Sector Strategies

Growing jobs. Increasing prosperity. Expanding opportunity. Across South Carolina’s workforce development, education and economic development systems, we share a common vision for building a skilled talent pipeline that meets the current and future needs of business and industry that connects South Carolinians to jobs. Now more than ever, we recognize that our ability to stay globally competitive depends on our ability to be responsive to the needs of business—and that will require new levels of partnership with business and industry.

What does it take to build strong and sustainable partnerships with business and industry? Sector partnerships respond directly to this question.

Sector partnerships are partnerships of business leaders from the same industry sector in a labor market region, who work together with partners from education, workforce development and economic development to tackle the common workforce and other competitiveness needs of their industry.

At their best, they serve as:

  • A forum for business leaders from the same industry sector to collaborate with their peers in tackling the major issues that impact the overall competitiveness of their industry;
  • A single table at which business leaders can access multiple public partners from education, workforce development and economic development;
  • A forum for public partners to gain an accurate, real-time understanding of the needs of the target industry;
  • A coordinating body for education, workforce development and economic development partners to align their programs and services with the needs of industry in the targeted sector;
  • A “home” for building industry-driven career pathway systems that engage multiple education and training providers in a continuous conversation with industry to ensure that students can build the skills, credentials and experiences they need to succeed and advance in jobs and careers.


As education, workforce development and economic development partners are all hearing the same call to action to deepen and strengthen partnerships with business and industry, there is a risk of doubling down and intensifying independent efforts to target and engage with business and industry. Sector partnerships present an alternative approach and an opportunity to work together to build truly sustainable, industry-driven partnerships.

South Carolina’s Vision for a Talent Pipeline

The vision for South Carolina’s Talent Pipeline efforts is to cultivate the development of a skilled workforce and a responsive workforce system that meets the needs of business and industry leading to sustainable growth, economic prosperity and global competitiveness for South Carolina.

 To achieve this vision a state leadership team was formed in 2015 comprised of key executives from the state Department of Education, Department of Commerce, Department of Employment and Workforce, State Technical College System, the Commission for Higher Education and business and industry representatives. Through data analysis, the State Leadership Team identified five high-demand, high-growth sectors: Construction, Diversified Manufacturing, Business and Information Technology, Health Care, and Transportation and Logistics.

Regions were created as well to align workforce and economic development activities.

planning regions

Building on the foundation of work done to date, the next step is to form industry-led sector partnerships in regions across South Carolina. These partnerships will serve as vehicles for aligning programs with the needs of industry sectors that drive regional economies and the basis for building industry-driven career pathway systems. Sector partnerships are fundamentally collaborative efforts and will require the active engagement of partners in South Carolina’s workforce development, community and technical college, higher education and economic development systems to make them a success.