SC Works Centers around the State Get Creative to Continue Services that Connect Jobseekers and Employers

Staff Report

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created both crisis and creativity. When it comes to unemployment in South Carolina, the state went from record low rates to a historically high, double-digit employment crisis within one month. However, when the need for re-employment services skyrocketed, the SC Works centers got creative.

While the staff in the centers continued to work, mostly via phone, despite the closing of the physical buildings throughout the pandemic, the focus was on unemployment benefits questions. However, as individuals began returning to work and the buildings where SC Works staff are located began to reopen, the SC Works system started to see the rising need for job seeking services. A need that had to be addressed with the health and safety of the staff and customers top-of-mind.

Despite these challenging times, SC Works centers found innovative, new ways to assist customers desperate to find employment opportunities and financial security. They leveraged technology, providing what once were in-person resume building seminars and job search trainings, to 100% online webinars.

"This pandemic has made it more difficult for our employers to find employees. Our traditional ways of hosting job fairs and hiring events were no longer considered safe options, we decided to host a drive- thru event to let job seekers know that there is still opportunity out there during this pandemic,” stated Deb White, Regional Manager for SC Works Lower Savannah.

The drive-thru events have been a huge success with nearly 30 employers and 250 job seekers participating. The open air job fairs allowed employers and possible future employees to meet face-to- face while remaining socially distant and wearing masks. The drive-thru options allowed people to remain in their car and receive a bag of local applications and information.

Meanwhile, virtual hiring events and job fairs offered a unique opportunity to allow jobseekers to learn more about companies in hire mode and even engage with their recruiters live via a chat function. If the position felt like a good fit, virtual jobseekers could apply for the positon on the spot, all without leaving their living room. In total, more than 90 employers and more than 1,200 job seekers have participated in the virtual events within the last few months.

As a partner in the SC Works system, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce assists individualsproud to be part of the SC Works Center staff who are creating meaningful resource opportunities for South Carolinians, despite the challenges.

If applicable, please assist us in communicating out the next two events:

August 20: Drive-Thru Job Fair, Anderson Civic Center (Enter on Camson Road), 9:00 am-11:00 am August 27: Drive-Thru Job Fair York Technical College, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Jobseekers and employers interested in participating in an event can visit and click on the “Find a Center” button. Once they select their county, contact information for each location will be displayed.

Members of the media who would like to know more or conduct and interview with staff from a local center can contact the unemployment process and as they rejoin the workforce and the agency is very.