United States Chamber of Commerce Accredited

The Accrediting Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce designated the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce as an Accredited Chamber with 5-Stars. Learn More

Member Driven.
Business Focused.

Advocating economic growth in the
Greater Augusta area.

Workforce & Education

Regional Workforce Study

Regional employers will need to fill more than 30,000 job openings over the next five years in the five-county region of South Carolina and Georgia represented by the SRS Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO).

That is a key finding of a new study released on April 22, 2015. TIP Strategies, an Austin, Texas-based economic consulting firm, performed the study for the SRSCRO by examining workforce trends in the five counties the SRSCRO represents—Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell in South Carolina and Richmond and Columbia in Georgia.

The detailed labor study delved into four of the region's key economic drivers—nuclear, manufacturing, cybersecurity/IT, and healthcare. TIP Strategies conducted a comprehensive analysis of the region's labor force and factors driving demand. They examined alignment between education output and industry requirements.

Workforce and Education Quarterly Newsletter Article

The Columbia County Chamber Workforce and Education Committee's Mission is to build the bridge between the educational institutions and our future workforce needs. The committee is working directly with the Columbia County School System Career, Technical, Agriculture, and Education (CTAE) programs.

After surveying the membership, three programs have been developed to bring the real world of work to the classroom and to the teachers. Now it's time to invest in your future workforce by supporting these initiatives with your employee involvement, your business location, and your feedback.

Program 1: Speaker Pro

Issue: Gone are the days of Career Fairs and businesses setting up booths in the lobby of schools. Teachers have requested that business professionals speak to classes about their particular industry as it relates to expectations of work, education, salary, and work ethics.

Solution: Speaker Professional Bureau: The Chamber will create a speaker's bureau list of professionals from various industries to use in the CTAE programs and business development classes in middle and high schools. A guideline is provided to the speaker on areas that teachers would like to be covered in the presentation. The Speaker Pro Bureau list will be provided to the teachers to directly make contact to the business professional to arrange the best day and time for the business professional to come to the class. The main purpose of the program is to expose students to a variety of industries and expectation of the real world of work.

Registration Form

Program 2: Teacher Job Shadow

Issue: Teachers want to bring real life examples back to the classroom. They want to know what are the industry trends, challenges, and future workforce needs from these industries. They want to sample a variety of positions at a local company. With this experience, a teacher can use the industry examples with 30 students per class, 6 periods a day. What an impact!

Solution: Teacher Job Shadow Program. Employers are needed to sign up for a teacher to come to their business to tour, work, discuss the industries needs for the future.

Program 3: CTAE Pathway Advisory Groups

Issue: Disconnect between businesses and schools on curriculum taught and the future needs of the industry.

Solution: All of the CTAE teachers are divided by industry to meet quarterly with same industry business members to review curriculum, equipment used, industry needs and more. For example, all the CTAE teachers in the 5 high schools who teach business/ broadcasting / marketing/ graphic design come together with business members in television, advertising agencies, banks, communication companies. These meetings are held quarterly and allow for open conversation on a variety of topics including deficiency of current workforce, educational and skills needed for the future, and soft skills training.

Registration Form