Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce Launches "WORC" Initiative - WSPA.com

Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce Launches "WORC" Initiative

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The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce says there are hundreds of jobs in the area, companies can't find qualified people to fill.

Meanwhile, local students are leaving high school, wanting jobs that just don't exist in the Upstate.

To bridge that gap, the Chamber is launching a new initiative, called "WORC" or Workforce Opportunities Resource Council. The Economic Futures Group is leading the charge.

The plan is to put workers from all different industries into local schools, so students have a realistic image of available jobs in the area.

Ann McIntyre, a Career Specialist at Dorman High School, sees it first hand.

"So many of our kids have an idea of what a job is, based on something they've seen on TV, or something they've seen in a movie," McIntyre explained, "but they don't know what actually is involved in a job, on a day in, day out, 8-5 basis."

Joy Owens, Director of Workforce Initiatives sees the disconnect too.

"There's a lot of kids that want to get into CSI. They want to be a CSI agent, or they want to be a lawyer, and I'm not saying those jobs aren't wonderful, but there's not a lot of need for that in this area," Owens explained.

According to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, the March 2013 unemployment rate for people under the age of 25 was twice as high, as the national average.

David Cordeau, President & CEO of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, says the biggest gap in the Upstate is in manufacturing. The image of the industry hasn't caught up with the reality of the high-tech work environment of today.

"Any morning we wake up in Spartanburg, we have 2500 or so open jobs every single day. Lots of companies are saying, I can't find people to do this. I can't find people to do that," Cordeau explained.

This project is still in the planning stages. Leaders hope to launch the new initiative in local schools within the next six months.

 

 

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