Nationally Recognized for Excellence

Berkeley County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state and was recently ranked 8th in the Nation for Attracting Talent, according to EMSI’s 2019 Talent Attraction Scoreboard. Berkeley County and the State of South Carolina offers businesses and industries nationally-acclaimed workforce development programs and incentives. 

Berkeley County Workforce Initiatives

Berkeley County has worked to develop several programs to help new and expanding industries fill their pipeline with a qualified workforce and its citizens to receive the necessary training and skills to meet the needs of industry.


Initially developed to support fast track recruitment and training of new workers for Volvo. ManuFirstSCTM is a 62-hour program that provides an accelerated pathway into entry level industry careers for individuals lacking previous manufacturing experience. Berkeley County worked in partnership with Trident Technical College, South Carolina Department of Commerce, Volvo Cars, and Ready SC to pilot the program in June of 2017. Since then, neighboring counties have emulated the training program to provide opportunities for residents around the state with hundreds of graduates in the Tri-County area. In 2018, ManuFirstSCTM was rolled out across the state’s technical college system based on industry demand. By the end of 2019, Berkeley County Economic Development has provided scholarships to over 400 county residents to obtain the training.

New Welding Programs

Through a partnership with new Berkeley County industry, W International, and the Berkeley County School District, new welding programs were developed for Timberland and Cross High Schools for high school students and adults. An adult evening 14-week Gas Metal Arc Welding Fundamentals Course is offered at no charge to county residents through Berkeley County School District’s adult education program. Course graduates will have the opportunity to weld test for employment with W International and learn the basic weld skills for entry level welding careers.

Workforce Development Resources

Regional Workforce Advisors serve as a connection for the business and education communities.

The state’s highly-regarded readySC program, a division of the SC Technical College System, offers an innovative program that provides recruiting and training assistance to companies that are expanding or looking to move to South Carolina. The program works with the state’s 16 technical colleges to develop a training curriculum tailored to meet a company’s workforce requirements – at no cost to that company. More than a quarter million workers have been trained since the program’s inception.

SCWorks brings employers and job seekers together. Managed by the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, SC Works Trident connects businesses, job seekers, and training providers to create a pathway to employment in our region’s leading industries. SC Works Centers also offer several programs for Employers such as Rapid Response, Second Chance, Ticket to Work, Veteran Services, and more.

DEW helps people by providing unemployment benefits, job opportunities, and workforce services. DEW is responsible for paying unemployment insurance benefits, collecting unemployment taxes, helping people find jobs, matching businesses with qualified candidates, and collecting and disseminating state/federal employment statistics. Their main goal is to match job-seekers with employers quickly, efficiently and effectively.

Trident Technical College is a public, two-year, multi-campus community college that provides quality education and promotes economic development in the Lowcountry.

South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation helps individuals with barriers achieve employment success and helping businesses find and keep talented employees.

The South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership is a private, non-profit group that serves as a proven resource to South Carolina businesses, providing them with a range of innovative strategies and solutions. Recruiting, preparing, and growing the talent base are among the most critical challenges facing manufacturers. SCMEP helps manufacturers increase worker output and adapt to change through hands-on training, development, and coaching. Lean for Job Shops, Training Within Industry, and Leadership Development are only a few of the Workforce Development services offered.


Apprenticeship Carolina™ Program

The mission of the Apprenticeship Carolina™ program is to ensure that all employers in the state have access to the assistance they need to create their own registered apprenticeship programs. Companies with registered programs earn a $1,000 South Carolina state tax credit for each registered apprentice employee who works at least seven months during each year. Students and young adults have the opportunity to work with participating companies across a diverse array of industries from advanced manufacturing to hospitality and healthcare.

Enterprise Zone Retraining Credit Program

Manufacturing companies located in South Carolina may have the opportunity to utilize the Job Retraining Tax Credit (E-Zone) program. This program reimburses companies for certain training and education provided to employees. Following approval by the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, companies may claim a credit of $1,000 per employee against withholding taxes.

Incumbent Worker Training (IWT)

Funds may be available to train current employees to meet changing skill requirements due to new technology, restructuring, new product lines and other factors. An employer match is required. Funding priority is given to training that will lead to significant upgrades in employee skills or wages that will result in layoff aversion and better retention opportunities. Funding for this program is allocated annually.

On-the-Job Training

On-the-job training provides wage or salary reimbursement from 50-90% (depending on the size of the business) to compensate for costs associated with training new employees. The percentage and length of reimbursement varies based on the size of the company, the specific skills to be acquired for the job and the local workforce area.

Workforce Opportunity Tax Credit

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is designed to encourage employers to hire workers from certain targeted groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. WOTC joins other workforce programs to incentivize workplace diversity and facilitates access to good jobs for American workers.