Aligning Career Academies with Talent Demand

If you were here in 1995, you know the Navy Base closure presented a catalyzing challenge for the region: how can we diversify our economy and replace jobs lost? Fast forward 24 years and the economic transformation is incredible.

With that success comes a new catalyzing challenge: how do we close the talent gap to fill 35,000 new jobs forecasted over the next five years?

The Chamber’s Talent Advancement team faces this challenge daily. One of the most important strategies to help close the talent gap is Regional Career Academies. Career academies inject career-themed programs and career-relevant assignments into the standard high school curriculum, and since 2013, we’ve collaborated with Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester County schools to support implementation of regional career academies.

The Chamber organizes regional advisory boards to guide career academy programs. These boards bring businesses and educators together to share industry practices and develop programs and experiences for students and teachers alike. Last year alone, 125 partner companies participated in a regional advisory board.

The release of the updated Talent Demand Study last school year underscored that large talent gaps are projected in many sectors that serve as regional economic pillars. For the 2019/20 academic year, we have expanded — and realigned — our advisory boards to focus on those high-impact sectors.

Regional Career Academy Advisory Boards

  • Business Management ~ Business, Entrepreneurship, Finance 
  • Computer Science & IT ~ TEALS, Computer Science, IT Fundamentals
  • Construction & Trades ~ Building Construction, Welding, other trades
  • Engineering ~ Structural, Mechanical, Civil, Aerospace, Digital Electronics, Computer Integrated Manufacturing
  • Health Professions ~ Health Science, Biomedical, Sports Medicine  
  • Hospitality ~ Culinary and Hospitality 
  • Manufacturing ~ Mechatronics, Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive 

If you are interested in strengthening our skilled workforce pipeline to help solve the talent gap challenge, we invite you to join one of the Advisory Boards as an Academy Partner. The time you invest will pay dividends by activating young minds through career exposure. Learn more at

In case you missed it, view the video the Chamber recently launched showcasing some of the great work our talent team is doing in our community to bridge the talent gap.

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