Help Wanted: SC Gov. McMaster, state agencies launching job fair for veterans

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Maayan Schechter
·2 min read
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South Carolina’s state leaders want to connect roughly 10,000 unemployed veterans with the more than 1,000 job openings at state agencies spread across the state, from the state’s top law enforcement department to South Carolina’s technical and four-year universities.

On Monday, Gov. Henry McMaster announced the state will hold a May 4 virtual job fair for veterans in partnership with the state’s Department of Administration and Veterans Affairs. The job fair is another step in the state’s outreach to connect veterans with jobs.

“Now’s the time, if they’re looking for something to do, a new line of work, or want to change work, that we’re here and we’re ready,” said McMaster, standing next to administrations Director Marcia Adams and Veterans Affairs Secretary William Grimsley.

Veterans can register now at https://bit.ly/31U04HU for the May 4 virtual job fair that will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

South Carolina has more than 400,000 veterans who live in the state, and, leaders said, some 10,000 are unemployed.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the state’s workforce, in 2018, South Carolina’s yearly unemployment rate for veterans hovered at about 3.3% — a sizable drop from 2016 when it was about 5%. But COVID-19, as it did for the rest of the state, drove up the unemployment rate for veterans, surpassing 4%, still under the national average, according to 2020 labor statistics.

“Why hire a veteran?” Grimsley said. “This is a great group of people. Highly qualified, highly educated, ... motivated, proficient. We’re pretty good about getting up in the morning and doing what we’re told. We’re really good at leading and directing other people.”

Each state agency will run a virtual booth, and will meet with job seekers in a video chat or another set time about openings that include engineering, information technology, security and law enforcement and human resources.

More than 30 state agencies and universities are participating in the latest workforce endeavor.

Agencies include South Carolina’s Department of Corrections and Juvenile Justice; the state’s health department, Department of Health and Environmental Control; the state’s Department of Public Safety; the revenue department; social services and transportation.

Colleges and universities that are tapping into the job fair include Aiken and Midlands Technical colleges, Clemson University, the College of Charleston, Spartanburg Community College, The Citadel military college, and the Medical University of South Carolina.

Adams said on Monday that state agencies have about 1,388 vacancies around the state.

“We have the unique opportunity to recruit qualified and skilled veterans to our jobs,” Adams said.