'We need to be educated:' McMaster touts technical schools' impact on workforce at financial symposium

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The South Carolina Financial Symposium was held at Coastal Carolina University on Monday, an event that Gov. Henry McMaster said is key because the economy is the core foundation for other components in today's society.

McMaster, who served as the symposium's keynote speaker, said the state's economy, which is continuously growing, affects things like public safety and education.

With more and more businesses calling the Palmetto State home, McMaster said it has helped the state get to where it is today. One key to keeping that going is focusing on technical schools, according to the governor.

"In order to take advantage of that, we need to be educated," he said, "We need to be knowledgeable and the real key to it, besides just general brain power, is the technical college system and all it can do to provide the workforce for these magnificent factories and manufacturing places that are not like they used to be. Nobody carries tool boxes anymore. They all carry laptops and tablets."

McMaster noted he wants to make sure the government doesn't get in the way of economic prosperity, but help it grow more. He said he wants to try and get rid of some regulations that take too much time and serve no purpose. One of the examples he used was workers having to get permits.

"We have people working in South Carolina that are artisans, plumbers, HVAC, carpenters, all sorts of highly skilled workers that have to get multiple permits to do a job here or there that they spend half their time going around getting the different permits," said McMaster, "That's one of the regulations that we hear a lot of interest in, is streamlining that process so our people can work more quickly and not have to spend their time standing in line to get a permit."

Another focus of his is lowering taxes. McMaster said he's asked the legislature to cut taxes on everyone making money in the state by about 15 percent.

"The less you tax, the more people make money, the more people get jobs, the more people work. That ends up with more money actually going to the government to do those things that we need to do," he said.

Rep. Russell Fry and Sen. Stephen Goldfinch were also at the event as panelists and discussed financial literacy and the importance of education.

"How people learn what they learn is so important in being able to provide scenarios in which they understand what's going on in their own pocketbook and they can make informed decisions about where to put their money that best serves them," said Fry.

"The kids nowadays coming out of school may know how to do a quadratic equation, but they don't know how to shake your hand, look you in the eye and talk to you like a person, and we have to start focusing on that," said Goldfinch.

McMaster also touched on safety in schools at the event.

"We've got to make sure the children are safe," he said, "That's why we want to have a licensed, certified law enforcement officer in every school. I think that's the starting point."

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