Commentary: SC program helps teens gain valuable work skills and experience

Commentary: SC program helps teens gain valuable work skills and experience

Originally published by the Post & Courier 5/28/2024

By Pamela S. Evette and William H. Floyd III

South Carolina’s young people are undeniably our future. Though they may be students today, they are our workforce of tomorrow and need to know about the great employment opportunities our state offers, especially to those looking for work for the first time. As South Carolina’s lieutenant governor and executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, we have partnered to help prepare our state’s youth with the skills they need to succeed in any career path through the recently launched Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders initiative.

Throughout this year, we are meeting with students and employers from the mountains to the coast. A recurring topic of discussion is the importance of our youth developing the requisite soft skills — effective communication, accountability, conflict resolution and many other important attributes needed to succeed in adulthood — and refining them by joining the workforce. Obtaining work experience while still in high school provides invaluable skills development, allowing teens to learn time management, teamwork and other practical skills crucial for employment.

While education is crucial, actual hands-on work experience through youth employment provides life-long lessons. Through Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders, we’re getting the word out to parents, teachers and teens about the importance and benefits of youth employment and the brand-new resources available to young people to support them on their journey into the workforce.

A new key resource now available to young people is the Youth Employment Site job board, an online job database that features work opportunities for teenagers with no prior experience. This dedicated hub for South Carolina’s youth showcases local businesses statewide that hire young people, as well as the job opportunities currently available to them and how to apply. The YES job board is searchable by ZIP code, age and experience level, and serves as a tailored and interactive introduction to the workforce for teens.

The available resources to support young job seekers go beyond the YES job board. The Department of Employment and Workforce website now has an Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders youth employment page at dew.sc.gov/youthemployment. In addition to linking to the YES job board, this webpage contains helpful information and tips for young people and their parents, including tips for building a resume, answers to parents’ frequently asked questions, educational videos that guide teenagers through dressing for success and other employment-related topics and more.

These resources help prepare and connect young people with work opportunities that benefit their finances and, more importantly, their personal growth and career paths.

Part-time job experience can help shape a young person’s future in more ways than one. For example, exploring different career paths and gaining exposure to different industries and professions can help shape teenagers’ postsecondary plans before they commit to a career, military service or additional schooling.

Part-time youth jobs often supply opportunities for networking and mentorships, which can change the trajectory of a young person’s future through meaningful connections made in the workplace. Depending on a high schooler’s postsecondary plans, a part-time job can also serve as a resume booster for college applications or, alternatively, help young job seekers become more competitive candidates than their peers when vying for employment.

Undoubtedly, the economic impact of having more young people in the workforce benefits our state, by increasing our current and future labor force, consumer spending and tax base. The true achievement we envision for South Carolina is developing a capable and confident labor force by nurturing the potential of our state’s young people so they can become the future’s talented, well-rounded workforce.

From skills trades to retail, hospitality to health care, manufacturing to cybersecurity and everything in between, South Carolina’s teens can learn more about the exciting jobs near them by visiting the YES job board, and employers can participate through the Department of Employment and Workforce interest form.

Pamela S. Evette is the lieutenant governor of South Carolina. William H. Floyd III is executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

New program empowers young people in South Carolina to succeed through work

New program empowers young people in South Carolina to succeed through work

Nothing beats that first job to teach soft skills and empowerment

Originally published by WYFF 4 on May 22, 2024

GREENVILLE, S.C. — When Pamela Evette was a teenager, she donned a polyester uniform and headed to her job at the Dairy Queen, something she says was formative in building the leadership skills and business skills that propelled her success as an adult. 

Now, as lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Evette has created the “Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders Youth Employment Initiative” with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

The goal is to help high school and college-aged students and their parents realize the many benefits of a summer or part-time job, even beyond the paycheck. 

They’ve launched the “Youth Employment Site.”

Evette said, “I’ve heard repeatedly from business owners that graduates entering the workforce often lack crucial soft skills, like responsibility, effective communication, teamwork, and many other important attributes necessary to succeed in adulthood.”

She said her own experience as a working teenager taught her that nothing compared to the hands-on experience of working a part-time job in gaining valuable experience in social skills and financial skills. 

On Wednesday, Evette and SC DEW Executive Director William Floyd visited The Home Depot on Woodruff Road in Greenville. 

Floyd said, “The best first step toward the workforce is your first part-time job, learn all kinds of soft skills, the ability to talk with people, help customers with their needs. It’s a great training ground for future excellence.”

And he said it helps South Carolina businesses and industry fill some much needed positions. 

The Home Depot manager Chris Abdella and assistant manager Bobby Boaen told Evette and Floyd that their part-time student employees often become full-time employees with The Home Depot after graduating from college. 

Grayson Stokes is a 21-year-old accounting major at Clemson University who has worked for The Home Depot part-time while in college. He said that The Home Depot’s tuition reimbursement program is an extra help along with the salary he earns and the soft skills he’s acquired on the job. 

And Logan Hyll, a 19-year-old sophomore at Coastal Carolina said his work experience at The Home Depot has led to additional skills in his major of marketing. 

Employers and young people seeking jobs can now turn to a special page on the DEW website to connect to employment resources including tips for resume building, information about soft skills and answers to frequently asked questions.  To connect. just click here. Interested employers can connect to a digital press kit here.

DEW and Lt. Governor Pamela Evette Announce Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders Youth Employment Initiative

DEW and Lt. Governor Pamela Evette Announce Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders Youth Employment Initiative

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce and Lt. Governor Pamela Evette Announce Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders Youth Employment Initiative

Originally published by DEW on Monday, May 6, 2024

Columbia, S.C. – Throughout May, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) celebrates SC@Work: School to Success, recognizing how youth strengthen our workforce and how our agency helps connect them with employers across the state. As part of this observance and DEW’s ongoing partnership with South Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor to encourage young people to join the workforce, a joint press conference with Lt. Governor Pamela Evette and DEW Executive Director William Floyd was held on Wednesday, May 1st, at the Charleston Area Convention Center to announce the launch of Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders. This initiative promotes the importance of youth employment and a brand-new job board made for teenagers.

“I’ve heard repeatedly from business owners that graduates entering the workforce often lack crucial soft skills, like responsibility, effective communication, teamwork, and many other important attributes necessary to succeed in adulthood,” said Lt. Governor Pamela Evette. “Nothing compares to hands-on experience working a part-time job. These jobs allow our young people to gain valuable experience before entering the workforce. I’m proud to partner with DEW to educate parents about this great need and the terrific employment opportunities available across the state.” 

youth employment site

Several exciting projects were announced at the press conference, including the launch of the Youth Employment Site (YES) job board. This online job database is a dedicated hub for South Carolina’s teenagers. The job board features local businesses statewide that hire youth and shows which jobs are available and how to apply. The site is mobile-friendly; employers can be accessed by zip code, age, experience level, and more.

With its public launch, the job board will continue to grow and flourish, as businesses can now request to be featured on the site and work with DEW directly to promote their jobs to young people across the state. Interested employers can refer to the Digital Press Kit to learn how to participate.

“Connecting young people with job opportunities early in their schooling is essential for our developing workforce and part of the mission of our agency,” said DEW Executive Director William Floyd. “Whether after school or seasonal work, part-time jobs are foundational training grounds for young people that enable them to become our future industry leaders and great workers.”  

Another unveiling during the press conference was that the Lt. Governor’s Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders Initiative has its page now on the DEW website, available at dew.sc.gov/youthemployment. This new youth webpage houses employment resources for young people and their parents, including resume-building tips, information about soft skills, answers to parents’ frequently asked questions, and more.  

In addition to the YES job board being accessible on this DEW webpage, it also includes links to recent and prior youth employer visits during which the Lt. Governor and DEW traveled the state and connected with employers and their teen employees. For example, last week, they toured Chick-fil-A in Goose Creek, SC, and saw a very impressive group of youth working hard and actively learning lifelong lessons, such as arriving on time and being ready to work. Additional visits to employers across the state are planned throughout this year. 

Chick fil A visit

Immediately following the press conference, Lt. Governor Evette and Executive Director Floyd walked through the Your Next Step Job Fair next door, which DEW, SC Works, and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments hosted. Both leaders spoke with some of the more than 80 participating employers.

The event was attended by over 280 graduating high school seniors from 26 high schools in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties in the morning, while members of the general public attended in the afternoon. That morning’s career fair was just one of DEW’s many youth-oriented events that will take place during SC@Work: School to Success Month as students move toward summer break and graduation season.

With the recent activity of graduating students and summer jobs becoming available, there has never been a more opportune time for parents and teens to say YES to youth employment.

Contact communications@dew.sc.gov to learn more about the Lt. Governor’s Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders Initiative and the exceptional job board, web pages, and resources available to young people across the state.

Focusing on Innovative Solutions: How One State Official Has Worked to Combat Recent Workforce Shortages

Focusing on Innovative Solutions: How One State Official Has Worked to Combat Recent Workforce Shortages

Originally published 5/4/2024 by By Olivia Mitrovich, AEM Regional State Government Affairs Manager 


Like many other states, South Carolina has been grappling with workforce shortages. The pandemic exacerbated these challenges, leaving businesses struggling to find qualified workers. As many manufacturers relocate or expand their operations to South Carolina, the manufacturing industry has felt the impact of these shortages.

To remediate these shortages, Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette has put workforce solutions at the forefront of her priorities. Notably, Lieutenant Governor Evette has worked with high school systems across the state to create workforce training programs that will supplement the existing classroom curriculum. Through the creation of its Bond Career Center, Greenville County is one of the first counties in South Carolina to fully adopt this model. The Bond Career Center aims to educate high school students through a hybrid model of both classroom and on-the-job training with local employers.

This year, Calder Brothers partnered with the Bond Career Center to create a pipeline of career-ready employees. Through this program, Calder Brothers mentored and trained six female welding student employees who have all since competed in national welding competitions. These students are set to graduate in May and will immediately transition into careers in welding. It is the hope that this partnership will alleviate local workforce shortages as future students continue to capitalize on this program.

In late April, Lieutenant Governor Evette visited the Calder Brothers headquarters to see the six welding students in action on the factory floor and to highlight Calder Brothers success with this program. During her address to the Calder Brothers staff, Lieutenant Governor Evette stated, “I have made it my mission for the past six years to expand workforce development efforts at the high school level across the state. My own son is a product of one of these programs, so I have seen firsthand the benefits of attracting young talent to join our workforce.”

As workforce shortages persist throughout the country, we must rely on innovative solutions that will attract young talent like the one created in South Carolina by Lieutenant Governor Evette.

Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Lt. Governor Evette’s Employment Initiative

Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Lt. Governor Evette’s Employment Initiative

Lt. Governor Evette joined the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce on Wednesday, May 1st for a joint press conference announcing the launch of the Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Lt. Governor Evette’s Employment Initiative webpage at dew.sc.gov.

This is an overview page filled with resources and helpful tips, and the Youth Employment Services/Site (YES) job board, which is an online job database that showcases work opportunities for teenage jobseekers with no prior experience.

This online job board is a safe and interactive introduction to the workforce with a myriad of resources. Young people, parents, and educators can find job postings from employers across the state in various industries. The job board is searchable with filters, including looking up work by zip code, and offers background information, directions, and application resources for all participating employers. The Regional Workforce Advisors (RWAs) at DEW are instrumental in the upkeep and verification of the job database as they are the statewide lynchpins between employers and students.

From small businesses to major employers, seasonal part-time work to apprenticeships, professional growth opportunities, and everything else in between:  This job board encourages everyone to say YES to youth employment! 

Visit the Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders webpage here: https://dew.sc.gov/youthemployment.

Lieutenant Governor Evette visits Lowcountry discussing youth employment

Lieutenant Governor Evette visits Lowcountry discussing youth employment

Originally posted on May 1st by WCBD by Raymond Owens

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCBD) — South Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette spent Wednesday in the Lowcountry discussing youth employment.

Evette was at Chick-fil-A in Goose Creek, learning about the restaurant’s business practices and the skills younger employees are developing by working there. 

Several employees discussed with News 2 some of the skills they are utilizing on a daily basis at the Chick-fil-A. 

“So discipline, that’s one of the big things for me,” said Taylor Pennington, team member and trainer. “Being a full-time student, I have to discipline myself. Doing schoolwork and then coming to work and being able to serve those guests.”

 Another team member discussed the reassurance they get from having a team to count on. 

“Just being able to step back no matter how busy and no matter how stressed I am,” said Harrison Livingston. “Knowing that I have a great team to rely on and support me in any way I can. It’s really reassuring.” 

Evette toured the location for about an hour Wednesday afternoon, where 30 to 50 employees, many of them young people, work daily. 

William Floyd, the Executive Director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, joined Evette for a press conference at the North Charleston Coliseum earlier in the day. The pair announced an online data website that shows jobs available for youth in the state. 

“We connect people with work and work with people, especially included our youth,” Floyd said. “Some youth are looking for part-time jobs because they haven’t graduated yet. There’s a great opportunity to do that through the lieutenant governor’s website that she initiated.”

Teenagers can search for jobs based on their zip code and discover job opportunities available near them. 

“How do we help, first of all, small businesses by getting kids working? And then a message to parents,” Evette said. “Parents, we need to get your kids off the couch. If you kick them out of the house to get them a job when they’re young, that is something that will be a runway of success for them forever.”

S.C. Lt. Governor tours PALM Charter High School

S.C. Lt. Governor tours PALM Charter High School

Originally published by WMBF News, April 30, 2024

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina’s second in command praised a Grand Strand school for setting its students up for success in the workforce. 

Lt. Governor Pamela Evette toured the PALM Charter High School in Conway on Tuesday and spoke with students and teachers about the hands-on experience kids receive. 

The school has a unique curriculum centered around motorsports and life skills and Evette said the school is a great example for the students to learn all the the careers out there. 

“There are some kids that just do better hands-on, and I think you know as a country we overcorrected years ago, a 4-year college degree is not the only path to success and we see that,” she said.

Evette added that careers outside the college degree tract are lucrative for those pursuing that route. 

“We see it from carpenters to HVAC workers and electricians and plumbers, these are great careers. Those people are making a lot of money doing what they love to do and it didn’t require going to get a four-year degree.”

Evette told WMBF News she is rolling out a new initiative Wednesday with the state’s Department of Employment and Workforce to help boost youth employment.

Lt. Gov Evette visits Grand Strand charter school to see how they support trade careers

Lt. Gov Evette visits Grand Strand charter school to see how they support trade careers

Originally published by ABC 15 News on April 30th, 2024 by Connor Ingalls

CONWAY, S.C. (WPDE) — South Carolina Lt. Governor Pamela Evette made a stop along the Grand Strand Tuesday to see how a local school is preparing students to enter the workforce.

She got a tour of PALM Charter High School in Conway, where students get hands-on experience with skills that translate to several mechanical and trade jobs.

Evette said she and Gov. Henry McMaster believe career paths like these are crucial for South Carolina’s future and economy.

“I’m just in awe you know,” Evette said of her first visit to the school. “This charter school is amazing, and it’s what I talk about, it’s what the governor talks about, how do we get our kids to understand all the amazing careers that are out there? And they’ve really tapped into this and I can think of industries all across our state that would be excited to see what’s happening here at PALM Charter.”

To learn more about PALM Charter High School, click here.

Aim Higher SC: Lt. Gov. Evette’s April 2024 Email Update

Aim Higher SC: Lt. Gov. Evette’s April 2024 Email Update

Beginning in April 2024, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette was excited to release her first quarterly email update as a way to connect more directly with people across South Carolina.

In addition to providing an update on issues impacting people throughout South Carolina, Lt. Gov. Evette highlighted work being done by members of our business community, impactful nonprofit organizations, and how recently passed legislation is working for our people. Together, we can make the future of S.C. brighter. Let’s keep working hard, doing good, and aiming higher!

Below is April 2024’s opening message from Lt. Gov. Evette.

A Message from Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette

First and foremost, I want you to know how grateful I am to serve you as South Carolina’s first female Republican Lieutenant Governor. Working alongside Governor McMaster for the good of our state these past 5+ years has been the greatest honor of my life, and today I’m excited to connect more directly with you through this first quarterly email update. 

I am thankful for your support, your friendship, and for the trust you’ve put in me to be the Palmetto State’s second in command. If there is ever anything I can do for you, or issues you are passionate about, I hope you will reach out. 

Kindest Regards,

Lt. Governor Pamela S. Evette

Evette hosts annual lieutenant governor’s conference in Myrtle Beach

Evette hosts annual lieutenant governor’s conference in Myrtle Beach

Originally posted by WBTW News 13, April 24, 2024 by Jackie LiBrizzi

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Wednesday marked Day 1 of a three-day conference for the National Lieutenant Governors Association’s spring meeting in Myrtle Beach. 

This year’s conference was hosted by South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette at the Marriott Myrtle Beach at Grande Dunes. 

The annual meeting was first organized by the nonprofit in 1962 with a mission to promote the efficiency and effectiveness of the office and government. National leaders met Wednesday to share ideas and solutions. 

Currently, South Carolina isn’t just the fastest growing state in the nation — it’s also a top-eight leader in ports, tourism and military. 

14 U.S. lieutenant governors were in attendance along with the lieutenant governor for Guam and the Secretary of State for Puerto Rico.

During the meeting, the chief financial officer for the state’s ports authority, Phil Padgett, said Charleston’s port is one of the busiest and most important ports in North America. He said it’s because of supply chain and trade.

Padgett said more than $3 billion has gone into capital investment in the last 15 years. He said that includes terminal capacity, transportation improvements, and import and exporting infrastructure.

He also discussed strategic priorities.

“A technical term us employees use, we liked to call it ‘sticky cargo,’ and what that means is the customer has to call our port, so we really want to create an environment where they have to come,” Padgett said. “We deliver critical infrastructure, and I’m sure you’ve seen this across the country, cranes, additional war space, maybe in passing.”

Many discussions were about “an eye to the future.” Padgett said growth rates are up and that means revenues are too.

Another state official who spoke during Wednesday’s meeting was Duane Parrish, South Carolina’s Director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.

Parrish said currently, South Carolina is the seventh-most visited state in the country. He said they started a grant program called “Undiscovered South Carolina” and since then, there’s been more than 6 million trips.

Parrish talked about the top trends he’s seen in our state parks.

“Our state parks, we have 47, we will add six more to what is already there. And maybe another five in another 12-14 months. State Park revenue is up 6.3% from the previous year,” he said. “Our state park numbers have doubled since pre-COVID, and that’s with the same number of parks. People have come in our recreation, boating, and you mark it back to COVID, it’s hard to find and very expensive.”

Parrish said he’s also noticed a rise in sports tourism. He said it’s now making up 10% of the global tourism industry. 

Maryland Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller was also on a peer panel during Wednesday’s meeting. Miller said around 3 a.m. on March 26, she woke up to a phone call. 

She said a cargo ship the size of the Eiffel Tower collided into their Francis Scott Key Bridge and killed six transportation workers.

Miller said there’s also been a great economic consequence from the collapse, closing the ninth-busiest port in our nation.

She said the annual economic activity of the port of Baltimore is about $70 billion, supporting more than 900 businesses, 8,000 direct jobs, and $140,000 jobs indirect and services. 

Miller said she and her governor meet with officials three times a week for updates and to strategize. She said so far, she’s attended three wakes and funerals. 

“I ask that you please continue to keep the victim’s families, our first responders, and the men and women who are working each and every single day courageously at our site to remove the wreckage.”

Miller said they’ll continue to grieve together, stand together and pray together.