South Carolina's efforts to grow and maintain a ready workforce received a huge boost recently when Lander University President Richard Cosentino was appointed to the state's Coordinating Council for Workforce Development (CCWD).
Created in 2016 through state legislation, the CCWD is tasked with developing a comprehensive, collaborative workforce development strategy to meet current and future workforce needs. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said that having Cosentino on board will add a vital bridge between the state's workforce populace and the higher education facilities entrusted to train and prepare them.
"A strong workforce is critical both in attracting business investment as well as in facilitating an environment for existing business to grow," said Hitt, who will serve as the council's first chair. "Dr. Cosentino will strengthen our collaboration with many workforce partners and allies across this state."
Legislation on the creation of the Council called for one representative from the state's three research universities, one from Columbia representing the state's technical colleges, and one from the state's 10 four-year undergraduate comprehensive universities, such as Lander.
"I received a letter from the Commission on Higher Education in Columbia appointing Dr. Cosentino to represent this last group," Hitt said.
Cosentino said his priority is to be a "strong voice for higher education," to help balance the needs of the state's workforce. "In addition to the demand for people with strong technical skills, you also need people in the workforce with disciplines beyond a two-year degree - such as lawyers, accountants, managers, and communications specialists," Cosentino said, "and they're the ones we strive to provide through our system at Lander."