As more manufacturing companies move to South Carolina, the need for qualified workers is growing.
Lewis Gossett, President & CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, says finding willing and qualified workers is one of the biggest challenges – because of the growing number of jobs and the ever-increasing skill set required.
“We have jobs. We have jobs in South Carolina and we need to fill them,” Gossett explained. “We’re very good at training workers. What we have to do is a better job of convincing kids and their parents that manufacturing is a great career path.”
At Spartanburg Community College, Jay Coffer is Department Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Department.
“Manufacturing today wants individuals that are more than button pushers. They want people who can solve problems, who can be that lead individual,” Coffer explained. Here, they have the highest student enrollment he’s seen in his 27 y ears and companies are eager to hire them.
“I’ve had job hunters that have come from York, 90 miles away looking for individuals,” remembered Coffer. “It’s there, it’s there. The industry is booming.”
Cooper Standard in Spartanburg County is seeing that first-hand.
“We have basically doubled in size since 2010,” said Warren Snead, Human Resources Manager. “A lot of companies in the area have found Spartanburg to be a good place to come and grow.”
Employees are hard at work making automotive sealing systems for cars all over the country. “Every GM truck, whether it’s a Silverado or a Sierra gets its sealings out of Spartanburg,” he said.
Snead says they are looking to fill about 50 positions here, some of which they want to hire as soon as possible.
“What we’re looking for are people who are ambitious and are trainable,” Snead explained.
Cooper Standard is having a job fair Friday, September 11 to fill those positions. It’s at Spartanburg Community College’s Tyger River Campus In Duncan. It runs from 9:00 a.m. to Noon and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
They’re looking for manufacturing associations that they can help train, as well as a plastic injection mold technician.