Research Being Conducted in York County on Local Talent for Workforce Study

Staff Report From York County CEO

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

York County residents may be contacted and asked to answer questions about their career, workplace, and skills as part of a study being conducted by the Social & Behavioral Research Lab at Winthrop University.  Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation hired SBRL to complete an update this summer to 2015 research on local talent.  Dr. Scott Huffmon, SBRL Director, oversees the data collection, data analysis and report preparation.
“We will be surveying local residents in July about work-related skills, the geographic location of their job, and their preferences related to work.  We will use telephone surveys and digital communications to reach out to them. All phone numbers have been randomly generated.  While there are no questions of a sensitive nature on this survey, respondents may feel secure in their privacy because the surveys are completely confidential. Data are only reported in the aggregate and responses are not connected with any phone number in the data set,” stated Dr. Huffmon.
Knowledge Park, a major economic development strategy for the City of Rock Hill and RHEDC can be a primary beneficiary of proving that a highly skilled pool of talent exists in York County.  “The availability of trained and experienced talent in fields such as software, design, electronics, and digital media can be a huge competitive advantage for Knowledge Park.  With talent being the new currency in attracting and growing businesses, Knowledge Park becomes a strong choice once prospects look at the workforce already here and ready to take employment positions which open up near home,” RHEDC Executive Director Stephen Turner said.
In 2015, a large job outflow was identified, defined as workers who live in York County, but work outside of York County.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were nearly 52,000 individuals who live in York County, but work outside of the county.  The research now underway attempts to identify a “latent workforce” who are (1) outflow workers, (2) who possess skills related to the knowledge economy, and (3) would be willing to change jobs to work in Rock Hill/York County.  In 2015, over 100,000 survey attempts were completed.  The research results will be announced and shared in Fall 2018.