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The Spring Tour is almost done....we think that SC students enjoyed learning about Skilled Professions. What do YOU think?
Click HERE to see the complete Spring Schedule...with pictures!

Fall 2022 Update

The Be Pro Be Proud SC Mobile Workshop is on the road for Year Three of its journey, criss-crossing the state and moving quickly towards the 20,000 visitor mark -- a feat made all the more impressive considering it began its mission in the midst of the nation's COVID crisis.

Several videos have been made while the Mobile Workshop has been on-site at South Carolina schools: West Ashley High School, Lady's Island Middle School, the South Carolina Governor's School for Agriculture at John de la Howe. Click on each image above to see the videos about the students' experiences.

We enjoy seeing the schools get "into" the event -- it's a win-win for everyone! And when national exposure comes along with it -- as with the long-form video recorded at West Ashley HS in Charleston by an Austin, TX-based builder for his show on YouTube called "The BUILD Show" -- that's just a BONUS for the mission of Be Pro Be Proud to get the word out about pride and opportunities in Skilled Professions today! 

Click on the image to see the video with full remarks.

On September 20, 2022, U.S. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC) spoke to Congress about Be Pro Be Proud.

Rep. Foxx attended the Be Pro Be Proud National Conference in June and wanted to share her experience. North Carolina is introducing its own Mobile Workshop in October, becoming the fourth state to launch the Be Pro Be Proud program. Tennessee is set to follow in early 2023.

She began her remarks by saying, "Workforce Development programs are spreading across the country because of organizations like Be Pro Be Proud. In March of 2016 Be Pro Be Proud was launched by the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Arkansas to serve the future leaders of America’s workforce more effectively. Thanks to Be Pro Be Proud, more young people know that they can find a good-paying job and have a successful career without going to college. They have learned that there are alternatives to a baccalaureate degree -- alternatives that can produce equal, if not better, outcomes."

"The progress that has been achieved today by this organization is remarkable," she noted, "and, in the realm of workforce development, its gains are second to none."

She concluded by expressing gratitude for the program. "Thank you to everyone who has worked so diligently to make Be Pro Be Proud what it is today. The work you’re doing will go on to leave a positive impact on America's future leaders for generations to come."

Tour Schedule, Fall 2022

See where the Mobile Workshop has been and where it will be soon...
maybe you'll see it in YOUR town!


Be Pro Featured at SC Chamber Workforce Development Symposium

On October 4th, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) and SC Works, hosted its 2022 Workforce Development Symposium in Greenville. Be Pro Be Proud SC was a featured project of the conference.

Rick Todd, President of the SC Trucking Association and Board Member of the Associated Industries of South Carolina Foundation (AISCF) that oversees Be Pro Be Proud SC, presented an overview of the project during the morning session. The Be Pro Mobile Workshop was also on hand to allow conference attendees to see for themselves what the students across South Carolina have been seeing since its introduction in the fall of 2020.

According to the SC Chamber, South Carolina businesses frequently identify three crucial workforce challenges: recruitment, training, and retention of skilled labor. The 2022 Workforce Development Symposium explored these challenges and their possible solutions. By addressing workforce issues related to business, government, and services, the participants looked to share ideas as they continue in their efforts to make South Carolina thrive.  

South Carolina, along with neighboring Georgia, was an early adopter of the Be Pro model; since its inception in Arkansas in 2016, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee have "Joined the Movement". The North Carolina Mobile Workshop is set to be unveiled on October 20th, and Tennessee will be launching in early 2023. As of the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, at least twelve other states had expressed varying levels of interest in bringing the Be Pro program to their communities. 

To see relevant news about Be Pro Be Proud SC and Workforce Development efforts around the state, visit the Be Pro site at

On October 20, 2022, Be Pro Be Proud officially welcomed its fourth state into the fold with the introduction of two new Mobile Workshops in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Home Builders Association has led the effort to bring Be Pro Be Proud to their state; Tim Minton, Exec VP, and Tracie Garrett, Director of Special Events, have devoted many hours to working with state legislators and with Be Pro Be Proud, Inc, Executive Director Andrew Parker to craft a plan to get the Mobile Workshops up and running throughout North Carolina.
 Many dignitaries from the NC State Legislature, the NC Department of Labor, and the Department of Public Instruction attended the opening ceremony, which culminated in both trucks enthusiastically sounding their horns to signal the beginning of the Be Pro Be Proud presence that will soon be seen at middle schools, high schools, and tech schools throughout the state.
 Be Pro Be Proud, Inc. is a workforce development initiative operation that is committed to changing perceptions around technical careers through the use of virtual reality experiences and hands-on simulators; to date, more than 180,000 visitors have experienced the Mobile Workshops throughout Arkansas, South Carolina, Georgia, and now North Carolina since the inception of Be Pro Be Proud in 2016.
Notable quotes:
“This [Be Pro Be Proud] could be considered a six-year overnight success.” Randy Zook, President, Board of Directors of Be Pro Be Proud, Inc.
“The interactive workshops and professional development programs are showing Americans there is more than one pathway to the American dream. Having Be Pro Be Proud in North Carolina will be a tremendous asset to our workforce and to our economy, and my hope is that these types of programs will help close our country’s skills gap and put more Americans on the path to prosperity.” U.S. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC)
“My involvement in Be Pro Be Proud is one of the things I will be most proud of during my career.” Josh Dobson, NC Commissioner of Labor
“We need initiatives like Be Pro Be Proud because kids don’t know what they don’t know.” Rep. Jason Saine, NC General Assembly
“We do a disservice as a society, telling students that they need a four-year degree to succeed.” Sen. Todd Johnson, NC General Assembly
“If 22% of NC students get a four-year degree, and another 9% get a two-year credential, where are the other 69%? This is why we need Be Pro Be Proud.” Catherine Truitt, NC Superintendent of Public Instruction
“The question we should be asking students is not ‘where do you want to go to school,’ but instead, ‘what do you want to do?’” Tim Minton, EVP, NC Home Builders Association 


These stories and more can be found on the Be Pro Be Proud SC website under the "About BPBP" tab, Subtab "News"... click on each picture to read the full articles!






If YOU see a news item related to Workforce Development or the Be Pro Be Proud efforts that you think could be a good addition to our News Tab, please email a link to
 This is a group effort and a work in progress!

Meet The New Tour Ambassadors, ALISHA WILLIS and JUSTIN DULL

As the Be Pro Be Proud movement grows across the country, so does the dedicated team from SPEVCO. Be Pro Be Proud SC is delighted to have two new members join the crew for the Mobile Workshop: Alisha Willis and Justin Dull.
Alisha first visited the Mobile Workshop at an event in Columbia last spring, and she knew right away that she wanted to be part of its mission. Alisha graduated from Spartanburg Community College with her Class A CDL and has spent the last seven years with the SCDMV, first as a CDL examiner and then as a trainer. She is excited about this new adventure; as she tells us, she knows that she "can help students understand the value of technical schools and the different career paths that South Carolina technical schools have to offer."
Justin has spent his life assisting others, especially the youth in his communities. He worked for a while as a Security Guard at a community college in NC, and devoted time as a manager for his local Habitat for Humanity. During his time at Habitat, he hosted local children for community service hours, educating them on life skills such as cleaning, being on time, and job interview techniques. These experiences -- plus his self-described "gift of gab" -- serve him well as a Tour Ambassador with BPBPSC.
 They are leaning in to the demanding, yet rewarding, schedule of the Mobile Workshop and have been forging relationships with students, teachers, and local business owners across the state. Keep your eyes peeled for the Mobile Workshop as it crosses South Carolina and give Alisha and Justin a wave as they pass by! 

What is Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are an "earn-while-you-learn" training model that combines structured on-the-job training, job-related education, and a scalable wage progression. These apprenticeships are a great opportunity for students to get their foot in the door before graduating high school. They also benefit companies by bringing new employees into the business early in their careers, when they are open to being trained the way YOU want them trained. 

Interested in starting an apprenticeship for YOUR company/organization? An Apprenticeship Carolina consultant will speak with you at no cost, working with you on the following steps: 

  • Understand the registered apprenticeship training model
  • Identify existing models for your occupations of interest
  • Connect you with appropriate resources to assist with your program
  • Draw up your Standards and Training & Education outline based upon your input
  • Submit your registration paperwork to the USDOL for full recognition in the National Registered Apprenticeship System
  • Assist you with program updates as your workforce needs evolve

If you would like to learn more about Apprenticeship Carolina or get an apprenticeship started for your company, please click the link below to get started and find your consultant. 


Click on the image to see the full story...

Philanthropy Roundtable, a Washington, DC-based organization, has put Be Pro Be Proud in the spotlight as a nonprofit that fulfills their Workforce Development goal of supporting philanthropists who working to build a high-quality workforce for this generation and beyond. As Philanthropy Roundtable indicates on their website:  "We work to promote job readiness as well as economic independence, security and mobility. We identify organizations that help individuals learn employable skills through apprenticeships, alternative credentialing, and entrepreneurship."

Be Pro Be Proud clearly fits into the overarching vision of Philanthropy Roundtable, which "works to ensure every American has the freedom to reach their full, unique potential and achieve economic security. We support organizations that eliminate barriers to upward mobility, expand opportunity and reward hard work and perseverance." 

Let's Get Social!  

  Join us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram for informational posts about Mobile Workshop visits, recent happenings in the Skilled Trades universe, and updates about BPBP partners and businesses around the state. Click on the logo or the link for each platform to get started.
Once you have liked or followed the BPBPSC social media accounts,  PLEASE SHARE the posts you see on our page within your OWN sphere...LET'S GET THE WORD OUT! To change the perception of the Skilled Professions, to generate the respect that EVERY worker deserves, and to close that Skills Gap, we need MAXIMUM reach....this means YOU!
But WAIT...there's MORE!
We are always looking for PROS to highlight on social media and in publications such as this one; do YOU know any skilled tradespeople who deserve some recognition?
Email SuzAnne Driscoll at with their name and contact info (with their permission, of course!) and tell us why you believe that we -- and the world -- should know about them!

And Finally...

Right now, America's workforce is facing a challenge. Over 23% of the current skilled professionals are at or near retirement age. But our state's workforce isn't prepared to fill the positions our retiring workers are creating.
A national study conducted last year by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found some alarming statistics:

  • 77% of manufacturers say they will have ongoing difficulties in attracting and retaining workers in 2021 and beyond.
  • The manufacturing skills gap in the U.S. could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030.
  • Manufacturers surveyed reported that finding the right talent is now 36% harder than it was in 2018, even though the unemployment rate has nearly doubled the supply of available workers.
  • While the manufacturing industry recouped 63% of the 1.4 million jobs lost during the pandemic, the remaining 570,000 had not been added back by the end of 2020, despite a near record number of job openings in the sector.

Be Pro Be Proud is proud of the strides we are making to promote pride in the Skilled Professions and to close the Skills Gap, one student at a time. But there is much work yet to be done, and we are always looking for more people to join our efforts. If you are interested in volunteering at a Be Pro Be Proud event in your community, or if you think your company may be a good fit for a new project, please contact SuzAnne Smithson Driscoll at and we can get brainstorming!
 And SMALL BUSINESSES! We have opportunities available for you to participate in our efforts and benefit from partnership, as well -- we want to be part of the solution for businesses of ALL sizes! Email SuzAnne for more information TODAY!

A Heartfelt THANK YOU To Our Sponsors!

Thank you again for your support as we attempt to
We couldn't do any of this without YOU!
~ SuzAnne

An initiative led by the
Associated Industries of South Carolina Foundation (AISCF),
 Be Pro Be Proud SC is leading the movement to bring a new generation of
Pride, Progress & Professionals to South Carolina's skilled workforce.
 The AISCF is comprised of five member organizations:
 the SC Trucking Association, the Home Builders Association of SC, the Forestry Association of SC, Carolinas AGC, and the SC Chamber of Commerce. 

Copyright © 2022 Be Pro Be Proud SC, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
 2425 Devine Street
 Columbia, SC 29205