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S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director


Dan Ellzey was appointed Executive Director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) by Gov. Henry McMaster in May 2019. He is responsible for the direction and management of the state’s employment agency whose mission is to provide quality, customer-driven workforce services that promote financial stability and economic growth for individuals, businesses and communities.

Ellzey is a widely respected and nationally recognized employment and labor attorney. With experience centered around economic and workforce development, Ellzey is known for his ability to rethink employment, the labor force and growing industries with unique and innovative vision that contributes to everyone’s success and, ultimately, helps fuel the workforce engine.

With record employment in South Carolina, Ellzey is focused on helping employers become an active participant in identifying, training and educating, retaining and predicting their workforce needs; creating a cooperative environment in which the business community can thrive and workforce partners can suitably respond to prepare individuals with the tools needed for the immediate and long-term future.

In his role with DEW, Ellzey will serve on the State Workforce Development Board and be an active member of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies – through which DEW has been highlighted for innovation in the career pathways initiative, annual education and training of unemployment insurance staff, and agency modernization projects to help serve citizens in a more streamlined, efficient and customer friendly manner.

In his first months leading the agency Ellzey is traveling around the state meeting with employees, workforce board members, businesses and other partners to discuss opportunities for a unified workforce mission, creating best practices and setting the standard for workforce and economic development in South Carolina. His goal is to continue to position the state as an attractive place to live and do business, replicating successful models and leveraging new prospects.

Prior to his appointment with the agency, Ellzey was a partner with Fisher Phillips where he advised companies across the country on labor relations, including union campaigns and elections. He also worked closely with management teams to develop employee relations plans, including workforce development programs.

Extremely active in both business and community groups, Ellzey served on the Human Resources Committee and the Legislative Agenda Task for the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors for the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement and Carolina Children’s Home. He has worked closely with the Strategic Alliance for the Midlands and the S.C. Department of Commerce, and in 2005, he was recognized by Gov. Mark Sanford as an economic development Ambassador.

Ellzey has been listed in Chambers USC, America’s Leading Business Lawyers since 2004 and in The Best Lawyers in America since 2006. He was selected by his peers to be one of Greater Columbia Business Monthly's 2010 Legal Elite. Dan was also recognized as an Employment Law – Management Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America for 2014.

Ellzey received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina and law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Utah.




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