Workforce Development Initiatives

Following infrastructure, the greatest demand among employers is workforce development. With workforce needs identified as the single most important factor for existing business expansions and new company locations, Dorchester County has developed various programs to address not only workforce needs, but outlets for networking opportunities among the County's existing industries.

In 2011, an internal workforce study was developed to address workforce development trends and day-to-day challenges. Most significant from this study was a notable decline in work ethic among the 18-30 age group, as well as an increase in skills gaps. Through business and education partnerships, several key programs have been created to improve work ethic and cultivate growth through networking forums. The Charleston Region is also home to programs like the Education Foundation and FIRST Robotics that are both instrumental initiatives for shaping tomorrow's workforce for today.

Dorchester County Industrial Council (DCIC)

The Dorchester County Industrial Council (DCIC) is a support organization for the industries of Dorchester County. The meetings provide a monthly opportunity for industry leaders to network, as well as provide a unique forum for sharing best practices. Constant feedback from members ensures that monthly meeting topics and presentations are both timely and relevant.

Monthly meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m. and are open to all Dorchester County upper level industry leaders and HR management teams.

Dorchester County Work Ethic Certificate Program

Beginning during the 2013-2014 school year, a Work Ethic Program has become a part of the Dorchester County School District Four tenth grade English classes and the Dorchester County Career & Technology Center curriculum. Aimed at junior and senior high school students, the program focuses on reinforcing the top ten habits for successful work ethic, as identified by Dorchester County industries. Teachers reinforce good work ethic by incorporating examples in their daily lesson plans and use everyday occurrences to demonstrate the importance of:

  • attendance and punctuality 
  • character
  • teamwork
  • appearance and netiquette
  • attitude and critical thinking
  • productivity
  • organizational skills
  • communication
  • cooperation
  • respect

Students successfully completing the program are awarded certificates that can be copied and attached to college and employment applications.

Long range plans for this program include plans for inclusion in Dorchester School District Two curriculum and throughout the County.