Announcing New Release: Talent 2020 & Beyond

The Charleston Metro Chamber has released Talent 2020 & Beyond, a report focused on a skills-first approach to meeting the Charleston region’s workforce needs. With the disruption of 2020, the region has experienced a drastic swing from record high to record low unemployment and is now facing a new challenge – how to get people back to work and advance economic recovery.

The driving question isn’t ‘When will the jobs come back?’ But rather, ‘Where will the jobs be and what skills will they require?’ Leading with skills over occupational titles creates better alignment and increases potential employment matches.

Tina Wirth, Charleston Metro Chamber Senior Vice President of Talent Advancement

The skills-forward approach outlined in the study would help employers better identify the skills they need their employees to have and to potentially access a wider talent pool. It would direct job seekers to understand the skills they have or need to acquire to transition into these emerging, high-demand areas. Finally, it would also help K-12 and higher education systems better understand what competencies are of greatest value to the region’s future growth, guiding college system offerings to ensure needed short-term training and degree programs address skills shortages in the market.

Talent 2020 & Beyond was developed using data sources that offer real-time insight into both our short-term economic disruption and our longer-term growth projections.

Key highlights include:

  • The Charleston Metro Area is expected to add 28,000 new jobs over the next five years.
  • Despite facing a very difficult year, the hospitality and culinary sector will continue to maintain a large workforce and a great need for employees.
  • Logistics saw a large increase in demand, with 2,600 new jobs projected over the next five years versus about 2,000 projected in the previous study.
  • Black and Hispanic workers make up a disproportionate amount of the workforce in lower-paying occupations. Barriers to education attainment must be actively addressed and overcome to create an inclusive and equitable workforce.

Economic disruption of this magnitude required moving from historical data to new data sources that show what is happening now in our region’s employment landscape.

Jacki Renegar, Center for Business Research Director.

Tina Wirth and Jacki Renegar will discuss the findings of the study in a free webinar on Wednesday, September 23 at 11 a.m.

View the study at

Erin Aylor, SVP of Marketing

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