Kenneth S. Sales, Business Services Team Lead for KRA’s workforce operations in the Waccamaw Region of South Carolina (SC), was selected by the Williamsburg County Economic Development Board to participate in a series of critical panel-discussion meetings focused on the development of a Strategic Plan to guide the County’s economic development goals over the next 5 years. Facilitated by Boyette Strategic Advisor (BSA), an economic development consulting firm, the first meeting on August 22, 2012, was intense, running from 8:00am to 7:30pm, and included a different focus-group discussion every hour and 15 minutes. Sales, whose expertise was integral to the discussions on Industries, Allied Partners, and Educators, provided Labor Market Information within each area as it relates to workforce resources, workforce training needs, industry clusters, transportation, educational credentials, and current and aging career clusters in SC, in general, and Williamsburg County, in particular.
According to Sales, “The County’s long-range Plan will include identification of targeted businesses/industry sectors, along with strategic recommendations for promoting the County as an ideal area for economic development and success. I’m really excited that I’ll continue to participate in meetings over the next several months, and with other participants, share my thoughts and vision for the County’s future economic development, based in part on the feedback captured by BSA from each focus group. Enhancing current efforts to attract businesses…and jobs…and to promote the County as an excellent business-location/re-location option, are key to the Plan’s development and success.”
Other prestigious panelists include City- and County Council Members; local business executives/entrepreneurs; industry-specific specialists; program managers from the SC Departments of Commerce, Employment and Workforce, and Revenue; operational program managers from the Council of Governments; police- and fire-department chiefs; the president of the local technical college; school principals and superintendents; and grant writers.
In addition, Sales has been selected by the Department of Employment and Workforce, headquartered in Columbia, for membership on the One-Stop Certification Committee for the State of South Carolina. According to Sales, “I’m honored to have been selected for this Committee, whose task is to create policies and standards for the newly merged and re-branded SCWorks Centers, formerly One-Stop Centers. Our job is to ensure that all locations throughout the State can more efficiently certify new participants…community partners and programs that service the general population, and employers.” Examples of participants include the Departments of Social Services and Vocational Rehabilitation; the technical colleges and adult education systems; and programs that target youth, such as Job Corps. At the conclusion of two…possibly three…more meetings, the new policies and standards will be finalized and submitted to the State’s Federal regulatory compliance team for approval and implementation.