Center to open and aid unemployed

Taking a proactive response to Barnwell County's declining economic conditions, the Lower Savannah Council on Government's Workforce Development will be opening a transition center for dislocated workers.

The recent announcements that Allied Air, Milliken and Hanesbrands are closing will eventually claim about 770 area jobs.

But Monday, March 16, at Denmark Technical College satellite, 10370 Ellenton St., Barnwell, a transition center will open its doors to help the unemployed or soon- to-be-unemployed.

The center will keep the lines down in the Barnwell County One-Stop and help displaced workers in the area find employment, said Sally Sharpe, the Workforce Development supervisor of contracts and One-Stop activities.

Hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, she said.

"It will be kept open as long as there is a need," said Sharpe. "Our primary goal is help people find employment that provides them with a self-sufficient wage."

To do this, there will be an eight-person staff with workers from the S.C. Employment Security Commission and Workforce Development, Sharpe said.

"We will be getting job orders daily as well as providing job searches and job referrals," Sharpe said.

In addition, computers for job searches will be available and workshops will be offered.

At the workshops, people can learn basic computer skills, how to write resumes, and gain helpful job interview tips, Sharpe said.

Sharpe said the center will be working with community agencies and businesses to help displaced workers.

"Area businesses and agencies really stepped up and asked us what we can do to help folks," said Sharpe.

Barnwell County United Way, the Axis1 Center of Barnwell, Regions Bank and Barnwell County EDC are some of the agencies which have offered help, Sharpe said.

The Barnwell County EDC will be gathering information on the skill levels of displaced workers, she said.

Regions Bank will be conducting financial workshops to help people better manage their finances, said Sharpe.

Workforce Development is the administrative entity for the Workforce Investment Act in the lower Savannah region.

The Workforce Investment Act is a federal program designed to help adults, youth and displaced workers find employment and provide job training, Sharpe said.

The program can assist eligible people for up to two years of education that would improve their chance of finding employment and earning better wages, she said.

For more information on the transition center, call (803) 541-3661.