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Columbia Business Monthly

#YeahTHATAgenda: Problems at Boeing's North Charleston Plant, South Carolina Scores an A in Manufacturing, Charleston Retail Report, Furman's New AD

Aug 05, 2019 10:58AM ● By Chris Haire
South Carolina scores high marks in manufacturing according to new study: Not surprisingly, the Palmetto State received an A in the Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research 's annual Manufacturing Scorecard, a grade that no doubt is based on the state's successes with BMW, Michelin, Samsung, Boeing, and a host of others. 

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.

The logistics industry in South Carolina is growing behind the scenes, with hourly wages in Greenville and Spartanburg Counties increasing by 15% from 2013-2017 in the transportation and warehousing (T&W) business. These counties have also added more than 5,000 new T&W jobs over that same time period, a 31.6% increase.

In Spartanburg County, Inland Port Greer received a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in January 2019 to support its expansion. The project will increase terminal capacity, create more storage and processing tracks with improved rail capacity and efficiency, and expand on-terminal support facilities. The port’s lead track and rail line will be extended to about 15,100 feet.

Multi-Pack has announced plans to grow its Greenville County operations by moving into a 125,000-square-foot facility at the S.C. Technology and Aviation Center. The new operations are expected to be completed by fourth quarter 2019 and create 72 new jobs.

In Anderson County, CM Knight Logistics recently acquired LaFrance Industries for $7.7 million and rebranded it as Anderson Industrial & Logistics Pointe. The 405,000-square-foot facility has approximately 288,000 square feet available for lease.

To read more about the study, go here mfgscorecard.cberdata.org. (Kathleen Marris contributed to this report.)

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Airline surveys point to ongoing production problems at Boeing’s SC plant (Post & Courier)

Conquest Brewing’s Closure Spurs Worry About Columbia Beer Bubble (Free Times)

Days away from his next opening, the restaurateur behind Husk and McCrady's is focused on the future (Charleston City Paper)

Columbia’s North Main growing so fast that real estate isn’t keeping up with demand (Post & Courier)

Investors in 2 of SC’s biggest banks bless marriage — and the new name, Truist (Post & Courier)

Vacant SC state jobs on the rise with 1-in-6 open (Myrtle Beach Online)

Caslen meeting with students, faculty on first day as USC president (The State)

Building Furman’s brand is priority for new athletic director Jason Donnelly (Greenville News)

Columbia hotel near USC sells for $2.9 million 
(The State)

Here’s what Caviar & Bananas new owners have planned (Greenville News)

Myrtle Beach, Horry County meet behind closed doors to reach hospitality fee agreement (Myrtle Beach Online)

Former Bar Normandy chef and friends to open a new hot dog-and-crudo joint on James Island (Post & Courier)

Advertising company to take down NC billboard mocking 4 congresswomen (WYFF)

Richland County deputies anticipate drop in crime after Decker Boulevard bar agreed to shut its doors (WIS-TV)
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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.  
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"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.

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