Leaders look to bring in more industry and educate the work force

Leaders look to bring in more industry and educate the work force

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) On Tuesday, state and local leaders discussed attracting more industry into the area and educating the work force.

These ideas were bounced around at Florence-Darlington Technical College's SIMT building.

The North Eastern Strategic Alliance hosted the event.

"This part of the world is doing a good job. We are standing in one of the best things you can have to attract industry to a region and that's a top notch technical college," Lewis Gossett, who works for the South Carolina Manufactures Alliance, said.

It is facilities like the SIMT building that leaders said is not only attracting industry, but helping locals land more money in the work force.

"Generally, this area has the ability to train anybody. We have to get them interested in the jobs," Gossett said.

A couple of the keys to getting more industry in the area is to get the work force excited about employee benefits and higher salaries, Gossett added.

More importantly, Gossett said the work force has to be willing to be trained for those higher paying jobs.

"You come to Florence Darlington-Tech. and you are going to be trained as well as anybody in the state if not the country. They have state of the art facilities here. They have spent years working towards," Gossett said.

NESA leaders said a lot of people believe the industrial field is not a place of success. A lot of people don't aspire to work in industry because they have a false sense of what it's about.

"We're not talking about a place that's undesirable to be or that's going to use more back power than brain power," Executive Director of NESA Jeff McKay said.

Those leaders say today's manufacturers are looking for and need highly skilled workers.

There is a big push to start to get high school students educated and ready to take on those high paying manufacturing jobs.

"It's to let the students know there is an opportunity in manufacturing," NESA said.

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