Need a first job, better job or new skills in York County region? This can help

At 64, Lancaster resident James Blackmon is learning a new trade.

After retiring as a truck driver in 2016, Blackmon realized he wanted to fund home projects and needed a job. That’s where SC Works stepped in. 

SC Works is a brand of services aimed to help job seekers in South Carolina. At no cost to the client, the federally-funded organization offers resume building services and workshops, services aimed at helping people enter the workforce or find better jobs and help for employers to fill jobs, said Cherri Flinn, business solutions consultant for SC Works.

The SC Works Catawba center serves people in York, Chester and Lancaster counties. SC Works has an office in each county.

Blackmon was placed in a job at Lancaster Power Equipment through the SC Works on-the-job training program. There, Blackmon is learning to fix equipment.

“This program allows me to pick up skills I wouldn’t have otherwise,” Blackmon said. “I’m grateful to the program for that and for the people that hired me here.”

The SC Works on-the-job training program matches employees with businesses. SC Works provides financial assistance to the business to cover a percentage of the employee’s wages, while the business provides the employee with hands-on job skills training.

“It’s a win-win for the employer and the job seeker,” Flinn said. “The employers appreciate the fact that we’re trying to improve the skills of their job seekers and that is going to ultimately benefit them.”

Blackmon said his job is a good fit because he has always enjoyed mechanics.

“They need someone who can turn a wrench,” Blackmon said.

Flinn said SC Works has helped clients in their teens find their first jobs and others in their 80s who need jobs as Social Security may not be enough to support them.

“We have five generations in the workforce, “ Flinn said. “Right now, this is first time in our country’s history that we have a multi-generational work force.”

Flinn said there is a need in York, Chester and Lancaster counties for quality workers.

“Right now, unemployment is very low, but we still have a massive amount of business that is coming into the area,” she said. 

RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation is moving its headquarters to Fort Mill’s Southbridge development at 2280 Deerfield Drive. The company will bring 550 current employees and will be hiring about 550 more once the headquarters is complete, said RoundPoint CEO Kevin Brungardt.

Performance Friction Corp. is expanding its Clover operation, which is expected to create 100 to 110 new jobs.

Flinn said SC Works offers a variety of help to people looking to find their first job, find a better job or who have been displaced from a job.

SC Works also helps people get paid work experience to build their skills and make them better potential employees. The Young Adult Works program helps people ages 17 to 24 who are moving into the next phase of life after school.

“Sometimes, you just need some kind of work experience to get to the next job,” Flinn said. “They can’t get to the first job sometimes without the experience.”

The client’s wages are paid through the young adults program, Flinn said. Child care and transportation is available for clients in need. The employers are expected to provide training on skills such as dressing appropriately for work, problem solving and communicating efficiently in the workplace.

Rock Hill resident L’exis Bass, 22, went through the young adult program and completed an internship. Thanks to the SC Works on-the-job training program, Bass is now the office manager for Affordable Maintenance Services in Fort Mill.

Bass said her job has challenged her and helped her gain new skills.

“It gives me a better opportunity to provide for my household or my family,” Bass said. “The program is a good opportunity for anyone that may be looking to sharpen their skills or looking for better job placement. They’ll get you on track to where you want to be.”

Maliek Carrington, owner at Affordable Maintenance Services, said employing Bass has allowed him to focus on marketing the business, which offers training on residential and commercial heating and air conditioning and general maintenance services.

“Having L’exis here allows me the opportunity to be free to go out and drum up more business for the school,” Carrington said.

Flinn said SC works is for anyone who is looking for a job or needs a better job.

“We just want people to come in and get the kind of help they need to compete in the work environment,” she said.

For more information, call the SC Works office near you: Rock Hill, 803-328-3881; Lancaster, 803-285-6966; Chester, 803-377-8147. More information is also available at

By Amanda Harris, Staff Reporter with The Herald