The merger of the Aiken County S.C. Works Center facilities is under way, and the hope is the process of putting all of those offices in one building will be complete early next year.

According to Sam Jordan, workforce development administrator with the Lower Savannah Council of Governments, the goal is to finish the merger by late February or early March. The S.C. Works Center, the Aiken Plus S.C. Works Center and the Aiken Plus Learning lab will all be located in one space, which was announced earlier this year.

Jordan said the lease for the new location, which is a portion of the old Belk building in Kalmia Mall, is still under negotiation. The space is 26,623 feet in size and will nearly double the amount of room the three offices now have combined.

On Dec. 4, the Lower Savannah Workforce Development Board officially supported and committed to the merger by passing a resolution at its regularly scheduled meeting.

Jordan said he's optimistic for the future of the local S.C. Works Center facilities and feels the merger will benefit both those who work for the organization and those who use its services.

“It's going to give us, certainly, more space to work with the customers, especial the business customers by assisting them more with job referrals and assessing referrals,” Jordan said. “We're excited.”

The S.C. Works Center, currently located on Richland Avenue East, helps people with unemployment insurance, hearings, job searching, resume writing and referral services.

The Aiken Plus office is currently located on York Street, and LSCOG works with the Aiken Housing Authority in providing case management services and individual career counseling.

The learning lab provides GED training and practice tests.

For more information, call the LSCOG office at 649-7981.