Talent Development + Attraction


Rock Hill supplies the talented workers that knowledge economy businesses require.​


1. Gap Analysis


In coordination with York County and the Council of Governments, Tthe community should conduct a formal gap analysis, via one or more surveys or other methods, to understand the following:

  1. The local workforce talent shed and knowledge economy worker’s movements within it (i.e. update the previous Winthrop Poll study)

  2. Jobseekers’ knowledge of local career opportunities (current and future)

  3. Jobseekers’ knowledge of local educational opportunities to prepare for current and future career opportunities


2. Community-Specific Career Planning Guidance


Informed in part by the results of the gap analysis (above,) the community should create and publicize a new platform for assisting job seekers identify the appropriate jobs or educational opportunities based upon their own career aspirations.


The platform should:

  1. Direct individuals to existing aptitude and career-planning tools.

  2. Identify what type of education or skills are necessary to be successful in chosen fields

  3. Connect individuals to tools such as STEM Premier

  4. Connect individuals to tools that narrow down the job selection process (i.e. what type of jobs exist in a specific sector?)

  5. Connect individuals to relevant current job openings in chosen fields

  6. Capture job-seekers’ information and interests and proactively notify them when relevant jobs become available

  7. Direct individuals to JobsRockHill.com

  8. Be promoted strongly, consistently, and continuously


The platform could take the form of a new front-end website that is promoted similarly to JobsRockHill.com, it could be an expanded version of JobsRockHill.com, or it could be something completely different.  (In any event JobsRockHill.com is a valuable resource and should be further developed.)  The issue is not that individual entities have specific tools to accomplish the above, rather the issue is that there is a need to provide access to these tools in one centralized place that can be promoted.


3. Talent Pipeline Program


The community should continue to enhance the Talent Pipeline internship program.Meaningful internship opportunities provide several benefits.

  1. For students, they provide valuable first-hand experience in a given field, helping individuals “try out” a particular career or industry to guide their career planning.

  2. For companies, they may address one or more of the following:

    1. provide short-term, relatively inexpensive assistance for very small firms;

    2. provide exposure to potential future employees; and

    3. provide an ongoing “pipeline” of new talent to be transitioned into the firm as employees.


The Talent Pipeline project should be further developed to focus on meeting the student and business communities’ discrete needs as described above.  For example, care should be given to provide financial assistance only to the businesses that require it.  Additional effort should be made to identify internship candidates, identify their interests and skill sets, and match them up with businesses that will most benefit from the interns’ participation.  The program should also connect interns from under-represented populations with jobs they might not otherwise be aware of or aspire to with employers who may not have effective ways of recruiting within those populations.  Finally, different types of engagement such as apprenticeships and mentorships should be examined and implemented, if warranted.


4.  Education/Employer Forum


In order to more fully develop a robust local talent pipeline, the community should create a formal forum that brings together the leadership of the local educational sector (including Rock Hill School District and other K-12 schools, York Technical College, Clinton College, and Winthrop University) with existing business leaders (current employers) and economic development leaders (representing future employers.)  This forum should focus on specific actions and tactics that can be taken to:

  1. Ensure that educators are aware of current and emerging employment needs

  2. Allow educators to create programs that prepare job seekers with skills necessary for current and future jobs, and

  3. Give businesses and economic developers a clear, quick path to the education sector to ensure that their workforce needs are understood and addressed.

  4. Provide alternative learning tracks similar to the opportunities that will be provided by the NDE Institute.


5. Talent Development Center


In conjunction with the business-growth-focused activities of the Technology Incubator and related programs, Tthe community should create a central location that houses as many talent development initiatives and programs related to the Knowledge Park strategy as possible.  This location will be successful if it is viewed by the general public as “the place to go” to learn more about:

  1. local knowledge economy career opportunities in general

  2. the educational programs available to prepare for them

  3. specific companies and job openings

  4. examples of members of under-represented populations who have found success in knowledge economy jobs (thereby acting as role models or examples for career planning)