The South Carolina Association of Colleges and Employers (SCACE) is a professional organization that provides continuing education opportunities in cooperative education, career planning, recruitment, and placement. SCACE members come from business and industry as well as the state’s public and private colleges and universities, technical colleges, and junior colleges.
The idea of a merger grew from the success of the joint annual meetings, and the need to be more mindful of members that belonged to both associations. Some members found themselves faced with duplicate dues, conflicting meeting dates and loyalties. Both associations were also aware that a larger membership would provide financial strength, help attract stronger speakers, and allow the group to book quality conference facilities.
In May 1986 the South Carolina Co-op Association held its annual state meeting as part of the Southeastern Regional Co-op conference in Charlotte, NC. During the business meeting, Dave Scherrep of Clemson University, proposed a resolution to study a merger with the South Carolina College Placement Association. After intense discussion, the resolution passed with Dave Scherrep agreeing to write to Tom Kosmoto, United Technologies, who was President of SCCPA. asking if they would be interested in exploring the idea of a merger. After a positive vote from SCCPA, a joint committee was formed under the leadership of Al Mathiasen, also of Clemson University. The committee was tasked to review all implications of a merger and report back at a joint meeting held in Charleston during May 1987.
At the Charleston meeting, the merger committee rendered its report to the combined membership of both associations. The committee recommended that the two groups join forces and form a new association. They found that merging had worked quite well in Georgia and Alabama, and that several other southern states were considering merging, but had not taken any action at this time. The mood of both groups was so positive after the committee’s report, a vote was taken in joint session, rather than adjourning to vote separately. After a brief discussion, the group voted unanimously to merge.
The first meeting was held in May 1988 at the Ocean Dunes/Sand Dunes Hotel in Myrtle Beach, SC. Lydia Arledge of Furman University both secured charter member plaques and designed and produced special conference t-shirts which were presented as a gift to all members. During the business meeting, Pat McCrory of Duke Power Co., was elected the first President of SCCPA along with a slate of new officers that represented the interests of education and industry. It was a very strong beginning for the new organization.