SC Works Trident at (843) 529-0400 ext. 203 or via email at [email protected]. Please visit tridentscworks.org or bcdcog.com for information and an application.


The BCDCOG is a voluntary association of, by and for local governments, and was established to assist Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester county leaders in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development. BCDCOG’s purpose is to strengthen the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions. For the latest on BCDCOG, visit www.bcdcog.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @BCDCoG.



Daniel Brock / Michael Stettner

Rawle Murdy

[email protected] / [email protected]

(919) 820-2612 / (214) 718-8027


Trident Technical College
December 3, 2018

The demand for workers in high-tech lean manufacturing is expected to continue to surge in the Lowcountry in the coming years and Trident Technical College’s Division of Continuing Education and Economic Development is gearing up to train the employees that can fill those jobs.

The college has modified its Lean Manufacturing program, originally developed in conjunction with local manufacturers to provide workers with the equivalent of one year of manufacturing experience, to conform to the state of South Carolina’s ManuFirstSC Grant program. The ManuFirstSC Grant program completely covers the cost of tuition, background checks and drug screening for a total of 84 participants for Trident Tech’s ManuFirstSC (Lean Manufacturing) continuing education classes running from January to May 2019. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Trident Tech Continuing Education is hosting a series of free information sessions about the ManuFirstSC Grant program in December 2018. Information sessions are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 4, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Trident Tech’s Berkeley Campus Library, 1001 S. Live Oak Dr., Moncks Corner
  • Wednesday, Dec. 5, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Dorchester County QuickJobs Training Center, 5164 E. Jim Bilton Blvd., St. George
  • Saturday, Dec. 8, 10-11 a.m. at Trident Tech’s Thornley Campus (formerly Main Campus), 7000 Rivers Ave., North Charleston, in Bldg. 910, Rm. 122

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce 2018 Talent Demand Study projected nearly 35,000 new jobs are being created in the Charleston Metro area within the next five years and approximately 18 percent of those are production or mechanical in nature. Additionally, it noted the demand is surpassing local graduate output by 300-500 positions. The ManuFirstSC Grants and Trident Tech’s Lean Manufacturing program can help train Lowcountry residents to fill that void.

To qualify for a ManuFirstSC Grant participants must:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • be able to legally work in the United States;
  • provide documentation of South Carolina residency;
  • have a high school diploma or GED;
  • provide proof of a Silver WIN/WorkKeys score;
  • pass a SC SLED background check (paid for by the grant);
  • pass a basic panel drug screen (paid for by the grant);
  • enroll in the SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) system

Interested students should attend the free information sessions to get more detailed information about all of the requirements. For additional information, visit www.tridenttech.edu/ce and click on Funding Opportunities or call 843.574.6152.

Volvo Cars US Operations in Berkeley County Wins South Carolina Chamber Awards for Workforce Development and Manufacturing Employee of the Year

2018 Workforce Innovator Award for Medium-Sized Company

The SC Chamber of Commerce‘s Workforce Innovator Awards honor companies that have implemented unique private sector workforce development solutions. Three awards are granted based upon business size: small (fewer than 200 SC employees), medium (200-999 SC employees), and large (1000+ SC employees). A panel of judges selected from the SC Chamber’s Education & Workforce Committee reviews each nomination and selects the winners based on these criteria:

  1. Innovation (50%) – Utilizing new ideas in workforce development;
  2. Teamwork (25%) – Using teamwork in the design and implementation of unique training; and
  3. Concept Sharing (25%) – Readily sharing the training success with other companies.

On October 30, 2018, at the annual Workforce Development Symposium, Volvo Cars US Operations, Inc. was awarded the 2018 Workforce Innovator Award for Medium Sized Company. In its program, the SC Chamber writes, “In 2015, Volvo Cars chose Berkeley County for its first manufacturing facility in the U.S. and announced the creation of nearly 4,000 jobs. Recognizing that many in the rural areas of the Lowcountry lack manufacturing experience, Volvo Cars partnered with the SC Department of Commerce, Trident Technical College, readySC, and Berkeley County Administration to develop a curriculum that would provide the necessary training for those without manufacturing experience and satisfy Volvo’s one-year manufacturing experience requirement.”

The ManuFirstSC initiative, created in mid-2017, is a 62-hour curriculum that was originally piloted through Trident Technical College that has now been expanded to all technical colleges in the state of South Carolina, and will be available at all Berkeley County High Schools starting in the 2018-2019 school year. As of May 1, Volvo Cars has hired 26 ManuFirstSC graduates, and six more have received offers for a manufacturing career with Volvo. In addition, other manufacturers in South Carolina, including Mercedes Benz, BMW suppliers, and 46 other have agreed to accept the ManuFirstSC credential in lieu of one year’s manufacturing experience.”

[Read More]

2018 Manufacturing Employee of the Year, Support Category for Medium-Sized Company

On October 5, 2018, The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce celebrated the winners of the S.C. Manufacturing Employee of the Year Awards with an awards luncheon and panel discussion regarding the future of manufacturing in South Carolina. The 2018 Manufacturing Day Celebration, presented by Jackson Lewis P.C., recognized the important contributions honorees have made to their employers, customers and communities.

“We are grateful for the employees that are being recognized today,” said Ted Pitts, President and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. “These folks are not the CEOs and Presidents – they are the backbone of manufacturing in our state, working in production, enabling, and support jobs. Dedicated workers like these make their companies successful, and that success breeds prosperity in South Carolina. We recognize these winners for not just showing up to work every day, but for going the extra mile in their jobs and in their communities.”

Amanda Lovin, Supply Chain Manager, Volvo Cars US, was awarded this honor in the Support Category for a Medium-Sized Company.

[Read More]

Evonik Industries Cuts the Ribbon on New Chemical Plant in Berkeley County

Oct 16, 2018 – Berkeley County joined industry leaders today to cut the ribbon and celebrate Evonik Industries’ new chemical plant in Goose Creek. The precipitated silica plant will supply the tire industry. The plant will result in $120 million investment and 50 new jobs.

Evonik adds to our international family, bringing a German company to Berkeley County.

Berkeley County Economic Development Director Barry Jurs spoke on behalf of the County, welcoming Evonik to the Berkeley County family, celebrating a promising future in Goose Creek. Jurs was joined by David Riley, the Senior Vice President of Global Specialty Silica, and Business Line Silica North America, Dr. Harald Schwager, Deputy Chairman representing Evonik Industries, Dr. Johannes Ohmer, Managing Director, representing Evonik Resource Efficiency, Mandy Brawley from South Carolina Department of Commerce, and Ralph Walker from Pacolet Milliken Enterprises.

Many spoke on the sustainable energy and efficient solutions offered at the plant and its tremendous innovative strength.

Welcome to Berkeley County, Evonik!

Read more about Evonik’s investment in Berkeley County here.

Berkeley County Announces Additional Training for Manufacturing Jobs

Sign-up and information session scheduled August 2 at 5 p.m.


MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Monday, July 23, 2018) Berkeley County will host an information meeting to provide training for manufacturing positions on Thursday, August 2 at 5 p.m. The meeting will be held at Trident Technical College Berkeley Campus. It is open to Berkeley County residents looking for manufacturing jobs.

            When: Thursday, August 2 at 5 p.m.

            Where: Trident Technical College Berkeley Campus, 1001 S Live Oak Drive in Moncks Corner

            Why: Help connect Berkeley County residents with the necessary training for manufacturing positions

Attendees will have the opportunity to sign-up for the upcoming Lean Manufacturing course that will begin on August 11 at Trident Technical College Berkeley Campus. This 4-week course will provide the necessary training to qualify candidates for positions at industries around Berkeley County and throughout the state of South Carolina. The course is free for candidates who are Berkeley County residents.

The information session will include presentations from representatives at Trident Technical College, ReadySC, and Adult Education with Berkeley County School District.

Berkeley County worked in partnership with Trident Technical College, South Carolina Department of Commerce, Volvo Cars, and Ready SC to start the pilot program in May of 2017. Since the pilot program, Berkeley County has seen nearly 200 people graduate from the Lean Manufacturing course, which put them on the path to land manufacturing jobs at major industries around the County, including Volvo Cars in Ridgeville. Since then, neighboring counties have emulated the training program to provide opportunities for residents around South Carolina.

Interested candidates are asked to sign-up for the information session here: http://bit.ly/BerkeleyLeanManufAugust18


– Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office –