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With a rapidly evolving, global economy, the race for talent is increasingly competitive. In every industry, employers are asking the same question: How are we going to train and retain the best workers? Education and talent development and retention are the key to our region’s future, our children’s futures and economic growth.

At the core of the Chamber is the commitment to ensuring that current and future generations have career opportunities in our region by enhancing the quantity and quality of the talent in the Charleston metro.

The Chamber is dedicated to providing programs and services to preserve and attract quality talent in the region and ensure members remain highly competitive and aim to support the talent needs all business.

Our work with our region’s largest public school districts is transforming the outcomes of students by working to ensure they graduate career- and college-ready.  Our involvement in Tri-County Cradle to Career in the high school arena is aligning efforts in our region to reduce high school dropout rates and prepare local students to qualify for the jobs being created in our area.

We also work to ensure that the talent business has today is provided the resources and professional development training to grow and expand.  From Charleston Young Professionals to Leadership Discovery and Leadership Charleston, the Chamber provides the avenue for members to grow and retain their current and future talent pipeline.

Common Skills Report

In December 2016, the four public school superintendents asked the Chamber to identify a set of career readiness standards that would help to define the skills required of “a successful high school graduate.” Representatives from several industries were brought together for professionally facilitated sessions in each of the following areas:


The discussions focused on actually defining what a particular skill looks like in an entry level position in the related job market. As a result, specific skills were identified as top priorities and those that were repeated across industries became obvious as “common skill competencies.”

Those skills are outlined in this comprehensive report, released in early 2018.

2018 Talent Demand Study Update

The Chamber produced the Charleston region’s first Talent Demand Study in 2014 with funding support and participation from Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Charleston Southern University, College of Charleston, Medical University of South Carolina and Trident Technical College. Last updated in 2016, this 2018 analysis provides a fresh update in identify the fastest-growing and most in-demand occupations as well as assess talent supply gaps.

The  most recent Talent Demand Study Update was released in October 2018, and showed several significant trends:

  • In the next five years, the Charleston Metro Area will add nearly 35,000 new jobs. The current forecast is 32% higher than the 2016 study’s five-year job growth prediction.
  • 80% of this job growth will be in 10 specific occupations, including: Production & Mechanical, Hospitality, Medical, Business Operations Support, Software & IT, Personal Services among others.

The study shows that 80 percent of predicted job growth will be in 10 specific occupations:

  • Production & Mechanical
  • Hospitality
  • Medical
  • Business Operations Support
  • Software & IT
  • Personal Services
  • Logistics
  • Business Management
  • Construction
  • Education


Four occupations show the highest talent-supply gaps with annual jobs openings beyond local graduate output.

  • Production and Mechanical: 300 – 500 annual overage
  • Software & IT: 200 – 300 annual overage
  • Hospitality: 200 – 250 annual overage
  • Construction: 100 – 200 annual overage

View the 2018 Talent Demand Study Update


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