A new program could help unemployed or underemployed Myrtle Beach area residents receive an education and get into the workforce.
Train to Work MB is a program between Horry Georgetown Technical College and the City of Myrtle Beach, offering six different programs — culinary and kitchen, electrical assistant, certified nurse aid, hospitality, retail and plumbing.
"We wanted to open up doors and make opportunities for those residents of Myrtle Beach that we would say are left behind or have had barriers to joining the work place, and we really wanted to know what could we do on a short term basis," said Greg Mitchell, Vice President of Workforce Development and Continuing Education.
"We recognize a lot of these people have family obligations and therefore they may not be able to come to school for a year or two or six months but need to get into the work place relatively quickly and have barriers to employment," he said. "We recognize that there are needs for people in the Myrtle Beach area, but the people who want those jobs don't necessarily have the skill, there's a skill gap, so we designed this program to fill that skill gap so people can go gain employment quickly."
The program is aimed at quickly finding people work, but it also works to encourage people in the program to move forward with their education.
Mitchell said this is a pilot initiative, but that the city and the school have partnered with Goodwill, Coast RTA and SC Works to help them "navigate the terrain."
Through Coast RTA, students will have transportation options to get to and from the school. For those uncomfortable on a college campus, Goodwill will set up satellite training areas in Conway and Murrells Inlet so people won't have to travel as far.
"Hopefully in time, if this works out, we can have the county join us in this effort too, to where it's not just a City of Myrtle Beach thing," Myrtle Beach Councilman Philip Render said.
In order to apply those interested must fill out an application, answering simple questions such as "Are you a high school graduate" and "Are you receiving state benefits."
Once in Train to Work MB, students can choose from the six options. Mitchell said that some programs do cost money but that others do not.
On Tuesday, city council approved $20,000 of the $40,000 requested funding.
"This is basically what I consider to be a game changer for Horry County, for Myrtle Beach area in that we've got a vehicle now," Mitchell said. "So people who want to start or restart their career, there's an avenue and I'm very thankful and fortunate to be apart of this initiative."