Union County looking for workers

Business

UNION Co., S.C. (WSPA) – It’s not a lack of jobs, but a lack of qualified employees that has Union County’s business community looking for answers.

Leaders are looking at new ways to fill open positions.

With less than 30,000 people in the county, the unemployment rate that once stood at 12 percent is now down to nearly four percent, according to Union County Development Board Executive Director Kathy Jo Lancaster. The organizations works to recruit industry and businesses to the area. She said their efforts are paying off.

“All of our companies are doing well, they’re hiring and that goes back again to the manufacturing business,” Lancaster said.

Warehousing, logistics and advanced manufacturing have grown.

Lancaster said the area generated more than a half billion in capital investment, which is helping them create more than 1,400 jobs.

Union Mayor Harold Thompson has been in office for more than a decade. He remembers the lean years.

“We’re in a unique location, we’re about 70 miles from Charlotte, 70 miles from Columbia and about 70 miles from Greenville,” Mayor Thompson said.

Now the push is to continue developing a workforce pipeline to fill jobs, which involves the school district, connecting to community colleges and connecting to apprenticeship programs within companies.

“That’s why I like what they’re doing at USC-Union and trying to get more people with degrees and getting skills to help these industries,” Davis said.

Many of the available jobs are in the manufacturing industry are open for those who apply and pass a drug test.

Another way to get your foot in the door is through apprenticeships and internships.

Union County officials said they recruit potential workers from five additional counties including, Spartanburg, Greenville, Cherokee, York and Newberry counties.

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