South Carolina committee to explore childcare to benefit workforce development

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(The Center Square) — A South Carolina joint committee will explore the availability and affordability of childcare, which officials say plays an integral role in the state’s workforce development efforts.

According to a release, Senate President Thomas Alexander, R-Walhalla, and House Speaker Murrell Smith, R-Sumter, tasked the committee to “examine the old and explore the new.”

“This issue — and how we handle it — will impact how the state competes with its neighbors domestically and internationally,” according to a news release announcing the committee.

Alexander and Smith want the committee to deliver “bold, comprehensive recommendations” to make quality childcare options more accessible for parents so they can work or attend school or training programs, a move officials say could help mitigate companies’ hiring woes.

Finding workers has been a hot topic in the Palmetto State and nationwide.

Last month, a report found that South Carolina is among the top states where employers are struggling the most in hiring workers. The analysis from personal finance site WalletHub found the Palmetto State ranked fifth, behind Georgia (No. 4) and ahead of North Carolina (No. 8).

Additionally, a business group previously said that rising prices and difficulty hiring workers continue challenging South Carolina companies.

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