SC Asphalt Pavement Association Expands Partnerships to Grow Road-Building Workforce

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

With an anticipated 1,000 additional jobs coming to the South Carolina asphalt paving industry over the next five years, the South Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association (SCAPA), a nonprofit trade association representing the state’s asphalt pavement industry, is seeking to increase partnerships with agencies, organizations and schools across the state. Part of the Asphalt Works! campaign, such partnerships will allow SCAPA to strengthen the industry’s workforce pipeline, providing training and raising awareness to the benefits of working in the asphalt industry.
South Carolina has the fourth largest highway system in the country, and the passage of the 2017 South Carolina Roads Bill is funding a massive resurfacing project, which will bring more than half of the state’s roads up to “good” condition in 10 years. SCAPA and its member organizations are preparing for this expanding workforce by visiting with schools, vocational centers, state agencies and other organizations to encourage people to apply or consider a career in the asphalt industry.
“There is a national resurgence of vocational education and skilled trades, which may suit students looking to thrive outside of a traditional four-year education,” says Ashley R. Batson, Esq., SCAPA executive director. “The asphalt industry offers swift career advancement, high-paying skilled jobs and a family environment where workers feel a great sense of integrity and pride in their work.”
SCAPA launched the statewide Asphalt Works! campaign earlier this year to promote the hiring need and to highlight career opportunities.
SCAPA is working with entities such as the Midlands Education and Business Alliance, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, and adult education groups across Richland, Lexington and Fairfield Counties.
Additionally, SCAPA representatives visited with students in Greenville County Schools earlier this year, and the organization will speak with Department of Juvenile Justice students, who are working on their high school equivalency requirements and looking at career options.