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Sustainability and Jobs in Columbia SC
Employment Increasing 2009-2016
The Columbia Metro Area boasts a population over 615,000 people in 2014 and is a large center of business in the Midlands of South Carolina.
Unemployment decreased somewhat in the 1st Qtr of 2009, with 331 more people employed in February and almost 2,000 more people employed in March '09 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). The employed numbers continued to rise through 2013 and into January 2014.
Foreign migration brought an additional 770 people into the Columbia area in the 12 months of 2008, bringing with it some additional job seekers and new businesses that have flourished fromo 2009 - 2014.
Industries already growing and forecast by the federal and state governments to expand in the Columbia area through 2016 include:
- Healthcare & Social Assistance by the most jobs and 31+% increase.
- Retail Sales by 32%
- Accommodations/Food Services - 32% [large Tourism and Travel sector]
- Waste Management & Recycling; Administration- about 28% - South Carolina has become the Number One recycler of food/beverage related plastic bottles.
- Finance & Insurance - 18%
Sustainability, Green Jobs, and Recession Survival
The newspaper, The State, is headquartered in Columbia and can be read online as well as home delivered. The paper contains job listings, news of new industries and employers in the Midlands regions - including green and sustainable work and alternative energy - as well as around the state of South Carolina, and offers a section called "Living with Less." This section contains many articles about reducing expenses and planning for the future, how to survive a layoff, and other important information. Readers can access the paper at www.thestate.com.
In addition to The State job listings, South Carolina Electric & Gas company is being considered as one of 4 companies to receive a portion of $18.5 Billion to construct two additional new nuclear reactors at Columbia's nearby V.C. Summer Power Plant.
A Planned City Succeeds
To become the capital of South Carolina after the Revolutionary War, Columbia was planned specifically by city administrators to be a capital and founded in 1789. Their initial hard work paid off.
Being an older city and on the East Coast, Columbia developed a rich culture, extensive parks and recreation, a high quality school system, and several river sports on the waterfronts of two rivers. Many travelers visit Columbia for canoeing and kayaking as well as a vibrant theater scene.
Columbia is an award winning city with many landmarks on the National Historic Register. The city is said to have a creative economy that is boosted by the Downtown associations that develop it. Many people move their families into Columbia, including overseas immigrants mentioned earlier. Columbia also has been rated as a very good city for retirement.
Columbia in South Carolina Recovery Since 2009
The governor of South Carolina accepted an ARRA Stimulus Package of $2.8 Billion.
Althougth $860 MIllion went to Medicare, and $566 went to K-12 Education, over $1 Billion was allocated to South Carolina Unemployment Benefits and Infrastructure/Transportation, the second of which will create related jobs as highways, bridges, and sidewalks are reconstructed.
A total of $1,424,100 went directly to Columbia for Energy Efficiency projects that willl create more jobs. The City of Columbia also received $1 million for "assessment coalition" in order to provide Stimulus for the city.
Healthcare Systems and Jobs
Columbia offers current and future opportunities in Registered Nursing and other aspects of healthcare.
- Columbia's Sisters of Charity Providence Hospitals is operated by the larger nonprofit Sisters of Charity of Saint Augustine (CSA) Health System.
- Palmetto Health, mentioned above as the Largest Employer in Columbia. It is also a nonprofit organization the operates Palmetto Health Richland Hospital, Palmetto Health Baptist Hospital, Palmetto Health Children's Hospital and the Palmetto Health Heart Hospital.
- William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Health Center is a large VA medical complex, with the University of South Carolina Medical School co-locating on grounds.
In the first graph below, showing the employment job listing trend for Registered Nurse (RN) in Columbia South Carolina for the last decade, we see a tremendous increase in the percent of job listings for Registered Nurses from January 2009 - February 2009, with the trend still continuing upward.
Both official government forecasts and number of jobs listed reflect that Registered Nurses (RN) will be in high demand in Columbia and the Midlands Region of the state through 2014. In addition, it is a general workforce development consensus that nursing and other healthcare services occupations will continue in high demand status through 2020. Further, as the aging Boomer Generation is joined by the Aging Xs and Ys, nursing and nurses' aide occupations, as well as other practioners' occupations will remain in high demand for 100 years.
Largest Employers in the Columbia Metro Area
- Palmetto Health - Also lists the most job openings.
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield of SC
- Richland School District #1
- Wachovia Bank.
- Richland School District #2
- Branch Banking and Trust
- School District 5 of Lexington & Richland Counties
- Santee Cooper
Employers That List the Most Jobs
- Palmetto Health
- Lexington Medical Center
- Voyage Healthcare
- Robert Half Management Solutions
- StaffPoint Medical Search
- Veterans Health
- Critical Connection
Job Placement and Search Services
Top Job Listings Among an Average 50,000 Job Openings 2012 - 2014
- Hospitalist Physicians
- Emergency Medicine Physicians
- Internal Medicine Physicians
- Store Managers
- Occupational Therapists
- Assistant Managers
- Business Analysts
- Family Practice Physicians
- Truck Drivers
- Telemarketers for Health Insurance
- Registered Nurses (RNs) and Nurse Practitioners
- Patient Care Technicians
- Engineers in Oil & Gas
- Industrial and Manufacturing Techs
Top 10 Jobs Expected through 2016
Job Title and Percentage Increase in Jobs from 2004 - 2014:
- Retail Salespersons 29% - OJT (on the job training)
- Registered Nurses (RNs) 32% - requires an Associate's degree.
- Customer Service Representatives 29% - OJT
- General/Operations Managers 23% - Bachelor's degree
- Janitors/Cleaners (industrial) 22% - OJT
- Cashiers 12% - OJT
- Waitstaff 20% - OJT
- General Office Clerksl 11% - OJT
- Manual Laborers and Hand Freight & Stock Movers 15% - OJT
- Home Health Aides (HHAs) 52% - OJT, although Certificate training is available.
- Allen University Click here
- Benedict College Click here for website
- Columbia Bible College
- Columbia International University Click for home page
- Columbia College
- Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (northern seminary is in Ohio).
- Midlands Technical College
- South University
- University of South Carolina Click for home page
In addition, the five Columbia area K-12 school systems contain a number of faith based schools, including Luteran, Catholic, Baptist and non-denominational Christian.