Leaders hope pilot program for job skills training soon comes to life

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A partnership between some local organizations could launch a pilot program that brings job skills training to the city.

Horry Georgetown Technical College President Dr. Marilyn Fore said the local groups involved in the program would be the city of Myrtle Beach, HGTC, Coast RTA and Good Will of Lower South Carolina.

The program would be for those who are unemployed, under-employed or incumbent workers. Fore said HGTC is proposing help to provide short term training programs in the areas of hospitality, culinary and kitchen skills, electrical and plumbing, certified nursing aid and retail.

In the proposal, HGTC is asking the city for $40,000 which will then be matched by the college in the form of "in kind" funding, like instructors who are needed for the training or any additional transportation that may be needed as well.

Fore said Coast RTA will be helping with transportation in getting participants to and from the locations where the training is being held.

"We feel like we need to help people to get the training in a very short period of time so that we can help get them into the workforce and help the businesses as well,” said Fore. “I think this is a perfect time to do it because we're beginning to ramp up for the summer season."

Some of the money for the program will go towards stipends for the participants as some incentive to take part in the courses, and help them with anything they may need during that time.

Fore said there is no set dollar amount for the stipends just yet, as that will likely be a topic of conversation down the road.

Myrtle Beach City Council Member Phil Render said one of the purposes of the program is to provide a skilled workforce for employers in the area. Render also said this program could give some the chance to be exposed to higher education who may not have had the chance otherwise.

"The other very critical piece to this is the partnership with businesses. This is not just to train someone and say OK we're finished with our part in that we’ve provided you the training,” said Fore. “That’s a huge first step, but we want to help to find a business to place the trained individual in."
Render said he hopes this goes before city council at either the next meeting or the meeting after. He doesn’t anticipate any push back from other council members because he said the conversations he’s had about this have been well received by others.
Officials leading the program hope if all is approved, applications will be available April 1.

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