Upstate SC Alliance launches major campaign to recruit job seekers
By Chris Haire
“Move Up”—those are the words that Upstate SC Alliance and other business organizations want out-of-area job seekers to have in their heads when they start searching for new employment. It’s a carefully crafted catchphrase that is not only the recruitment campaign’s name, but a call for workers of all stripes to move up in their careers and move up to the Upstate where the Blue Ridge Mountains yawn their greatness, to borrow from a local alma mater.
The Move Up campaign was officially unveiled at Upstate SC Alliance’s annual meeting, and what was revealed was an online effort spearheaded by a resource-heavy website, MoveUpstateSC.com, and the promise of a social media campaign that recalls VisitGreenvilleSC’s successful #yeahTHATGreenville campaign, with the job-recruitment effort nudging current residents to share their stories about why they call the Upstate home using the hashtags #MoveUpSC and #AreYouUpForIt.
While the MoveUpstateSC site will allow users to explore the Upstate county by county—whether it be by cost of living, housing availability, marquee employers, or amenities—a key component of the site will involve promoting so-called Upstarters, the men and women who moved up to the Upstate to find better careers and a better quality of life, from former Washington, D.C. resident Chris Briddell, vice president and chief compliance officer for AnMed Health, to Indiana native and engineer Sadie Waycaster, an associate product manager at the Duncan fiber optic firm AFL.
“Workforce has quickly become a top factor as companies consider whether to locate or expand in our region,” said John Lummus, Upstate SC Alliance president and CEO, in a statement. “Our region has the right ingredients not only to meet business needs, but also to provide fulfilling careers and a rich lifestyle. Move Up is here to help employers and our communities tell that story.”
With the unemployment rate remaining at record lows and the labor force participation falling as Boomers and others leave the workforce, the Upstate area needs new workers to fill current job openings and to fulfill the area’s promise as one of the nation’s leading emerging job markets. Greenville alone is expected to add 3,734 new jobs by 2024, while Spartanburg is predicted to tack on 2,083, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. Coupled with that: a need to replace 6,268 positions in Greenville and 3,879 posts in Spartanburg.
“The site speaks to professionals across industries, and it’s designed to appeal to their desire for affordable cost of living, abundance of career opportunities, and array of ways to unwind,” Lummus said.
Lummus also noted that the site is initially envisioned to be used by employers to assist in their recruitment efforts. “Employers and recruiters can place a brand badge and link on their websites to direct job-seekers to explore the community before they’ve even applied for a job by visiting MoveUpstateSC.com,” he said.
The Move Up campaign isn’t the sole product of the Upstate SC Alliance. The Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce, and Ten at the Top all lent a hand, while the tourism and economic marketing agency DCI in summer 2018 established the brand and developed the website.