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Upstate employers combat shortages with educational initiatives

Molly Hulsey //October 15, 2021//

Upstate employers combat shortages with educational initiatives

Molly Hulsey //October 15, 2021//

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A recent analysis from the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis projects that in 2030, South Carolina will be the fourth most impacted state in a crunch for nurses: 10,400 nurses short of the demand.

The state tails behind California, Texas and New Jersey in the projection. Even today, the Palmetto State is only one of four with fewer than 10 registered nurses per 1,000 residents, alongside California, Texas and Nevada.

Two Upstate employers are launching workforce development programs this week to mitigate labor shortages in high-demand careers like nursing and construction.

South Carolina is one of four states with fewer than 10 RNs per 1,000 residents, according to a recent study. (Photo/File)In tandem with Guild Education, an ongoing education and upskilling platform, Bon Secours will pay 100% of all part-time and full-time associates’ tuition and fees for high-demand clinical programs including nursing, certificates medicial assistanceship and various laboratory programs. 

The program will also cover tuition assistance and reimbursement for 115 academic programs including undergraduate, graduate and nursing degrees.

“We are committed to providing career growth to our associates as they serve our patients,” Bon Secours St. Francis President Matt Caldwell said, in a news release. “Our collaboration with Guild will open many doors for our associates, enabling them to realize their career aspirations and enhancing their ability to care for our communities.”

Registered nursing is the fifth-most in-demand job in the American workforce, according to a study from the University of St. Augustine.

In order to address the current labor shortage, 1.2 million new registered nurses will be needed in the United States by 2030. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment in health care jobs is projected to grow 16% from 2020 to 2030 — much faster than the average for all occupations — adding an estimated 2.6 million new jobs.

Other programs offered through 16 universities on the platform include clinical certification for pharmacy technicians and a master’s degree in data analytics.

“Our health care sector has carried our country on its shoulders throughout the last 18 months, but our hospitals and providers are now facing significant challenges in the war for talent,” Rachel Carlson, CEO and co-founder of Guild Education, said in the release. “We’re honored to partner with Bon Secours Mercy Health to fill in-demand jobs today and build towards careers of tomorrow.”

Goodwill Industries of the Upstate and Midlands is focusing its attention on the potential of at-risk youth from the ages of 17 to 24 through a Greenville County pre-apprenticeship program called YouthBuild.

The program, beginning Nov. 1, will include education opportunities, skills training, leadership development, counseling to help youth pursue their ongoing education goals and the chance for post-program job placement, particularly in high-demand careers.

YouthBuild will be geared toward high school dropouts that also have other risk factors, including being adjudicated youth, youth aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, migrant farmworker youth, and other disadvantaged populations.  

Other services will include GED and construction, worksite and safety training sponsorships, as well as one-on-one case management, hands-on building and renovation opportunities, life skills and mental toughness workshops, and job search and resume assistance, according to a news release.

“We are thrilled to begin this new program for youth in our area,” Candice Anderson, mission manager of Goodwill Industries, said in the release. “YouthBuild provides Goodwill an opportunity to address a critical need for at-risk youth in our communities.  Through The Department of Labor, we can provide the essential services to educate, train and build up these young people while providing a roadmap to career pathways they might not have seen before.”

Last year, Goodwill placed 7,680 individuals into employment through its job training programs and Goodwill Job Connection services.