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Greenville Business Magazine

#YeahTHATAgenda: Where Are the Young People?, Wyche Pavilion's New Look, BMW-Mercedes's Joint Venture, Donelson Eye Acquired, Marion Crawford, Dwarf Tossing

Jan 24, 2019 09:04AM ● By Chris Haire

Like many areas of the country, the Greenville-Spartanburg metro is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. It's an issue that's impacting all industries, from the restaurant biz to education to healthcare to construction to the tech industry ... you name it.

While low employment is certainly a formidable factor here--after all, anyone who wants a job most likely has one--there seems to be another player involved: a lack of college grads. 

According to a 2019 market outlook from commercial real estate firm CBRE, "the small number of local graduates of higher education" will be a stumbling block for continued growth, at least at the scale that the Upstate has most recently witnessed. Combined with the low unemployment, that could "downshift" Greenville-Spartanburg's "economic expansion."

None of this is a slight to the area's fine colleges and universities. But it's merely an indication of an area where the Upstate falls behind compared to other nearby cities.

According to Census Reporter, the percentage of Greenville residents with a bachelors is 21 percent, while those with a masters are at 14 percent. As for Spartanburg, the numbers are 17 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

In Charleston, 34 percent have bachelors, 19 percent have masters; in Columbia the numbers are 24 percent and 20 percent.

Meanwhile, GSP also lags behind the large nearby metros, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Raleigh. For Charlotte, the breakdown is 30 percent for bachelors, 16 for master; for Atlanta, it's 28 percent and 21 percent; for Raleigh, it's 33 percent to 18 percent.

Of course, many jobs don't require either a four-year or a post-grad degree, in particular the well-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector that drive the Upstate economy.

Still, there's a problem: Greenville-Spartanburg lacks the very group entering the workforce for the first time, young people.

The percentage of people ages 20-29 are: Greenville, 14 percent; Spartanburg, 18 percent; Charleston, 19 percent; Columbia, 24 percent; Charlotte, 17 percent; Atlanta, 21 percent; and Raleigh, 19 percent.

One possible solution to all of this, according a CBRE: a "significant in-migration of talent." 

Thankfully, the firm notes, the Greenville-Spartanburg "market has a long track record of welcoming new talent."


The Peace Center's Wyche Pavilion Gets A New Look: Originally erected in the early 20th century, the Wyche Pavilion's brick shell is staying put, but the space will be upgraded for year-round use thanks to windows, fans, and an HVAC system. (Greenville Business Magazine)

BMW, Daimler pick 'Jurbey' name for combined car-sharing venture, report says  (Automotive News)

Eye Health America is Acquires of Greenville's Donelson Eye Associates (Business Wire)

Michelin has been announced as the official tire of the International Motor Sports Association (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

With $3 dog food and diaper wipes, Brandless builds out an Amazon alternative (Fast Company)

So Uber Wants Self-Driving Bikes and Scooters. Why? And How? (Wired)

The Wire
Dual-Branded Residence Inn And SpringHill Suites Hotel To Open In Greenville Jan. 30

Greenville's Homes Urban Announces Athens Mixed-Use Development

BB&T Fall For Greenville Donates $46,500 To 12 Local Nonprofit Organizations

Developer Selects Frampton Construction For Spec Building At The Charleston Trade Center

Presbyterian College Uses $60.42 Million In JEDA Bonds To Finance, Refinance, And Renovate

Gov. Henry McMaster Announces South Carolina’s Next Adjutant General

50 Most Influential

Marion Crawford
Crawford Strategy
President and CEO
Marion Crawford is CEO of Crawford Strategy and works with her team of more than 30 employees to make their clients’ brands unforgettable. The company has expertise in the healthcare, financial services, higher education, and travel and tourism industries.
Crawford works closely with dynamic organizations like United Community Bank, Spartanburg Water, Prisma Health, and North Myrtle Beach, among others. In 2018, Crawford celebrated its eighth anniversary and was ranked 17th on the list of Best Places to Work in South Carolina. Crawford speaks frequently at conferences, including the prestigious Becker’s Hospital Review Conference in Chicago. 

In 2013, she was inducted into the Greenville Tech Entrepreneurs Forum, a prestigious group of local business leaders. She currently serves on the executive committee of the Peace Center, the board of governors of the Greenville Country Club, and the executive committee for the Upstate Heart Ball.