COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — Researchers, manufacturing officials and state leaders unveiled the 2020 South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance Economic Impact Report Tuesday morning at the State House.
Officials said this report truly shows the economic footprint the industry has on the state.
According to Research Economist Joey Von Nessen from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, the manufacturing industry has a $200 billion impact on the state’s economy.
He also expects the industry to fully recover by the end of the year.
Von Nessen said manufacturing will be crucial to both recovery and growth of South Carolina’s economy post-pandemic.
He said, “When we compare manufacturing to other industry sectors it’s been more resilient and it’s one of the fastest growing industries in the state still in 2021.”
Governor Henry McMaster (R-South Carolina) said the state’s response to the pandemic has set up the industry for a quick rebound. He said, “While other states and places are trying to dig out. We’re in a position to blast off.”
He said more investments need to be made in early education, needs based scholarships for college tuition, and investing in widening interstates, the port and build water and sewer lines in rural areas.
The report shows manufacturing growth has driven the economy in the state over the last decade.
According to the report, the manufacturing industry accounts for more than 700,000 jobs. Officials said previous studies have under counted the industry’s impact by 20%.
Von Nessen warned the state and industry must be able to adapt to stay ahead and continue this growth. He suggested continuing investments in the state’s technological college system and workforce initiatives.
He said a stronger manufacturing sector means more jobs, “The bottom line is it can provide numerous jobs that are high wage, high skill positions for South Carolinians giving them more opportunities and that’s the real value manufacturing can provide to the state.”
Lawmakers said they’ll continue to work together on legislation that encourages growth. Speaker of the House Jay Lucas (R-District 65) said, “We want to continue to be the leading horse in the Southeast as manufacturing jobs continue to flock to our great state.”
He said the House is working on passing the COVID-19 liability protection bill. Many business leaders in the state have pushed for the bill’s passage.
Economists suggest 30% of jobs in South Carolina are tied to the manufacturing industry in some way.
To read the full report click or tap here.