Editorial: Qualified Workforce Needed

“Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.” We’ve heard this said in Dillon County for years. We have the jobs, so now what?
Look around anywhere. There are more unfilled jobs from the bottom of the spectrum to the top than qualified people to fill them. Some of these jobs pay as much as $15 to $20 an hour, a wage once unheard of for the average worker in Dillon County.
There are no longer any excuses not to work anymore. The educational opportunities are here for those who want to take advantage of them through our high schools, technology center, and Northeastern Technical College. Two students earned their college diplomas before they even graduated from high school. A few years ago, who would have even thought that would have been possible. Transportation is here through PDRTA. All of the components are here for Dillon County citizens to be successful.
Now, the workforce must step up and take advantage of the opportunities they are presented. The workforce must do their part.
We can have all of the jobs in the world, but if we don’t have a drug-free workforce ready and willing to work then these jobs are going to be filled by people from neighboring counties or stay unfilled. Unfilled jobs are not attractive to potential industries. Industries are not going to continue to locate in an area where there are an overabundance of unfilled jobs and not enough willing, qualified workers to fill them. Industries are going to locate in places where people are eager to work and take advantage of the opportunities available.
We need to stop saying “Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.” And start saying “Workforce. Workforce.Workforce.” If we want more industries, we have to have a workforce to fill the jobs. You can’t have one without the other.