TATT Chat Recap – October 21, 2021

TATT Chat Recap – October 21, 2021


Dean Hybl, Executive Director

Congressional Update

The Honorable Jeff Duncan, U.S. House of Representatives, South Carolina District 3

You can watch the remarks from Congressman Duncan in the session video here.

Resource Update

Cheryl Garrison, Launch Greenville – Launch GVL is a partnership program between the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and Greenville County Schools to connect high school junior and seniors to offer paid career opportunities. This is to create a talent pipeline for employers and allows students to clarify their career goals while making money.


  1. How many students are in each cycle? Anywhere between 20-40
  2. Are there kids who are doing virtual work to adjust to the times? Some companies are doing hybrid but most want the student to have a connection to the work space.


Dean Hybl, Executive Director



Written by: Cheryl Garrison

Businesses face a lack of available talent with the skills needed to meet ever-evolving employment demands. Unemployment and labor force participation rates are low. Continuing workforce challenges require creative solutions. LaunchGVL is one such solution.

LaunchGVL connects business, industry, education, and youth. LaunchGVL was born in 2017 when a Greenville County Schools (GCS) high school principal approached Greenville Chamber leadership about facilitating connections between area businesses and students. LaunchGVL operationalizes this concept across sixteen Greenville County high schools, four career centers, and adult education.

LaunchGVL is part of Greenville County School’s work-based learning (WBL) continuum. WBL provides work experience integrated with identified core academic coursework, career and technical education curricula, or electives to support strong secondary and postsecondary education opportunities. WBL encompasses internships, co-ops, youth apprenticeships and registered apprenticeships. Students enhance their knowledge, technical skills, and 21st century work skills through participation in supervised, paid, work-based learning experiences that are not possible to replicate inside classroom walls, preparing them to enter the workforce, military, and/or pursue postsecondary education.

LaunchGVL, while young, is gaining brand recognition. Youth economic mobility and post-secondary skill development is improved through paid WBL opportunities. The LaunchGVL website provides easy access for business to engage and for students and parents to view positions. Once registered, companies complete paperwork with Greenville County Schools. Recruitment of students takes place year-round with interviews held several times throughout the year.

According to Forbes Magazine (and Pew Research), today’s young adults (between the ages of 15-21) are the least work-connected generation in decades. They are  much less likely to have had a paid summer job or to have been employed in the last year compared to every previous generation for which data exists. Students need to connect earlier with employers to ensure successful engagement in and completion of their high school education. This positions the student for additional success as they launch their educational or career journeys.

The Greenville Chamber’s vision is of a globally competitive Upstate economy where businesses succeed and people prosper. Despite the affluence and economic opportunities in Greenville, too many of our citizens are not enjoying prosperity. This year in Greenville County Schools, 59.8% of students are pupils in poverty. Let that statistic sink in. To break poverty cycles and increase labor force participation rates, businesses, education entities, and citizens need to find new ways to engage and LaunchGVL is one such option.

Economic mobility is a clearly identified issue in Greenville County as presented by Raj Chetty’s Equality of Opportunity Project. This national study found that a child born in Greenville County to the bottom quintile of family income has only a 4.7% chance of reaching the top quintile. For a black child, that chance is less, only a 2.9% chance, and for a black male, it is even less with only a 1.9%. Young people beginning their lives in poverty in Greenville have a much more difficult time in reaching economic parity with the mainstream. The development of post-secondary skills can help mitigate this disparity.

LaunchGVL directly helps students network with business/industry representatives, increasing their social capital. All LaunchGVL experiences are paid. Many high school students must work to meet financial needs. Participants are often able to continue work with their placement companies after high school and, sometimes, during college and beyond. Furthermore, employers are increasingly seeking new hires that have this valuable experience.

For the student, WBL strengthens career awareness, workplace readiness, and personal development. Experiences are structured to give the student extensive practice in applying fundamental technical and practical knowledge as well as developing skills needed to create a career mindset for a lifetime of growth and development. Former LaunchGVL students recently shared the impact the program had in their lives.

“I learned many skills I wouldn’t have anywhere else. Experience is the best teacher.” Chloe Penaflor

“I will never forget the experience and how amazing it was to feel a part of something larger than myself.” Jay Smith

“I help conduct research, do reports and spreadsheets and graphics for the effluent flows for the facility systems. The different responsibilities at ReWa as the Business Continuity Services Intern have helped me learn how to be an adult and having those social skills is something I can definitely take with me into my career as a climate change analyst”. Kennedy Williams

For employers, connecting with students early allow them to train their future workforce today, create a pipeline of talent, to help meet current and future employment needs.

“We have 6 students, 4 in production working with CNC machines and the other 2 are in maintenance. We have been impressed with all the students and highly recommend other companies get involved with the program”. Dan Martin, plant manager at ABB Mechanical Power Transmission

LaunchGVL has grown steadily with 68 companies hiring 193 students since summer 2018. Several students have been hired full-time upon graduation while others have continued employment long-term. We track wages earned by students and are putting systems in place to follow students long-term to determine impact.

The Greenville Chamber Foundation supports students, employers, and the education process by removing barriers to employment. Generous grants have been received from Bank of America, Truist, and United Way. Accelerate (Greenville Chamber’s private sector-fueled economic development initiative) supports LaunchGVL as a key component of its talent and workforce strategy.

This year, two Greenville Chamber programs began a new partnership.  LaunchGVL and Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) graduate companies have come together to give Opportunity Youth the chance to connect with minority, women, and veteran owned businesses to create both employment and mentorship opportunities. We are excited about the positive outcomes this new initiative within LaunchGVL is providing.

The goal is to grow both student and employer participation in LaunchGVL. WBL is a heavy lift for all involved, but the impact is well worth the investment. By continuing to connect business and non-profits with students, we have a unique opportunity to create an ecosystem of on the job learning that begins in high school and extends to college and beyond.

We encourage all businesses in the region to consider providing an opportunity now for their future workforce.  To learn more about LaunchGVL, go to www.launchgvl.org or contact Dr. Cheryl Garrison at cgarrison@greenvillechamber.org.  Be a part of growing a greater Greenville through LaunchGVL.

UEE Mastering Hard Conversations Recap

UEE Mastering Hard Conversations Recap

Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem | Partner Series 

Mastering Hard Conversations – How to Talk While Networking: Conversations to Best Explain Your Business 

October 7, 2021 

Sara Carter, Program Coordinator from CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center, lead the conversation with LeKesa Whitner of Start:Me Spartanburg and entrepreneur Tamika Thompson. LeKesa hears pitches and stories from many business owners, so she has a great perspective on how to stand out. Tamika is the owner of Beyond this February, a Black women owned independent bookstore that prioritizes Black stories year-round. Tamika has been a finalist in the Start:Me and Leap program. 

See Tamika’s Facebook page for her pop-up book shops, including this Sunday at the Hub City Farmer’s Market. 

Visit StartGrowUpstate.com for resources to start and grow your businesses! 

Shared Chat and Contact information: 

TATT Chat Recap: DHEC Upstate Health Update

TATT Chat Recap: DHEC Upstate Health Update

TATT Chat Recap October 7th 


Click here for the recording 

Click here for the presentation

DHEC Upstate Health Update

  • Dr. Kandi Fredere, Upstate Public Health Director, SC DHEC 
  • Dr. Lisa Carlson, Upstate Medical Director, SC DHEC 

Questions Asked: 

  • Do you recommend getting a J&J shot if you had one shot of the Pfizer and had an allergic reaction from it? Is mixing ok?
    • This is best decided with your doctor and make an individual decision. 
  • Are 3rd shot boosters really necessary, and how do they improve efficacy?
    • Data continues to change. Currently, a 3rd dose is for someone who received Moderna or Pfizer and they have an expectation that they would not mount a good response to the initial 2 doses due to immune deficiencies. Which shows that the 3rd vaccine helps mount a better response. The booster is for all individuals who would have had the expected initial immune response, but the immunity has started to wane, especially the 65+ crowd. CDC has expanded it to include individuals exposed frequently to potential COVID exposure. 
  • Can you talk about the Monoclonal Antibodies?
    • Monoclonal antibodies: for a short time, there was excess supply. Effective in preventing disease and can be given subcutaneously via injection. Must have doctor’s orders. They’re available to some via medical providers. 
  • Does DHEC track excess deaths in South Carolina?
    • They look at observed vs. expected for death rates. 

Resource Update 

Megan Rogers, Carolina Center for Behavioral Health is a 156-bed acute care hospital that is open 24/7. They help with psychiatric and substance use disorder treatment and do not require a referral. See Megan’s TATT newsletter article here. 

Carson Lecroy, Hamilton Career and Technology Center helps over 1000 high school students through 20 different programs to help students have some college credit or meaningful adult experience to use post-high school graduation. See Carson’s TATT newsletter article here. 


Terence Roberts 

FoodShare Union County

FoodShare Union County

The RobinHood Group established FoodShare Union County in June 2021.

During the 2020 and 2021 SCAFM annual meetings and at our most recent board meeting we discussed the importance and need for partnering and collaborating with each other on grant funding opportunities, mentoring new markets and visiting each other’s markets. This year four counties, Greenville, Spartanburg, Union and Williamsburg are partnering with FoodShare SC and local medical facilitators to apply for the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) grant funding for the Veggie Rx prescription program to combat diabetes in the counties. The RobinHood Group’s local partners include Rebekah’s Harvest, a local nonprofit that has distributed over 10,000 USDA free produce boxes; the Union County Library System, which serves as the local hub for community activity and the Union Medical Center that serves as our medical facility.  These organizations are also members of the Union County Public Health Taskforce.

Another exciting benefit of FoodShare is being able to help our neighbors and family members reduce illnesses. FoodShare South Carolina was awarded a five-year grant to improve South Carolinians’ access to fresh, healthy food as a foundational step to decreasing the impact of diabetes on the state.  In Union County with a population is 27,316, the diabetes rate is 12.2%, 47% of adults are classifies as obese and we have a children poverty rate of 32%. In comparison South Carolina’s overall diabetes rate of 8%, 20% adult obesity rate and only 15% of children living in poverty, Union County is falling behind on these key health indicators. FoodShare Union County is providing a great service to the County, an awesome benefit to residents and increasing income for farmers and keeping revenue in the County.

Hamilton Career and Technology Center

Hamilton Career and Technology Center

By Carson LeCroy

Hamilton Career and Technology Center

The Hamilton Career and Technology Center, located in Oconee County, strives to live up to it’s slogan, “Discovering Passion, Finding Purpose.” We serve the high school students in the School District of Oconee County and have 1027 students enrolled this school year. The students spend half of their day on our campus, taking one of our 24 different course offerings that prepare students for many different types of business and industry. Our courses also pave the way for students to continue their education at Tri-County Technical College or another post-secondary institution.  Our tremendous faculty, composed of traditionally trained educators and teachers coming from actual industry, work hard to provide students with authentic learning opportunities to prepare them for the workforce or post-secondary education.

Our goal is to have every student that completes one of our programs to be a  “college or career ready” student and have work based experience or an industry-recognized credential in their pocket when they graduate. A career-ready “completer” is a student who completes a course of study worth six credits or more. That is over 700 hours of classroom time learning technical and career based skills that will directly impact a bountiful workforce in Oconee County and the Upsate!

Another proud program at the Hamilton Career and Technology Center is our Transition Program.  Our Transition Program serves students that receive specialized education and teaches them life skills and career skills, in order to live a fulfilling, independent life.  These students run a school based restaurant, The Considerate Cafe. The restaurant is open to the public on Fridays from 11-1:00, and the students operate every facet of the restaurant, including serving up favorites like meat and three or barbacoa tacos.

The following is a list of courses offered at HCTC:

  • Building Construction
  • Architectural Design
  • Mechanical Design
  • Graphic Communications
  • Marketing Communications
  • Marketing Management
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Health Science
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • PLTW Biomedical Sciences
  • Sports Medicine
  • Culinary Arts
  • Cosmetology
  • Computer Programming
  • AP Computer Science
  • Law Enforcement
  • Machine Tool Technology
  • Welding Technology
  • PLTW Pre-Engineering
  • Auto Collision Repair Technology
  • Automotive Technology
  • Employability Education Courses
  • Independent Living Skills

This is the Hamilton Career and Technology Center’s second year at our new campus on Highway 11 in Westminster. The state of the art facility includes a one-of-a-kind paint booth in auto collision, over 20 CNC tooling machines, and a replica hospital wing for nursing students, just to name a few.  One new and unique opportunity at the Hamilton Career and Technology Center is the upcoming Emergency Communications course. The Hamilton Career and Technology Center has partnered with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to create a fully functional 911/dispatch room that will serve as the Sheriff’s Office official backup.  Our law enforcement instructor will teach a course that will end in a Certification test for students to pursue a career in dispatch after graduation if they wish.  The Hamilton Career and Technology Center is thankful to partner with the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the many other businesses that provide equipment, shadowing, and work-based learning opportunities for our students. Want to get involved and learn more information about taking on a “work-based learner” at your business? Please reach out to us!

Hamilton Career and Technology Center

4454 Oconee Business Parkway

Westminster, SC 29693


Website: hctc.sdoc.org

Instagram and Twitter: @HCTCoconee

Facebook: Hamilton Career and Technology Center