#YeahTHATAgenda: Problems at Boeing's North Charleston Plant, South Carolina Scores an A in Manufacturing, Charleston Retail Report, Furman's New ADAug 05, 2019 10:58AM ● By Chris Haire
However, South Carolina scored a C- in the growing logistics industry, a sector which has exploded since the arrival of Inland Port Greer and is set to grow even more following the completion of the Charleston Harbor deepening project.
"South Carolina’s manufacturing industry remains strong, as it is one of the top eight states in terms of the relative size of the industry," says Michael J. Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research. "The state can boast no meaningful problems with unfunded liabilities that have plagued a small number of states since the end of the Great Recession."
The report also highlighted South Carolina's "human capital problem," i.e a lack of skilled workers across nearly all industries. "It will come as no surprise that South Carolina’s educational attainment remains near the bottom of the nation," Hicks says. "This will begin to cause significant difficulties in the recruitment and retention of manufacturing employees."
He adds, "Nationwide, more than half of factory workers have been to college -- either a two- or four-year program -- and the future of the industry is in the better skilled, more highly paid occupations. South Carolina cannot compete well in that category, and unless it is remedied, it will eventually put a damper on economic activity."
Fortunately, the State of South Carolina, the S.C. Technical College System, and the private sector have begun to take tremendous strides in bringing more highly skilled young workers into the workforce thanks to programs like Apprenticeship South Carolina and a tech school curriculum emphasizing mechatronics and other high-tech manufacturing needs.
Hicks also points out that the Palmetto State has seen some success in health care costs, where the score improved from a dismal D to a C-. "This is critical because factory jobs traditionally include full benefits," he says.
Another area of improvement: R&D. The state saw grades increase from a C- to a C regarding "publicly funded R&D at universities and privately funded R&D in manufacturing."
Other Grades: a C in Productivity and Innovation and Liability, A in Global Position, B in Diversification from manufacturing diversification, C- in its Tax Climate, and F in Human Capital.
As for logistics, the report may have given South Carolina a fair grade, but it's difficult to dismiss the strides the sector has made.
To read more about the study, go here mfgscorecard.cberdata.org. (Kathleen Marris contributed to this report.)
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Hires & Honors
Unum, the parent company of Columbia-based insurance company Colonial Life, has been named one of America’s Best Employers for Women by Forbes. Employing 1,400 at its Capital City Colonial Life HQ, Unum was spotlighted for its successes regarding "pay equity, family support, and parental leave."
Garrett Catalano has joined he San Diego office of Greenville-based Jackson Marketing, Motorsports & Events as a dealer and product portfolio manager
Pamela Benjamin is a new office administrator for the Charleston-based accounting firm Jarrad, Nowell and Russell.
The Columbia-based law firm Collins & Lacy has brought on Robert M. Peele, III, to focus on construction, professional liability and trucking defense.
Charleston customer service firm Call Experts has named Scott Witte director of customer experience, Andrea Cranney customer experience manager, and Kip Deaton business development manager.
"Locally-owned restaurants are thriving on the [Charleston] peninsula because of the unique atmosphere they create for the customer experience; as well as the draw created based on their specific cuisines. In addition, most of the new peninsula developments are focused on mixed-use retail.
"Meanwhile, chain restaurants are successfully operating within the suburban Charleston submarkets. Trendy bars and craft breweries find success and lower rental rates by locating within northern King Street locations. Big box retail, grocery stores and vacant mall spaces are being absorbed by gyms and furniture stores that can use the large spaces for equipment and showroom space." --Colliers International, Q2 2019 Retail report.