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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.

2016 Talent Demand Study Update

The Chamber, in partnership with the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and a number of higher education institutions in the region, released our Talent Demand Study that examined the region’s growth and educational skills offered in the community to ensure they were aligned to meet both current and future talent needs. The study was conducted as a way to quantify information the Chamber was hearing from employers regarding skill gaps in certain areas.

The Talent Demand Study Update was released in August 2016 and showed several significant trends:

In the next five years, the region will create more than 26,000 new jobs – which is generally considered to be a conservative estimate by forecasters.

Occupation clusters forecasted to have the highest growth rates include:

  • Software & IT (+20%)
  • Production (+18%)
  • Mathematics (+17%)
  • Marketing (+15.2%)
  • Engineering (+14.1%)
  • Communications (+13.4%)
  • Business (+11.8%)
  • Medical (11.6%)

Shortages are expected in key fields, with the greatest gaps in output of college graduates to available jobs being found in General Assembly, Aerospace Mechanics, Software Developers, IT Security Analysts and Accounting Support.

View the 2016 Talent Demand Study Update

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