We don’t say this very often, but South Carolina governor Henry McMaster got something right this week …
McMaster, who has been struggling mightily of late when it comes to making appointments, has tapped renowned Columbia, S.C. businessman Don Tomlin to serve as chairman of the Palmetto State’s Workforce Development Board (SCWorks.org).
“Don Tomlin’s reputation in South Carolina’s business community is second to none,” McMaster said in appointing Tomlin to this post. “His experience and expertise in business and public service will be invaluable to the Workforce Development Board in fulfilling its mission of overseeing a systematic, statewide approach towards ensuring that South Carolina’s workforce remains one of the best in the world.”
McMaster’s praise for the state’s work force may be off the mark, but if there is anyone who can get it moving in the right direction again it is Tomlin – long-regarded as one of the state’s top business minds.
Prior to receiving this appointment, Tomlin spent four years as chairman of the S.C. State Housing Finance and Development Authority (SCHousing.com) – one of many state boards or commissions on which he has served.
“It’s good to see the governor has appointed a serious businessman to this important position,” one Midlands employer told us.
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“I am dedicated to working with other board members, board partners, and South Carolina employers and their current and future workforce to understand how the Department of Employment and Workforce can use its funding to create the most successful workforce for our state,” Tomlin said in a statement.
If Tomlin can help turn around the embattled S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW), it would be nothing short of a miracle. This agency has been plagued by scandal and mismanagement for nearly a decade, and desperately needs some adult supervision.
SCDEW administers the state’s unemployment insurance program – which rang up a billion-dollar deficit during the peak of the Great Recession. It has since found its way back into the black, although it has done so on the backs of small businesses in the Palmetto State. In fact, we believe this massive small business tax hike has been one of the reasons South Carolina’s economic outcomes – and specifically its employment outcomes – continue to disappoint.
Well, that and other work force, um … issues.
Can Tomlin turn things around?
Again, we seldom have anything positive to say about McMaster or his administration, but this selection certainly represents a serious choice to address a serious problem.
Stay tuned … we look forward to seeing what Tomlin does in his new (and arguably most challenging) role.
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