At a statehouse news conference Thursday Dec. 8, 2022, Gov. Henry McMaster announced the upcoming retirement of S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) Executive Director Dan Ellzey.
Ellzey, who has led the agency since April of 2019, will resign Feb. 28, 2023.
“Director Ellzey has been a crucial part of the team that helped South Carolina successfully navigate the unprecedented economic challenges caused by the pandemic, and come out stronger on the other side,” McMaster said.
“His innovative leadership has been an important part of the economic success we continue to experience – working to match employers with employees and training South Carolinians so they can take advantage of the plentiful opportunities available in our great state. His leadership will be missed, but he’s leaving a strong agency, with an impressive track record.”
“I will retire in February with a deep appreciation and knowledge of the important role public servants play in strengthening our labor force,” Ellzey said. “The Department of Employment and Workforce professional services are not just helpful, but are critical to the health of the state’s economy.
"We saw this during the height of the pandemic when unemployment insurance claims rose to an all-time high as our agency administered unemployment insurance benefits. We see this now when our focus is on connecting businesses with the right workers and encouraging more people to join the labor force. I am proud to leave the agency at a time when the number of employed individuals is higher than it was pre-pandemic and our state is making great strides.”
Prior to working at DEW, Ellzey was a partner in Fisher Phillips’ Columbia law office specializing in labor law. He was appointed to lead the agency in the spring of 2019 by Gov. McMaster.
During his tenure, Ellzey oversaw countless projects, including the Workforce Reemployment Assistance Program and Enhanced Referrals that helped unemployed individuals connect with employers and find work faster; created personalized employment plans for South Carolina businesses struggling to hire and upskill employees; developed the Labor Force Participation Rate Task Force; and co-launched Workforce Development Month in the state in September.
According to state law, the next executive director will be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the South Carolina Senate from a group of three nominees found qualified to serve by the DEW Review Committee.