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Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: Technical Colleges Get Scholarship Funding

Jul 28, 2022 11:11AM ● By David Dykes

Governor Announces $25 Million for Workforce Scholarships for the Future

Gov. Henry McMaster announced an additional $25 million investment into Workforce Scholarships for the Future, a program that provides scholarships to cover the cost of tuition and required fees at any of South Carolina's 16 technical colleges for any adult or recent high school graduate to pursue an industry credential or associate degree in high-demand career fields like manufacturing, health care, computer science, or logistics.  

“To continue to attract more jobs and investment to South Carolina, we must invest in our people to make sure we can meet the ever-changing needs of our business community,” McMaster said in the July 26, 2022, announcement.

“Workforce Scholarships for the Future will help provide our people with good-paying jobs and our companies with the skilled workforce they need to succeed.”

In early 2021, McMaster invested $12 million in GEER (Governors Emergency Education Relief) Funds in the S.C. Technical College System to train South Carolinians for the available, high-demand jobs in the state. 

By the end of the year, the program yielded good results, with 5,000 South Carolinians being reskilled and employed.

Because of that success, McMaster formally created Workforce Scholarships for the Future in November of 2021.

The additional $25 million investment, combined with $39 million allocated by the General Assembly in this year’s state budget, is expected to be used to train or retrain approximately 40,000 South Carolinians.

To date, 6,198 South Carolinians have been trained through this program, including 825 nursing assistants, 616 emergency medical technicians, and 775 commercial drivers.

Envoy Solutions Acquires SC-based Sunbelt Packaging

Envoy Solutions announced that it has acquired York, S.C.-based Sunbelt Packaging.

Sunbelt Packaging is a distributor that offers a large and diversified inventory of flexible packaging materials and a broad range of automated packaging equipment.

The company's strong relationships with industry-leading customers have contributed to its continued growth across the country, with four distribution centers from South Carolina to Utah.

By joining forces with Sunbelt, Envoy Solutions continues to drive packaging growth in the Southeast where it already has a strong presence with a rapidly growing national platform. This new partnership advances Envoy Solutions' position as a specialized distributor and solution provider serving the U.S. market through a family of the nation's best regional distributors.

“Sunbelt Packaging will help us excel in the packaging space and build on our growth in the Southeast,” said Mark M. Fisher, CEO of Envoy Solutions.

“From a geographic perspective, this move makes perfect sense given our existing presence in that part of the country.”

Since it was founded in 1980, Sunbelt Packaging has expanded from specialty products for niche applications in the textile industry to serving a broader customer base with packaging materials and equipment.

Sculpture Exhibition Opens at Brookgreen Gardens Aug. 6

The National Sculpture Society’s 89th Annual Awards Exhibition, the premier annual exhibition of American figurative sculpture, will return to Brookgreen Gardens from Aug. 6 to Oct. 23, in the Rosen Galleries.

Brookgreen, home to the largest collection of American figurative sculpture in the world, is the only venue for this annual exhibition.

The National Sculpture Society (NSS) is the first organization of professional sculptors in the country and handpicks pieces for this exhibition, presenting the finest in contemporary figurative sculpture by American masters alongside rising stars.

“This annual exhibition supports our mission to collect and display the finest American sculpture and continues our longstanding relationship with the NSS since our founders, the Huntingtons, were members and supporters of the organization,” says Page Kiniry, president and CEO of Brookgreen.

“We are thrilled that Brookgreen is once again the venue for this exceptional display of artwork, and we hope visitors will take this opportunity to enjoy works from some of the country’s best contemporary sculptors.”

The 37 works in this exhibition are selected by a jury from hundreds of entries. Works are made of materials including bronze, wood, silicone, plaster, terracotta, cast aluminum, resin, marble, and steel.

Seventeen awards will be presented by the NSS, along with the People’s Choice Awards, determined by votes from visitors to Brookgreen, which will be announced at the exhibit’s conclusion.

For more information about Brookgreen Gardens, visit

PunchListUSA Receives $39 Million in New Investments

PunchListUSA, the first real estate platform to digitize home inspection data for instant estimates and online ordering of home repair services, announced it has secured $39 million in investments led by Sweetwater Private Equity and Morpheus Ventures.

Additional investors include Home Depot Ventures, Second Century Ventures, Palm Drive Capital, the Bielsky Family Office, IDEA Fund Partners, Meeting Street Capital, Solo Capital Management, and VentureSouth.

Headquartered in Charleston, PunchListUSA currently operates in 14 major U.S. cities, employing nearly 100 full-time employees with plans to expand to over 30 markets through 2023.

“We have been tracking the progress of PunchListUSA and are confident that this leadership team is creating the future of home repair and renovation services,” says Gregg Parise, Managing Partner of Sweetwater Private Equity.

“We are proud to guide and accelerate their continued growth through our experience scaling data-focused technologies with our expansive network of resources for our portfolio companies. We are very excited for the future.”

PunchListUSA currently supports over 150 national and regional broker partners and, since the third quarter of 2021, has added 25 new institutional partners including single-family rental property operators and portfolio investors for renovation and maintenance services.

In addition, PunchListUSA continues to build partnerships with inspection providers to increase the quality and accuracy of repair estimates for homebuyers.

PunchListUSA currently holds a five-year exclusive agreement with Pillar To Post, the largest home inspection services provider in North America, to provide customers instant repair estimates powered by PunchListUSA's proprietary pricing technology.

Proceeds from the Series A funding will be deployed to accelerate development of the consumer-facing platform and proprietary data infrastructure along with geographic expansion over the next two years.

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