Spartanburg Community College and Duke Energy officials are releasing the results of a study of the Upstate’s workforce today.
Duke funded the study, which was conducted by Richard Quinn & Associates. Major findings show that the Upstate’s workforce is aging, that of the 500 people ages 18 to 65 who are employed or seeking employment, 40 percent are between the ages of 50 and 65. Businesses surveyed said 23 percent of their employees are on the verge of retirement.
“The numbers are challenging,” said SCC President Henry Giles. “They’re daunting in some ways.”
Based on the study, 1,500 people will be needed to fill the jobs of retirees, and that’s without factoring in expansion by existing companies, Giles said. This year, 725 people graduated from SCC, which means the college will have to double its enrollment to ensure a skilled workforce for the Upstate.
“That has some major implications for the college,” Giles said. SCC officials are making a renewed commitment to work with local manufacturers and local, state and federal governments to grow the community college to meet manufacturing and business needs, he said.
Another finding of the study reveals a disconnect between what skill sets employers need from workers, and what workers believe Upstate companies need. The study showed that employers are looking more for mechanical and electrical skills in manufacturing.
News conferences were held Monday morning at Spartanburg Community College’s main and Cherokee County campuses. Giles will talk about the study and plans for how the college will meet Upstate needs at an invitation-only luncheon at the Piedmont Club at 12:30 p.m. Monday, followed by another news conference at the Union County Advanced Technology Center at 3:30 p.m.
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