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Gov. Henry McMaster, DEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey Announce Ellzey’s Upcoming Retirement

December 8, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. – At a statehouse news conference this afternoon, Governor 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 on February 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,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “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,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey. “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, Dan 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 Governor McMaster. During his tenure, Dan Ellzey oversaw a myriad of projects, including the Workforce Reemployment Assistance Program and Enhanced Referrals that helped unemployed individuals connect lwith 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 back in September, among many other achievements that are now part of his legacy.

“I am grateful to Governor McMaster for allowing me to serve the citizens of South Carolina as Executive Director of the Department of Employment and Workforce. When I was first appointed as the agency head, my goal was to make a difference in the state of South Carolina. In an effort to accomplish this, we worked hard to enhance current workforce processes in the state of South Carolina and to create and implement creative, new programs that would improve and increase the size of the South Carolina labor force. Thanks to the exceptional staff at our agency, I believe that I was able to accomplish that. It has been an honor to serve in this role and lead our workforce into a new era," concluded Ellzey.

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.