Upper Savannah Helps LCWSC Acquire $2 Million EDA Grant for Industry Expansion

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo has announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to the Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission for sewer infrastructure upgrades to service a prime industrial corridor.

This project will promote job creation through sewer upgrades necessary for business expansion. This EDA grant will be matched with $735,000 in local funds and is expected to create 50 jobs and generate $50 million in private investment.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Upper Savannah Council of Governments (USCOG), according to an EDA press release. EDA funds USCOG to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

Upper Savannah staff prepared and submitted the EDA grant application on behalf of the Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission and will help manage the project going forward.

This project will consist of the construction of a new, submersible, duplex pump station to replace the existing station at the Fibertex industrial facility near Gray Court in northern Laurens County.

The existing pump station is currently undersized to accommodate the expected future flow from the expansion of Fibertex. This facility produces material used in various products such as baby wipes, face masks, footwear, bedding and furniture.

Currently, Fibertex has one production line of nonwoven textiles. Another production line is expected to start this year, and future expansions are being planned.

The station will be equipped with a standby generator package to maintain operability in the event of power loss. Pumps will be sized to handle flow from the anticipated Fibertex expansion.

The 350 gallons per minute pump station will be designed to be easily upgradable as the need arises. The four-inch force main to the Owings Industrial Park will be replaced with a new eight-inch force main.

“This EDA investment will provide for sewer upgrades that Laurens needs to support its business community, including the expansion of a Danish company with a direct investment in the region,” Raimondo said.

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in helping communities implement their plans to provide the vital infrastructure that businesses need to be successful,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will support necessary infrastructure upgrades to serve local industries in Laurens (County) and accommodate future growth.”

“This award is great news for the region and the state,” said Senator Lindsey Graham. “This funding will improve water and sewer service in a critical industrial corridor in the Upstate, allowing for continued economic development and job creation. The Palmetto State is a great place to live and work, and this grant will help to ensure quality infrastructure exists in the Upstate.”

Upper Savannah Staff Hosts Workshop on CDBG, EDA, Rural Infrastructure Funding

Upper Savannah COG staff sponsored a Community Development Workshop where close to 50 attendees learned details about Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) funding.

Forty-two attended the workshop in person at Ninety Six First Baptist Church on Jan. 12 while five participated virtually.

The counties of Abbeville, Greenwood, McCormick and Saluda; the cities of Abbeville, Clinton and Greenwood; the towns of Calhoun Falls, Due West, Edgefield, Gray Court, McCormick, Ridge Spring, Troy and Ware Shoals; the Greenwood, Laurens, Ninety Six and McCormick commissioners of public works (CPWs); and the Greenwood Metropolitan District, Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission, and Saluda County Water and Sewer Authority were represented.

Many of those represented have successfully applied for CDBG grants and have completed projects. But USCOG Community Development Project Manager Brittany Hallman wanted those in attendance to have an overview of all available funding opportunities.

“It was something Keith and I felt was a need for our region,” said Hallman, referring to Upper Savannah Community Development Director Keith Smith.

“Keith and I discussed with our CDBG Grants Manager (Nate Foutch) and decided we would incorporate other funding sources to encourage participation and provide exposure to other Community Development programs,” she said.

“With the overwhelming help and support of Shannon Hill and Cason Wright (from the USCOG staff) we were able to make this workshop successful,” she said.

Foutch, CDBG Grants Manager from the S.C. Department of Commerce, was one of three presenters at the workshop. Also presenting were Robin Cooley, South Carolina’s EDA Representative; and Liz Rosinski, Senior Program Manager/Marketing and Outreach, S.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority.

“The purpose of the Community Development Workshop was to provide information regarding available funding resources to our Upper Savannah Region,” Hallman said. “It was important for us to provide our region an opportunity to network with other counties, municipalities and organizations that utilize the programs.

“The workshop allowed organizations to see the impacts of these programs, not just in our region but throughout the state. We hope the exposure to these programs and networking will promote innovative thinking, further utilizing these programs and encouraging community development. This opportunity also allowed us to familiarize them with our role here at Upper Savannah, and our involvement with these funding sources.”

Hallman said the guest speakers did a “great job” presenting their funding source information. “Many of the state and federally funded programs can be overwhelming to those who are not familiar. Our guest speakers did a great job condensing the information and presenting it comprehensively,” she said.

Attendees received handouts containing printed versions of the presentation and contact information associated with each funding source.

“I believe the attendees were encouraged by the opportunities available to them,” she added.

For more information about community development, contact USCOG at 864.941.8050.

News Update from Upper Savannah Council of Governments

Region Awarded CDBG Grants for Structure Demolitions, Fire Truck, Downtown Streetscape

Three municipalities in the Upper Savannah Region got good news this week when the S.C. Department of Commerce announced they have received grant awards in the Fall 2021 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) round.

The City of Clinton was awarded funding for a new fire truck, the City of Abbeville received a grant to demolish dilapidated structures, and the Town of Saluda was awarded funding for a downtown streetscape project.
Upper Savannah’s Community Development staff prepared and submitted the CDBG grant applications on their behalf and will administer the projects. They were three of 23 grant awards statewide in the Community Enrichment, Neighborhood Revitalization and Special Projects Round.
The City of Clinton will receive $500,000 in CDBG funding and provide a $250,000 local match for a total project cost of $750,000 to purchase a new fire pumper to replace a 1995 truck that was recently decommissioned due to transmission failure. The new truck would be used to provide improved fire protection services to LMI City of Clinton residents and businesses.
The City Fire Department is requesting a custom six-person capacity, ISO standard equipment, diesel truck, with a 2,000 gallons per minute (GPM) pump carrying 1,000 gallons of water. The department is seeking a truck that contains a small foam system to aid the effectiveness of the water and help expedite firefighting when critically needed.
Essential firefighting (loose) equipment will also be purchased to supply the department with the necessary gear to respond appropriately to any situation.
The City of Abbeville was awarded $221,564 in CDBG funding and will provide a $22,381 local match for a total project cost of $243,945 to demolish 17 structures which are a health and safety threat to the community. The structures are located on Brooks Street East, Brown Street, Cambridge Street, Gip Edwards Road, Poplar Street, Raymond Road, Wilson Street, and Secession Avenue. All structures are located within the Abbeville City limits.
The Town of Saluda will receive $721,212 in CDBG funding and provide a $102,562 local match for a total project cost of $823,774 to provide streetscape improvements to portions of downtown Saluda.
Improvements will consist of curbing, brick pavers, stamped crosswalks, reconstructed ADA ramps lined with railing, relocation and consolidation of signage, finished concrete, adding of stone façade on raised walkways, designated ADA/handicap parking, with installation of site furniture, greenery, irrigation, security cameras and street lighting. Improvements are proposed on a section of North Main and West Church streets.
News Update from Upper Savannah Council of Governments

Upper Savannah COG Wins 2 National Awards

During these times when employers are desperately seeking workers, the Upper Savannah COG workforce development staff recognized high school students as a resource to help fill some of the needs.

This past spring, Upper Savannah reached out to more than 2,000 seniors in 14 public high schools in the seven-county area with a “Your Next Step After Graduation” booklet listing who might hire them.

It was part of a project called Graduates Preparing for Success (GPS), aptly named because high school students need GPS-like directions on how to apply for jobs.

For its efforts, Upper Savannah has received a 2021 Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the GPS Project.

The GPS Project was one of two NADO Awards which USCOG received. Upper Savannah was also honored for the Abbeville County Federal Lands Access Improvements Project.

NADO is a Washington, DC-based membership association of regional development organizations that promote programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies.

The association’s Impact Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.

Each year, 2,000 or more seniors graduate from the 14 public high schools in Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry and Saluda counties. Some continue on to four-year colleges while others aspire to only graduate high school, advancing immediately into the job market. Some college-bound seniors still want jobs with flexible hours to earn some income while they go to school.

The main focus of the GPS project was creating the booklet which lists employers who hire current high school students or recent graduates, information about the employer’s hiring process and recruitment method, incentives offered such as if the employer sponsors free training, and if they offer apprenticeships, flexible hours and tuition reimbursement; and also website address.

Approximately 90 employers are listed in the booklet which was distributed to each of the 2,000-plus graduates in May 2021. The S.C. Workforce Development Board provided the funding to print the booklets which also include helpful job search and interview tips.

Upper Savannah staff and workforce development partners also developed as part of the GPS project pop-up job fairs that were held in conjunction with high school graduation practices in May 2021. After practice, the employers were there waiting, enabling students to find out who had immediate openings and to put in applications.

Students were also exposed to information about SC Works Centers, which can assist them in finding work now and/or in the future. Without the GPS project, none of this information would have been available to this young pool of potential workers.

The Abbeville County Federal Lands Access Improvements Project is in the planning stage and could take some time to complete with assistance from the S.C. Department of Transportation.

The project involves better constructed roadways and trail heads with designated parking at three locations that will enhance the mobility and accessibility of all visitors to the Sumter National Forest in southeastern Abbeville County.

Abbeville County received a $3 million Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) grant to fund the project. USCOG applied for the funding on behalf of the County.

Paved, maintained roads are available to a certain point, but the last mile or so at each location is not up to standard. Because there are no designated parking areas, visitors park along the side of the road and create dangerous conditions for other drivers and pedestrians. There were six total motor vehicle accidents in the area of these locations in the past few years.

Clearing, paving, and creating designated parking areas will provide a stable foundation with more pavement width for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists to use the roadways together safely.

Award-winning projects were recognized during NADO’s 2021 Annual Training Conference, held in Portland, Ore., on October 16-19. The 2021 class of award recipients consists of 102 projects from 70 organizations spanning 24 states.

“During the past 20 months, regional development organizations across the country have shown just how valuable they are in supporting the local communities they serve,” said 2019-2021 NADO President Kevin Byrd, executive director of the New River Valley Regional Commission, located in Radford, Va.

“From COVID-19 response and recovery initiatives, to workforce and economic development projects, to social services programs and much more, the 2021 NADO Impact Awardees highlight the many ways our members work on the ground every day to improve quality of life in their regions.”

The NADO Impact Awards are presented in honor of the late Aliceann Wohlbruck who was NADO’s first executive director and served 24 years as a tireless champion for regional approaches to economic development in rural communities.

Since 1967 NADO has provided advocacy, education, networking, and research for the national network of 540 regional development organizations. NADO members provide professional, programmatic, and technical assistance to over 2,300 counties and 15,000 municipalities.

News Update from Upper Savannah Council of Governments

McCormick Area Transit Acquires Funds for Abbeville County; Saluda County to Receive Transit Funding

McCormick County Senior Center/McCormick Area Transit has received a $100,000 National Rural Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) grant in the Community Rides Grant Program to begin transportation services in Abbeville County.

McCormick Area Transit (MAT) submitted the competitive grant application on behalf of Abbeville County and will provide the services there.

Upper Savannah COG and other partnering agencies have discussed rural transportation for the past few years. Until recently, McCormick and Edgefield were the only two counties in the Upper Savannah Region to offer public transportation.

Progress has since been made in the Region.

MAT began negotiating with Greenwood County, which was awarded SCDOT funding to begin a transit partnership on July 1, 2021. Medical, pharmacy and essential shopping rides are now available to anyone living within 2.5 miles of the Greenwood County Courthouse.

Now transportation will be available in Abbeville County, and soon in Saluda County.

McCormick County Senior Center/MAT Executive Director Becky Moon Powell prepared the RTAP application on behalf of Abbeville County.

“It’s a great day at MAT Trans. We have just been awarded $100,000 grant for the National Rural Transportation Association of America to start a public transportation project in Abbeville, SC,” Powell said in a recent email to several partnering agencies.

“It has been a long process, a difficult grant to write; however, together, we have made possible for Abbeville to experience the privilege of offering public transportation to their county residents,” Powell said.

Upper Savannah Government Services Director Rick Green along with Abbeville County Council and staff helped provide the necessary information required for the grant application.

Laurens and Saluda counties still do not have public transit. However, USCOG successfully applied on Saluda County’s behalf for $50,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) COVID funding to be used for temporary public transit services in their county.

USCOG will contract with a qualified provider for medical, pharmacy and other essential trips for Saluda County residents once the COVID funds are released.

USCOG Workforce Area Receives Federal Funding to Help Job Seekers, Businesses

The Upper Savannah COG is one of nine organizations nationwide to receive U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) funding to help provide training and employment services for job seekers as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic’s impacts.

USCOG’s workforce development staff applied for the funding on behalf of a consortium of five workforce development areas across the state. Upper Savannah is the lead applicant.

The consortium receiving the funds includes Upper Savannah: Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry and Saluda counties; Upstate: Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union counties; Low Country: Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties; Pee Dee: Chesterfield, Marlboro, Darlington, Florence, Dillon and Marion counties; and Lower Savannah: Aiken Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties.

Together, the five areas had more than 100,000 claimants exhaust unemployment insurance (UI). As of July 2021, South Carolina no longer provided Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.

The funding will be used to help reach those who have exhausted their UI and need re-employment.

“South Carolina had a substantial reduction in WOIA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) funding,” Upper Savannah Workforce Development Director Ann Skinner said. “The five Workforce Boards anticipate needing funding to respond to the recovery.”

Skinner said workforce development staffs have not been able to reach dislocated workers as well as they have before the pandemic.

“Traditionally, we have responded to events such as plant closings and provided an orientation and offered on-site services. During the pandemic, workers were laid off without notice. Many were fearful of going to an SC Works Center to do job searches (due to the pandemic). We need to have a systematic way of reaching those who are at risk of not returning to work. We will use funding to conduct outreach and develop On-the-Job training contracts.”

Long-term UI claimants are less marketable because they do not have a consistent work history, Skinner said.

“Many have been without health insurance benefits while unemployed. They are now without income support and may need help accessing services,” she said.

The Upper Savannah Area has faced many challenges, including preparing for the closing of the Fuji plant which will result in the loss of 400 jobs by 2022.

Skinner said these aren’t normal times.

“There is unprecedented need at this time for workforce services,” she said. “Employers are rebuilding their workforce following the pandemic. Job seekers are struggling to find jobs which pay as much as the pandemic unemployment benefits paid.

“South Carolina is using CARES funding to offer free tuition for short-term community college programs. Traffic in SC Works Centers dipped during the pandemic and has not yet returned to normal. We plan to engage in outreach to get customers to Centers and alert them to opportunities.”

Assisting the unemployed includes starting with individual assessment and career planning. The goal is to build on clients’ existing skills.

“We will conduct targeted job development to create On-the-Job Training (OJT) opportunities. It is anticipated that significant staff support will be needed to help clients develop soft skills. We will offer supportive services (transportation, dependent care, medical and work clothing). Utilizing OJT will align training with employer needs and provide immediate income support for dislocated workers,” Skinner said.

All five areas operate formula dislocated worker programs and connect with partners as part of the SC Works system, she said. This grant will build on those connections.

USCOG plans on developing videos that will serve as an orientation to dislocated worker services. The video will be placed on YouTube and have links on Local Workforce Boards’ websites. A portion of the video will be generic to South Carolina, but it will be customized for the five areas, she said. Other videos might cover identifying transferable skills and labor market information.

Another plan involves crafting social media campaigns that can be used by all five workforce areas, focusing on getting the job seeker a higher wage and information about skill training. Specialized messages will be offered to high school dropouts and offenders.

Another goal is to get mailing addresses for all individuals who were in the job matching database the week before UI ended. Staffs will send a postcard to each of the approximately 120,000 individuals.

The strategies to be used with the DOL grant funding was crafted by five workforce administrators with more than 100 years experience. OJT was selected as the primary tool to get workers back on the job because income support is built in.

The grant funding will help local businesses as well as job seekers. OJT reimburses employers 50 – 75 percent of new hire wages.

Businesses inquiring about training reimbursement should contact USCOG Deputy Workforce Development Director Billy Morgan at 864 941-8071. Job seekers should contact the Greenwood County SC Works Center at 864 229-8872.

News Update from Upper Savannah Council of Governments

Localities Can Apply for “Investing in America’s Communities” Funding

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo today announced six programs, collectively called Investing in America’s Communities, that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) will execute to equitably invest the $3 billion it received from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

Contact Upper Savannah COG for assistance with any potential application of any relevant projects. Contact USCOG Economic Recovery Specialist Cason Wright at (864) 941-8065 or cwright@uppersavannah.com for additional information.

According to an EDA news release today, Investing in America’s Communities includes:

Build Back Better Regional Challenge ($1 billion) will capitalize on American ingenuity and American workers by providing a transformational investment to regions across the country to revitalize their economies.

Good Jobs Challenge ($500 million) is designed to help get Americans back in good-paying jobs. The program will develop and strengthen regional workforce training systems and sector-based partnerships with a focus on programs targeted at women, people of color and historically underserved communities.

Economic Adjustment Assistance ($500 million) grants will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through projects tailored to meet local needs.

Indigenous Communities ($100 million) program will work hand-in-hand with Tribal Governments and Indigenous communities to develop and execute economic development projects they need to recover from the pandemic and build economies for the future.

Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation ($750 million) program will focus on revitalizing the hard-hit travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries and accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on these sectors.

Statewide Planning, Research and Networks ($90 million) grants include funding for state planning efforts as well as grants to build Communities of Practice to extend technical assistance to support EDA’s work with grantees.

To learn more about EDA and the American Rescue Plan Funding Opportunities, sign up for the EDA 101 and America Rescue Plan Overview webinar, which will be held on July 27 and July 29.

For more information, visit www.eda.gov/ARPA for the latest news on EDA’s implementation plans.

Greenwood County Begins Transit Agreement; Other USCOG Counties Exploring Options

Greenwood County residents living within a 2.5-mile radius of the County Courthouse now have a new transportation option.
Public transportation service is available to anyone of any age within the service area for a fee. Approved trips include medical/doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, and pharmacy visits. Trips must be reviewed and approved at least one day before travel.
Greenwood County has contracted with McCormick Area Transit (MAT) to provide transit services.
A ribbon cutting (pictured here) was held July 19 at the Greenwood County Courthouse to commemorate launching of the services which began July 1, 2021. S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Secretary Christy Hall, Third District SCDOT Commissioner Pamela Christopher, and members of Greenwood County Council, Greenwood City Council, Greenwood SC Chamber of Commerce, and MAT were among those who participated in the ribbon cutting.
Transportation discussions with Greenwood County, MAT, SCDOT, Upper Savannah COG, the health care community and other stakeholders have been ongoing for quite some time.
“After many years of review and discussion, I’m glad to see Greenwood County take this important step,” said USCOG Government Services Director Rick Green, who has helped host some of these meetings.
“I would eventually like for coverage to be extended county-wide and for new public transit opportunities to be developed in other USCOG counties,” Green said.
SCDOT will contribute $150,000 into the transportation agreement each year for three years. Greenwood County must match DOT’s contribution with $150,000 each year.
USCOG has recommended to the SCDOT Commission approval of two additional vans for MAT to use for this expanded service.
Abbeville County is awaiting news on a potential federal transit grant that would help it begin to develop a transit system there. USCOG has also applied for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) COVID related assistance funds to provide temporary transit service in Saluda County. Abbeville, Laurens, and Saluda remain among the last six counties in the state without public transit availability.
To request a ride or for more information Contact MAT at: Greenwood (864) 538-4500 or McCormick (864) 852-6655 or e-mail at mattrans@mcsc-mat.org.
News Update from Upper Savannah Council of Governments

USCOG Workforce Division Accepting Incumbent Worker Training Grant Applications

The Upper Savannah Council of Governments Workforce Development Division is now accepting applications for Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) grants which help provide training needed in current businesses due to expansion, new technology, retooling, new services/product lines and new organizational structuring, or as part of a layoff aversion strategy.
IWT may also fund training in new businesses if those jobs are ineligible for assistance through ReadySC. However, there will be a 120-day waiting period for new or expanding businesses that displaced workers elsewhere in the United States.
A total of $54,000 is available through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for businesses in the counties of Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry and Saluda. Businesses applying for funding must have at least one full-time employee (on the payroll a minimum of six months) and be current on all state tax obligations. Training entities, city, county and state governments are ineligible to apply.
The Upper Savannah Workforce Board will use the funds to help workers earn a credential or receive training that will yield a promotion and/or higher wages. This will benefit the employer by helping them with hard to fill positions. The promotion will create a lower-level vacancy that Upper Savannah can help backfill.
The Board will set the minimum request at $5,000 and the maximum at $20,000 per business and give priority to manufacturing, healthcare and trades (electricians, carpenters, plumbers, etc.) occupations.
Business must provide a matching contribution to the training project that shall not be less than:
10% of the cost, for employers with 49 employees or less;
25% of the cost, for employers with between 50 -100 employees; and
50% of the cost, for employers with more than 100 employees.
USCOG will contract with the selected business to write an agreement for the training. Costs will be reimbursed after the business provides the training services specified in the contract and completes all required paperwork. Reimbursable training expenses include instructor/trainer salaries, textbooks/manuals, and consumable materials/supplies. Routine or periodic safety and/or refresher courses cannot be funded. The salaries of in-house instructors are not reimbursable. The grant cannot pay for travel for the trainer or trainees or trainee wages.
All applications will be reviewed by a committee comprised of members of the Upper Savannah SC Works Business Services Team and the Workforce Development Board.
The application deadline is Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 5 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be held for consideration in the future, if funding becomes available. Applications should be submitted to work@uppersavannah.com, fax to 864.941.8090 or mailed to:
Upper Savannah Workforce Development Division
Attn: Billy Morgan
430 Helix Road
Greenwood, SC 29646
IWT Grant ends on June 30, 2022. Grant funds will be obligated by July 31, 2021.
To request a copy of the application, contact Upper Savannah workforce staff at (864) 941-8050 or bmorgan@uppersavannah.com. The application and additional information can be found on the Upper Savannah SC Works website at: https://upperscworks.com/employers/
News Update from Upper Savannah Council of Governments

USCOG Workforce Staff Produces Employment Directory for High School Seniors

High school seniors in the Upper Savannah Workforce Area will soon be learning who might hire them and what kind of training is available as they take the “next step” after graduation.

Upper Savannah workforce staff created a “Your Next Step After Graduation” directory of employers who hire recent high school graduates and are distributing to all graduating seniors at public high schools in the Upper Savannah Workforce Area.

The Area includes Abbeville (112 seniors), Dixie (68), Strom Thurmond (175), Emerald (179), Greenwood (309), Ninety Six (106), Ware Shoals (59), Laurens (307), Clinton (192), McCormick (45), Mid-Carolina (175), Newberry (134), Whitmire (51) and Saluda (126) high schools. There are more than 2,000 Area graduates in the Class of 2021.

The directory includes an alphabetical listing of approximately 100 companies in the Area which responded to a survey indicating they hire current high school students and recent graduates. The directory includes additional information such as website addresses and whether they offer flexible hours, tuition reimbursement, etc.

“The state of South Carolina wanted us to engage with high school students because that is untapped talent for employers who are screaming that they need people,” said Upper Savannah Workforce Development Deputy Director Billy Morgan, who played a major role in production of the directory.

“Not every high school student is going straight to college, and people who are going to college are looking for part-time jobs or jobs with flexible schedules so they can go to school at the same time.”

The directory funded by an S.C. Workforce Development Board grant also provides information about training opportunities and assistance available for several health care programs to automotive technology, mechatronics, HVAC and welding, and several others.

The directory also includes encouraging tidbits for seniors making that next step, stressing the importance of an up-to-date resume, a good phone number, and a professional e-mail address.

The directory also includes quotes about the importance of putting forth effort, being punctual, showing the willingness to learn, and exhibiting good work ethic.

The directory also shares several interview tips that stress strong communication skills needed to land a good job.

Another page is filled with helpful tips for graduates such as not making an education or career choice based on what friends are doing, never passing up an opportunity to meet someone new, and making time to look for part-time jobs, internships or volunteer opportunities.