DSS pilot program helps 18,000 find jobs - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

DSS pilot program helps 18,000 find jobs

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

South Carolina's unemployment rate remains at around 8 percent, but more people are getting back to work in the Palmetto State thanks to a new initiative through the Department of Social Services.

According to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, 18,000 people across the state, formerly on welfare, have found gainful employment.

The typical family on welfare in South Carolina consists of one parent and two children, receiving as little as $700 a month. But since its launch in September 2011, the Welfare to Work program has worked with those welfare recipients to place them in positions that utilize their qualifications and meet the needs of large employers within the state.

The average salary for participants is above minimum wage, and available jobs range from food and customer service positions to even state level employment.

DSS director Lillian Koller praised the program.

"Twenty-six thousand South Carolinian children are better off because their parents are working," said Koller. "This jobs initiative will not end until every able-bodied person receiving government assistance from dss gets a job."

Directors with DSS say they are also hoping to crack down on welfare fraud. They hope to partner with a third party security firm this year to help them with that goal.

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