My father started the Harold Moore Builder in 1971 and taught me many life lessons… some were tougher than others. One of his best lessons was that a career is more than a job. While jobs and careers both enable us to earn enough money to support ourselves and our families, they do not mean the same thing. A career is a long-term professional journey you may determine based on your passions. A lack of a skilled workforce continues to be one of our industries largest impediments. In fact, a recent poll stated that 2 in 3 parents feel jobs in the skilled trades are not for their child. We needed new and innovative solutions so the HBASC and its partners formed a task force to create Be Pro Be Proud SC. Be Pro Be Proud SC’s mission is to open the door to new possibilities to our young people and SC citizens that may stoke a passion and evolve into a career.

Due to an aging workforce in skilled-labor careers, it is estimated that 2 million jobs will be left unfilled by 2025, creating a massive demand that needs to be addressed. And while the Be Pro Be Proud SC was planned long before the pandemic began, COVID-19 has significantly increased the demand on “essential” fields like transportation and logistics, utilities, construction, and diesel technology. According to statistics from the US Department of Labor, the number of jobs available in these sectors is projected to increase by as much as 25% over the next decade in South Carolina.

Be Pro Be Proud SC represents a unique opportunity for every S.C. citizen. How often in life can you say that you are part of something that influences an entire generation of young people in a positive way? Be Pro Be Proud fulfills this mission by providing a generation of young people with opportunities and knowledge about career paths they might not have considered. This initiative was described by a school guidance counselor as a game changer!

We would not have this game changer if not for the HBASC and its leadership. I would be remiss if I did not also mention the ongoing efforts of Stan Beckley, Jim Garman and Jon Statom who now serve on the steering committee for Be Pro Be Proud SC. This was three years in the making and has taken countless others to make it a reality. I want to thank Governor Henry McMaster, Senators Thomas Alexander and Hugh Leatherman, and Representatives Murrell Smith and Gary Simrill. Governor McMaster and our elected officials were the catalyst for Be Pro Be Proud SC and it wouldn’t have been possible without their support. Their leadership spurred what I believe will inspire and empower new generations toward not just well paying jobs, but CAREERS!