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What's Changed?: The Impact of COVID-19 on Minority Employment and Income from 2019 to 2021

Unforeseen events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can serve both as an opportunity to remedy long-standing inequities and/or enable further impositions that tether societies to seemingly immovable structural constraints. In this Brief, we analyze how the pandemic has affected employment and income estimates for several of South Carolina's racial/ethnic groups from 2019 to 2021. This report finds that, by and large, the long-term structural constraints observed before the pandemic continue to constrain pay parity and employment opportunities for the state's Minority populations. (Download PDF)

SCCMA Office Closed for State Holiday (December)

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs office will be closed on Friday, December 23rd, Monday, December 26th and Tuesday, December 27th in observance of the Christmas holiday. The office will reopen on Wednesday, December 28th at 8:30 a.m.

SCCMA Board of Commissioners Meeting

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs will hold the following Board of Commissioners meeting:

  • Friday, December 2, 2022 at 10 a.m. / Board of Commissioners Meeting / SCCMA Office, 246 Stoneridge Dr., Ste. 250, Columbia, SC 29210

Those who wish to participate in the public input portion of the meeting should email your comments to Comments must be received no later than noon on the day of the scheduled meeting. Please include the following information when submitting public comment:

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Date of Meeting
  • Meeting Name
  • Agenda Item
  • Comment (500 words or less)

View the agenda for the meeting.  

For more information, contact the SC Commission for Minority Affairs at 803-333-9621 or

SC Stay Plus Program Set to Wind Down in December 

SC Stay Plus, South Carolina’s federally funded emergency rental program, will begin to wind down in South Carolina and must stop accepting new applications at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2022.  

The intent of this temporary initiative was to provide short-term relief to eligible renters in 39 SC counties experiencing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program has provided approximately 90,000 South Carolinians with more than $267 million in rental and utility assistance. 

SC Stay Plus will continue to review all current applications to determine if they qualify for assistance, for as long as funds are available. Applications submitted by the December 16 deadline will also be reviewed to determine if they qualify for assistance, for as long as funds are available.
Those who live in the 39 counties served by SC Stay Plus and who need rental assistance after the December 16 deadline may sign up for a waitlist at the SC Stay Plus website starting December 17, 2022. When the waitlist link goes live, interested parties may complete an Expression of Interest Form, which adds them to the waitlist.  
Should funds remain or should funds become available after all prior applications are reviewed, SC Stay Plus will notify waitlisted parties on a first-come, first-served basis, inviting them to complete an application. Please note that joining the waitlist does not guarantee an opportunity to apply or be provided with financial assistance. SC Stay Plus is creating this waitlist in the event additional funds remain after all applications submitted by December 16 are reviewed, or if additional federal funds become available. 
For updated program information, visit SC Housing's website.
Once again, thank you for all you’ve done to make this program a success.

Celebrate National Apprenticeship Week November 14-20, 2022

NEWS RELEASE - The U.S. Department of Labor announced the kick-off of more than 1,000 events and activities throughout the country as part of the eighth annual National Apprenticeship Week, Nov. 14-20, 2022.

National Apprenticeship Week 2022 will include roundtable and panel discussions, conferences, and career and trade fairs hosted by stakeholders in the proven “earn-as-you-learn” model, which connects individuals to paid work experience, classroom instruction and a nationally recognized credential, and helps employers develop their future workforce.

During National Apprenticeship Week 2022, the department will highlight the many benefits of this approach to workforce development with events focused as follows:

  • Nov. 14:    Registered Apprenticeship in New and Emerging Industries
  • Nov. 15:    Pre-Apprenticeship and Youth Apprenticeship
  • Nov. 16:    Increasing Registered Apprenticeship Awareness and Access for Underserved Population
  • Nov. 17:    Women in Apprenticeship
  • Nov. 18:    Public Sector Apprenticeship and Veterans in Apprenticeship

View the full release. To view a list of events celebrating the 8th Annual National Apprenticeship Week, visit the US DOL's website

Cultural Connections: November 2022

Check out the latest issue of Cultural Connections, the official newsletter for the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs! In this issue, readers can get the latest information on Native American History Month, Early Voting in the General Election, news and events, and more! To view the latest issue, CLICK HERE.

Be the first to hear about how the agency is bridging the gap between cultures and communities to create opportunities; upcoming events; cultural spotlights; community news and more. Stay connected with us by joining our electronic distribution list

SC Commission for Minority Affairs Recognizes the Culture, History and Contributions of Native Americans Throughout November

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs is commemorating Native American Heritage Month with a social media campaign highlighting the importance of preserving Native culture, being Native with a disability, powwows and local tribal members.

To view the month-long celebration, visit the agency's ​Facebook or  Instagram pages.

Happy Native American Heritage Month! 

2022 Native American Heritage Month Proclamation from Governor Henry McMaster / Calendar of Events

WE'VE MOVED: South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs Relocated to New Office Space

To accommodate agency growth, the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs transitioned to a new office space. Our new address is 246 Stoneridge Drive, Ste. 250 Columbia, South Carolina 29210. We look forward to continuing to serve the state’s ethnic minority communities in our new location.

The Culture Connect Podcast with Dr. Wenonah Haire, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer with the Catawba Nation

In this episode of The Culture Connect podcast, we speak with Dr. Wenonah Haire, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and Executive Director of the Catawba Cultural Preservation Project with the Catawba Nation. Haire received the 2022 Governor's Award for Historic Preservation.

The Culture Connect podcast, brought to you by the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs (CMA), highlights South Carolina’s minority communities with the aim to improve their quality of life, highlight opportunities, and provide resources. Be sure to subscribe so that you can stay aware of new episodes. The Culture Connect is available on Facebook, YouTube, Anchor and Spotify (

    November is SC Apprenticeship Month

    November is SC Apprenticeship Month and there are events happening around the state to promote apprenticeships for companies, youth, and adults in all industries.

    To view a full list of events, visit the US Department of Labor's website.

    Hack @ SChack '22 Competition to be Held at Denmark Technical College November 5

    Hack @ SChack ’22, a hacking competition for SC Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Trident Technical College underrepresented minority students to hone their cyber security and computer science skills, will be held at Denmark Technical College on Saturday, November 5, 2022 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

    The Hack@SChack Hackathon is a Capture-the-Flag event to stretch your security muscle and have FUN! Students from each participating school will:

    • Select six students to participate in two teams of three students each, to compete for prizes. Participants will be selected by faculty.
    • Bring interested students to watch the competition and cheer on your school’s teams.
    • Engage with exhibitors and sponsors
    • Listen to Keynote speaker and one of the world’s most respected authorities on cybercrime and scams, Frank Abagnale!

    For more information about the competition, visit

    Register for Free Cybersecurity Information and Awareness Events

    Join the S.C. Department of Commerce, Apprenticeship Carolina, and McLeod Information Systems LLC for three free events dedicated to Cybersecurity information and awareness during the month of November!

    Events include:


    Gentrifying Black Charleston: Exploring the Displacement of Charleston's African American Population form 2000 to 2020

    For centuries, Charleston's African American communities played a key role in the cultural and economic history of the United States, in general, and South Carolina more specifically. Over the past two decades, however, the city's African American population has been gradually replaced by predominantly White populations, through the process known as gentrification. In this brief, Research Director Dr. Robert P. Fenton explores some of the key metrics associated with the gentrification process in Charleston. (Download PDF)

    The Culture Connect Podcast with Dr. Louis Whitesides, SC State 1890 Research & Extension

    In our next episode of The Culture Connect podcast, we speak with Dr. Louis Whitesides, Vice President and Executive Director of SC State 1890 Research & Extension.

    Dr. Whitesides discusses the impact of the 1890 Research & Extension program on the community, the program's new facility opening in Charleston and technological advancements in agriculture.

    Check out the new episode on Facebook, YouTube or Spotify!

    The Culture Connect podcast, brought to you by the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs (CMA), highlights South Carolina’s minority communities with the aim to improve their quality of life, highlight opportunities, and provide resources. Be sure to subscribe so that you can stay aware of new episodes. The Culture Connect is available on Facebook, YouTube, Anchor and Spotify (

    South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs' Employee of the Month Program

    The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs recently created a new Employee Recognition Program to honor team members who have exhibited outstanding commitment to the mission and vision of the agency, and its constituent communities. Join us in congratulating these wonderful team members for their hard work! 

    • January 2022-Mauricio Orozco, Public Information Coordinator
    • February 2022-Shireese Bell, Director of Public Information
    • March 2022-Alex Tovar, Hispanic/Latino Affairs Program Coordinator
    • April 2022-Andrea Flores, Coordinator (Public Information & Hispanic/Latino Affairs)
    • May 2022-Patricia Gaillard, Native American Affairs Program Coordinator
    • June 2022-Margaret Tillman, Procurement Administrator
    • July 2022-Dr. Robert P. Fenton, Director of Research and Planning
    • August 2022-Jacelyn Arradaza, Asian American/Pacific Islander Division Intern
    • September 2022- Ivan Segura, Director of Multicultural Affairs
    • October 2022-Tonya Roper, Administrative Coordinator

    SC Ports Authority Legal Notices

    Are you interested in working with the SC Ports Authority? Visit to view available opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs to bid on projects. Note: When visiting links for most Engineering Capital Construction projects, visitors will be redirected to the e-Builder website. Each new project requires the user to register (name, company name and email address). For more information on the SC Ports Authority, visit