Adult education critical for South Carolina’s economy

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The director of South Carolina’s education oversight agency says the state must ramp up efforts to educate and retrain adults, or jobs will vanish.
A new report shows just 40 percent of South Carolina’s adults ages 25 to 64 have an industry certification or degree beyond high school. Twelve percent lack even a high school diploma.
Education Oversight Committee Director Melanie Barton says it’s getting harder for businesses to hire people because the workforce isn’t adequately trained. She fears businesses will move or cancel expansion plans if the numbers don’t improve. According to the Department of Employment and Workforce, about 131,500 South Carolinian’s remained out of work in March, despite 63,000 job openings. Legislation that aims to match training with businesses’ workforce needs is headed to the Senate Education Committee.

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