A $17 million investment in South Carolina’s workforce will provide scholarships for students in high-demand career programs at Greenville Technical College and other technical colleges across the state.
The effort is aimed at addressing the labor shortage head-on, giving South Carolinians the skills to succeed, and helping the state attract additional jobs and investment from companies worldwide.
“Many of the jobs that are highest in demand require short-term workforce training. Workforce Scholarships for the Future will provide students the opportunity to pursue these jobs without the added financial stress that often accompanies the decision to attend school,” said Dr. Laura Dawson Ullrich, regional economist, research/regional and community analysis with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Charlotte Branch. “These jobs provide South Carolina students with the opportunity to work towards rewarding careers in fast-growing, dynamic, relatively high paying industries. This benefits students, employers and the 16 technical colleges across the state.”
Students must be enrolled in a certificate, diploma, or degree program. South Carolina residents enrolled in fields including manufacturing, healthcare, computer science and information technology, transportation distribution and logistics, or construction could enter their career debt-free after paying $0 in tuition and required fees. The Workforce Scholarship for the Future is applied after all other scholarships or grants. Students must hold a high school diploma or be age 18 and over and meet requirements to be eligible for the program, which goes into effect on January 1, 2022.
“This initiative falls directly in line with our mission of transforming students’ lives and helping the community thrive through education,” said Dr. Keith Miller, president of Greenville Technical College. “We are pleased to see that the governor has found a way to continue moving South Carolina forward, and we know that this funding will enable students to gain needed skills that will help our families, businesses, and economy thrive.”
The Workforce Scholarships for the Future program is initially made possible by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund with Governor Henry McMaster calling upon the General Assembly to provide $124 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to extend the program through June 2024.
Area employers have expressed strong support for the initiative and its ability to help them meet critical workforce needs. “As we celebrate 33 years in Greenville County, the team at Bosch-Rexroth can’t think of a better gift than this wonderful news,” said Mike McCormick, vice president for technical plant management at Bosch-Rexroth Corporation in Fountain Inn. “Directly investing in the critical workforce skills for manufacturing will pay dividends in our region for decades to come.”
Scholarship recipients must maintain a 2.0 grade point average and fulfill one of the following requirements to participate:
- Maintain employment OR
- Take a financial literacy course at the technical college OR
- Complete 100 hours of voluntary time to a non-profit or public-service organization
To learn more, go to www.gvltec.edu/why_GTC/this-changes-everything.html. Then apply, complete enrollment steps, and meet with an advisor to discuss a path to a growing career.