Focus on manufacturing

Manufacturing is a main focus for South Carolina, and the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) partners with several manufacturing organizations, including the S.C. Manufacturing Alliance, S.C. Chamber of Commerce and the S.C. Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP), to respond to the needs of manufacturers and their employees as well as provide them with resources.

To give you an example of the impact of manufacturing in South Carolina, consider this:

  • Last year the manufacturing industry had a statewide impact of more than $1 billion.
  • Manufacturing holds 12 percent of all employment in South Carolina.
  • Data shows that each manufacturing job creates 2 1/2 other spin-off jobs.
  • As of the end of this school year, nearly 35,000 S.C. high school students are preparing for advance manufacturing jobs.

One of the many ways DEW supports this industry is through its Rapid Response program which uses a team of experts to implement a fast-paced business growth system and innovation tools to assist with employee retention that helps both the employer and employee receive assistance and retraining. Since 2011, 81 companies have benefited from Rapid Response services.

Additionally, South Carolina is one of the 10 original recipients of the Department of Defense (DOD) diversification grant in round I, meaning support and resources are available to help defense firms reduce their dependency on DOD contracts. As part of this program, businesses can apply for consulting services in four areas: strategic planning, sales and marketing, lean product development and quality certifications, lessening the impact stemming from potential federal defense cuts.

In the past year, 20 defense firms were provided diversification assistance, resulting in:

  • Retention of more than $421 million in sales.
  • Creation of more than $219 million in new sales.
  • Retention of 1,090 jobs while creating 450 new jobs.

These programs are not just for manufacturers, they can be applied to other businesses who may be at risk of layoffs or are wanting to diversify their companies. For more information about these programs, contact Michelle Paczynski