Congressman James E. Clyburn

Proudly Serving the 6th District of South Carolina


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February 06, 2024

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman James E. Clyburn (SC-06) delivered remarks at a convening of the South Carolina Association of Technical College Commissioners to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued contributions to the technical college system in South Carolina. Remarks as prepared for delivery are below.

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you for having me here today. I appreciate this opportunity to address you, the leaders of South Carolina’s network of outstanding community colleges. I also want to thank Savannah River Nuclear Solutions for hosting this luncheon and for their innovations at the one HBCU in your network, Denmark Tech.

You all share the responsibility for continuing to produce South Carolinians who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of our state’s dynamic economy. The program provides funding for equipment, scholarships, and employee training that aligns with the pit production mission at the Savannah River Site. You all work every day to prepare these students for our state’s rapidly developing renewable energy and manufacturing sectors.

As a former teacher, I know all too well how impactful training at your institutions can be for these students. The education they receive opens doors to gainful employment that can be life-changing for the financial security of multiple generations.

It is for this reason that my Democratic colleagues and I supported the House-passed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022, which reauthorized WIOA until 2028 in the last Congress. This legislation would offer sustained, reliable funding to technical colleges to meet their aim of providing job training and workforce development for students. WIOA is currently being extended through Continuing Resolutions for government funding.

I am committed, as you are, to ensuring your institutions are supported so that our students who have little interest in a Liberal Arts education and may be from low-income households, and historically marginalized communities, are not left behind as the wheel of progress turns forward. And that progress is happening quickly. We’ve seen the manufacturing sector swell and job opportunities multiply in recent years, due to the historic investment of the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act.

A few excellent examples are Redwood Materials, who in December of 2022 announced a $3.5 billion investment to construct a new electric battery facility in Berkeley County—the largest single economic development announcement in the state’s history. AESC is investing $810 million for a battery plant in Florence County and creating 450 new jobs. Redwood intends to hire around 1,500 employees in Berkley. Kontrolmatik in Colleton announced a $279 million project, projected to create 575 jobs; Tin Thanh Troup’s Tire plant in Allendale is projected to create 1,000 jobs; Volkswagen’s Scout facility announced a $2 billion investment in Richland County, projected to create 4,000 jobs; SEM Wafertech, a solar manufacturer, is investing $66 million in Sumter, which is projected to create 300 jobs.

These are examples of forward momentum the Biden Administration and Democratic policies have fostered in several counties in the 6th Congressional District. Nationally, the monthly jobs report released last Friday reported 353,000 new jobs — double the job growth that was expected. The economic growth for last quarter is reported to have been 3.3 percent, also double that which had been projected. Technical and colleges are at the forefront of this growth, ensuring South Carolina’s residents are positioned to take advantage of these opportunities and meet employers’ expectations by closing the skill gap.

Your mission of providing an affordable educational experience has worked in tandem with the Biden Administration’s focus on addressing the nation’s student debt crisis. Historic improvements to Income-Driven Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs are being implemented to ensure that the students who graduate from your institutions do not carry their student debt with them for decades of their lives.

Graduates of your institutions stand to benefit the most from the additional student debt forgiveness that, starting this month, will be provided to borrowers who took out $12,000 or less and have made payments for a minimum of 10 years under President Biden’s SAVE Income-Driven Repayment program. You are meeting the challenge of providing a quality education at an affordable cost head-on. Hopefully, we will continue working together to ensure that America’s greatness is accessible and affordable for all.