Page 1

Fall 2017

Prepared for takeoff

S.C. training first-class aerospace workforce

CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED 1439 Stuart Engals Blvd. Suite 200 Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 SC Biz News

Cities Mean Business | Trending: Aerospace in S.C. | Best Places to Work

Table of

CONTENTS FROM THE COVER: AEROSPACE IN S.C. 18 Taking flight: Aerospace training heads for S.C. high schools

22 Life cycle: USC’s McNAIR Center students to learn on advanced software, hardware from Siemens

26 Waiting for takeoff: Decision on Lockheed Martin T-50A now rests with Air Force

28 Looking for aerospace business in the City of Light The Lynx Automated Fiber Placement machine, left, at USC’s McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research is the same as machines used to manufacture 70% of the Boeing 727 Dreamliner’s fuselage. (Photo/Chuck Crumbo)












Nuclear project’s shutdown sparks multiple investigations

Celebrating excellence in South Carolina business

CITIES MEAN BUSINESS Inspiring ideas for downtown growth


10 Research SC

44 S.C. Delivers

7 Upfront

12 County Spotlight: Charleston

48 1,000 Words

Editor - Licia Jackson ljackson@scbiznews.com • 803.726.7546

From the

Associate Editor - Steve McDaniel smcdaniel@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3123


Creative Director - Ryan Wilcox rwilcox@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3117 Senior Graphic Designer - Jane James jjames@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3118

Dear Reader,

Just the other day, I compared notes with some kids about how we spent our summers growing up. After their camps and beach trips and visits to relatives, these fifth- and sixthgraders were winding up the summer “binge-watching Netflix.” Of course, I had to tell them about my childhood summer days, when we had to watch our favorite TV shows when they came on. If “My Friend Flicka” came on at 11 a.m., then you’d better be in front of the TV at that exact time. “How did you live?” one of the boys asked. Well, the answer is, we did just fine, but when TV-viewing habits started to change, they changed fast. The speed of change is something I’d like to address here. The trending section in this issue of SCBIZ is aerospace, an industry sector that has gained tremendous momentum in South Carolina over the past few years. Was it only six years ago that Boeing opened its first facility in North Charleston? Since then the cluster Licia Jackson of businesses has blossomed, with the state Department of ComEditor, merce and SC Aerospace supporting the growth. The SC AeroSCBIZ Magazine space Conference and Expo, which opens Aug. 29, just began in 2014 but has already grown to include more than 50 exhibitors and hundreds of attendees. Be sure to read about the state’s efforts to keep feeding the workforce needs of aerospace employers so we can attract even more companies and about the joint effort of Commerce and SC Aerospace to help existing companies find international customers by attending the Paris Air Show. Of course, sometimes the speed of change overtakes our best journalistic efforts. A few years ago, SC Biz News published a magazine that focused on the “Nuclear Renaissance.” That was before natural gas and renewables began grabbing a share of clean energy needs, and we are now seeing how quickly that landscape has changed. The intentions were good when construction of two new generating units began at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County, but you can read about the abrupt abandonment of that effort in these pages. This is also the issue that recognizes South Carolina’s Best Places to Work. This year 70 companies have achieved that status, and every year the amenities they offer inspire and amaze. Imagine going with your co-workers to California to make wine every year! We hope you find inspiration in this issue.

LOWCOUNTRY NEWSROOM Managing Editor - Andy Owens aowens@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3142 Senior Copy Editor - Beverly Barfield bbarfield@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3115 Staff Writer - Liz Segrist lsegrist@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3119 Assistant Editor, Digital Media - Ashley Sprouse asprouse@scbiznews.com • 843.843.3145 Research Specialist - Melissa Verzaal mverzaal@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3104 Graphic Designer - Andrew Sprague asprague@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3128 Assistant Graphic Designer - Emily Williams ewilliams@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3124 Assistant Graphic Designer - Jessica Stout jstout@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3113 MIDLANDS NEWSROOM Editor - Chuck Crumbo ccrumbo@scbiznews.com • 803.726.7542 Staff Writer - Travis Boland tboland@scbiznews.com • 803.726.7542 Research Specialist - Patrice Mack pmack@scbiznews.com • 803.726.7544 UPSTATE NEWSROOM Editor - Matthew Clark mclark@scbiznews.com • 864.720.1222 Staff Writer - Teresa Cutlip tcutlip@scbiznews.com • 864.720.1223 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Director of Business Development - Mark Wright mwright@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3143 Senior Account Executive - Alan James ajames@scbiznews.com • 803.726.7540 Senior Account Executive - Sue Gordon sgordon@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3111 Senior Account Executive - Robert Reilly rreilly@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3107 Account Executive - Cheryl Froman cfroman@scbiznews.com • 864.720.1220 CONTRIBUTING WRITER: Jenny Peterson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER: James Blake

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VIEWPOINT Right-to-work isn’t a sales pitch, it’s a responsibility


Boeing rollout of the 787-10. (Photo/Kim McManus)

We can demonstrate our maturation as a globally competitive state by not flinching at every company announcement and by shifting toward employee needs. It’s a subtle but meaningful change. the things we can control. Specifically, we must focus on building and maintaining the ecosystem that supports companies and their employees. Because, as a right-towork state, we have already promised the companies that locate here the ability to hire and fire at will. And a major component of

the right-to-work ecosystem must be training, support and connectivity for employees transitioning from one company to another. We can demonstrate our maturation as a globally competitive state by not flinching at every company announcement and by shifting toward employee needs. It’s a subtle but meaningful change. Because when government and business interests ensure the ecosystem is in place to fill the talent pipeline and support the talent in transition, companies can focus more on what they need to do to maximize their competitiveness. In addition, it is a more productive use of our collective energy than hand-wringing over the ebb and flow of staffing solutions within manufacturing facilities that we have little expertise in running. Lastly, let’s not forget that unions have traditionally done a good job of assisting their members in


hances are good that if you are reading this column you have had the experience of suddenly looking for a job. It’s one of those unpleasant rites of passage that come with adulthood. So when Boeing announced this past June it was involuntarily laying off close to 200 workers from its South Carolina operations, there was a collective groan of sympathy that echoed throughout the business community. Then CNN picked up the story to gleefully report the layoffs occurred in the same Boeing facility where President Donald Trump made a speech about bringing back American jobs. It looked to me as if CNN reported the story out of context to the same degree as the president touted the Made-in-America 787 out of the context of its extensive global supply chain. Both stories were contextually cringeworthy. The proper context for June’s layoff story and the recent announcement of voluntary layoffs in August is that the commercial airplane industry is extremely competitive with thin margins, and a company has to be nimble enough to expand and contract in reaction to market forces. Sound like your business? Well, it sure sounds like mine. The only difference is scale. In the context of close to 8,000 employees, 200 layoffs is a small adjustment. To a degree, our state’s ability to mature into a global destination for manufacturing depends upon the ability of our state’s business and civic leaders to mature along with it and not overreact or underreact to announcements about expansions and layoffs. Rather, as the state’s leaders, our attitude should be steady and stable, and focused on



transition. If the state’s business and civic leaders don’t provide a robust ecosystem for employees, unionization becomes an appealing alternative. So back to those Boeing announcements. Not a column goes by when I don’t say that almost everybody is talking about their need for qualified people to fill open jobs. This summer’s Boeing layoffs included operations managers, engineers, quality managers, quality systems specialists, quality production specialists, staff analysts, office

administrators, flightline personnel and trainers. These sound like pretty qualified people to me. To say they face the unpleasant prospect of looking for a new job sounds like an understatement; however, the majority should be able to find work relatively soon if the economy remains robust. Our status as a right-to-work state isn’t a sales pitch to an economic development prospect. It’s a mutually shared responsibility to provide a healthy ecosystem for employees that requires close coordination

among state government, chambers of commerce, trade associations and business leaders. Each of these sectors has expertise and limitations, and it is up to us — the business leadership — to pay attention to the gaps and fill them. We’ve proved South Carolina is a great place to build a company. Now it’s time to prove this is a great place to build a career. Grady Johnson President and Group Publisher, SC Biz News


Update on hot rods, manufacturing and young workers



y suggestion that the innovation and problem-solving found at hot rod shops would be a good incubator for manufacturing companies looking for young talent appears to have been on target – and is already happening in South Carolina’s schools. Since publishing my column in the previous issue of SCBIZ, we’ve heard from Walter Staley, a Mount Pleasant high school student who plans to attend Clemson University this fall driving a 1965 Mustang that he rebuilt with help from his teachers at Charleston County Schools. Walter might not be your average student. He built a motorcycle from a Subaru lawn mower engine and a bicycle frame before he was old enough to get his hands on the Mustang chassis. But how many other Walter Staleys are out there waiting for the same hands-on opportunity provided by teachers like Mike Branch, who runs the automotive technology program at Garrett Academy of Technology in North Charleston? We also heard from Gil Valk, who runs the Rock Hill Applied Technology Center.


The ‘rat rod’ built by students at the Rock Hill Applied Technology Center. (Photo/Provided)

Students at ATC built a hot rod – some might call the vehicle a “rat rod,” which is a term the school embraced as an acronym for Radical Alternative Thinking. I expected that hot rod shops would be great places to find eager talent who could fill a growing need for jobs that require

workers to think instead of just showing up and putting in their time. But what I didn’t expect to discover was that schools in South Carolina were already connecting with and inspiring this kind of talent. That’s some Radical Alternative Thinking.

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regional news | data

Museum’s exhibit puts kids in pilot’s seat


t may look like a plane has crashed through the building at EdVenture children’s museum, with the nose just emerging out the other side. But, never fear, it’s just the Columbia museum’s newest permanent exhibit, FLIGHT, incorporating many authentic airplane elements scrounged from a boneyard, including the cockpit of a Boeing 757. Kids and their adult companions can climb into the pilots’ seats, play with the controls and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the Gervais Street bridge. Other features of the exhibit include a Boeing 747 engine cowling that’s 8 feet in diameter, a learning theater enclosed in the actual aluminum skin of a fuselage with two dozen passenger seats; a child-sized wind tunnel; three Boeing 777 simulators; and, a video wall

Maddie Fawcett sits at the controls of an authentic Boeing 757 cockpit that’s part of the new FLIGHT exhibit at Edventure Museum. (Photo/Chuck Crumbo)

featuring local pilot footage flying over Columbia. There’s also a Kuka robot used in

airplane manufacturing, and a paper airplane test flight practice station. Aerospace careers, here we come.

FAST FACTS | V.C. Summer Nuclear Station Here’s a quick look at the impact of shutting down the new reactor project at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station:

$11.3 Billion

$9 Billion

Amount already spent

$14 Billion

Budget approved in 2016 to allow for cost overruns

$1.4 Billion

Amount collected from SCE&G ratepayers upfront to cover financing costs of project

Page 16

$20 Billion

Estimated cost if utilities completed the project www.scbizmag.com

Original budget approved by state Public Service Commission in 2009

Story begins on


Workers – both construction workers and SCE&G staffers – who lost their jobs Source: Columbia Regional Business Report



Robert E. “Bob” Hughes Jr.

Michael J. Mungo

James W. Roquemore

S.C. Business Hall of Fame names 2018 honorees


hree well-known business leaders have been named laureates of the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame for 2018. Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina announced the laureates, who will be honored in March at the 34th annual Hall of Fame event.

The honorees are:


• Robert E. “Bob” Hughes Jr., president


of Hughes Development, of Greenville • The late Michael J. Mungo, founder of Mungo Homes, of Columbia • James W. Roquemore, chairman and CEO of Patten Seed Co., of Orangeburg These award winners are recognized as champions of free enterprise who serve as role models in business for South Carolina’s youth. They were selected for their

unique contributions to the state’s business landscape, for being agents of positive change, for their leadership and for being a source of inspiration to young people. A black-tie event honoring these laureates will be held on March 1, 2018, at the Columbia Marriott. For more information, contact Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina, http://centralsc.ja.org or 803-252-1974.

New Economic Development COMPANY



Fiber Industries




Spartanburg $15M


Prysmian Group North America




Rudolph Logistics Group





Charleston $10M 5


Berkeley $69M 120

Kloeckner Metals





$18M 100


Lexington $3.1M 53

Ruiz Food Products




Roseburg Forest Products




Steel Creek Galvanizing Co.




Knapheide Truck Equipment




Pine Gate Renewables






Source: S.C. Department of Commerce


C Business Publications LLC has sold its operating assets to NWS Co. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of GateHouse Media Management Services Inc. SC Business Publications operates under the brands SC Biz News, SCBIZ, Charleston Regional Business Journal, Columbia Regional Business Report, GSA Business Report and other affiliated titles. NWS Co. LLC will operate under BridgeTower Media, the business-to-business division of GateHouse Media. GateHouse is held by New Media Investment Group, a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol NEWM. BridgeTower serves more than 20 markets across the U.S. with publications and products in business, politics, construction and real estate, and law. BridgeTower also owns Best Companies Group, which administers the Best Places to Work programs across the nation. 


Here are announcements made in South Carolina since June 29, 2017

GateHouse Media purchases assets of SC Business Publications



Research SC Company’s propeller replacement would transform boating By Licia Jackson, Editor



he propellers used to power boats have changed little since the early 1900s, says David Brower. His company, Palmetto Propulsion, wants to transform the system. “If you look at the propulsion systems used in 1906 and then look at today’s, you can’t tell the difference,” Brower said. “This will be a major change in technology at a very affordable price.” An SCRA-assisted company, Palmetto Propulsion is developing the Duet, a system that will replace the lower unit on boat motors. The propeller will go away and be replaced by the new unit, which looks like an airplane wing, Brower explained.


Here is how the Duet works: On the bottom of the wing there are two water inlets. Water goes through the inlets into a pump that uses two counter-rotating impellers that push water out the back, a bit like a jet. The propulsion system makes a humming sound, Brower said, and is quieter than today’s propulsion systems and operates much better at lower water levels. It also produces less vibration, for a smoother ride. The unit, with a lightweight, yet strong, carbon fiber housing and stainless steel impellers, will be very resistant to corrosion from saltwater. “I’ve been in boating all my life and have been working on this idea a while,” Brower

“If you look at the propulsion systems used in 1906 and then look at today’s, you can’t tell the difference. This will be a major change in technology at a very affordable price.” David Brower

Palmetto Propulsion

“Commercial boats that need to go in shallow water and pull a net could avoid having the net get tangled up in the propeller.” David Brower

Palmetto Propulsion

aided design (CAD) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which predict how water will flow through the system. The timeline calls for having prototypes up and running by the end of 2017, with production to begin a year after that, Brower said. The first patent has been approved, and a second one is in the works. The Duet system could apply to any recreational boat and also to commercial and military boating, Brower said. “Commercial boats that need to go in shallow water and pull a net could avoid having the net get

tangled up in the propeller.” Long-term, Palmetto Propulsion will be developing systems to improve control of a boat and make it drive more like a car. The boat would have a brake pedal and a gas pedal for the driver to use. “A lot of people aren’t comfortable driving a boat because of the way it handles,” Brower said. “It would now be instinctive if you stepped into the boat.” If a driver needs to slow a boat down now, it’s necessary to pull the boat back into neutral. The boat keeps going forward for a distance. Palmetto Propulsion’s system would stop it within a few feet. The company is also developing a variable-speed transmission for later units. The transmission would go beyond today’s single speed systems, making the boat more fuel-efficient with better performance. “We’re trying to set up a family of propulsion systems for different kinds of boats and different kinds of applications,” Brower said, looking long term. Over the years, Palmetto Propulsion will add new benefits to its systems as they are developed.


said. Palmetto Propulsion’s manufacturing will be based in Greenville, with design work also being done in the area. A primary concern driving the development of the propulsion system is safety. Brower said that because there will be nothing extending below the boat, the risk of injury to marine animals will be reduced. Also, the risk to swimmers and divers will go away. “When I first started working on this, a girl was run over by a boat and lost a leg,” he said. The Duet unit would improve the handling and efficiency of the boat as well. With more than half a million boats registered in South Carolina in 2016, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, Palmetto Propulsion’s system could have a big impact. Brower’s goal is to make it easy to purchase the Duet unit and change it out with the boat’s propeller and lower unit. The Duet would be marketed for less than $1,000; a replacement propeller costs $500 to $600. “It’s as easy as changing a tire on a car,” he said. At present, Palmetto Propulsion’s team of four people is working on the computer-



county spotlight


A view of Broad Street in downtown Charleston, the county seat of Charleston County and one of the top tourist destinations in the world. (Photo/File)





harleston County is at the heart of an economic boom that has encompassed coastal South Carolina. The Great Recession is quickly receding in the rearview mirror as a powerful engine of capital investment, tourism, population surge and industrial expansion pushes the area forward. Recent announcements of new manufacturing facilities for automakers Volvo and Mercedes-Benz, expansion plans at aerospace giant Boeing and improvements to the S.C. Ports Authority facilities highlight the Lowcountry’s emergence as a major player in the regional and global economy.

Special Advertising Section

Charleston Cou by the numbers nty

Population............ ................... 396,48 4 Median Household Income.......$53,43 7 Largest Private Sector Employer s Boein

g South Carolina........ .....................7,400 Roper St. Francis He althcare.................. 5,5 00 Trident Health Syste m............................2 ,500 Walmart Inc................ ............................ 2,3 00 Kiawah Island Golf Re sort/ The Sanctuary at Kia wah.........................1 ,500 Sources: U.S. Cens us Center for Busines and s Research

Mercedes-Benz’s expansion is helping drive demand for industrial space. (Photo/Charleston County Economic Development)


Comcast recently opened a customer care and technical support center in North Charleston. The facility will employ up to 550 people when it is fully staffed. (Photo/ Charleston County Economic Development)

An influx of new residents, manufacturers and development spurred by a consistent stream of high rankings in major tourism and business publications has turned the Lowcountry into a destination of choice for tourists and industry. U.S. Census estimates put Charleston County’s growth rate at just over 13% from 2010-16, with a total estimated 2016 population of almost 400,000. Unemployment numbers have steadily declined from nearly 10% at the height of the recession to the current rate of 3.6%. Projected job growth from 2014-24 is almost 13%, led by construction, health care and manufacturing. Real estate values have continued to surge every year since 2013 as net in-migration to the area creates a strong demand for residential housing. The average cost of


Charleston County’s natural beauty makes it a top tourist destinations in the world. (Photo/File)

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COUNTY SPOTLIGHT: CHARLESTON The first flight of the new 787-10 commercial jet (above) took off from the Boeing plant in North Charleston in March. (Photo/Kim McManus) At right, Boeing opens its new paint facility in North Charleston in late 2016. (Photo/Charleston County Economic Development)

a new home in Charleston County is nearly $250,000, well above the state average and among the highest in the Southeast. Commercial real estate demand is also on the rise. A recent report from commercial real estate broker CBRE showed 300,000 square feet of speculative industrial space under construction in the areas around North Charleston, Ladson and along

Interstate 26. Much of the expansion is related to growth in port traffic and in the petroleum, automotive and aerospace sectors, the report said. Keith Lambert, director of business recruitment for Charleston County Economic Development, said the county is seeing an unprecedented level of activity in the speculative industrial


Volvo is building a new automotive manufacturing facility in Berkeley County. Speculative industrial site development in Charleston County has surged in anticipation of demand from Volvo suppliers. (Photo/Volvo)


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COUNTY SPOTLIGHT: CHARLESTON Students and staff at Palmetto Scholars Academy, a charter school in North Charleston, attend a recent defense contractor convention in Charleston County. (Photo/Charleston County Economic Development)

undergraduate and postgraduate institutions. MUSC offers medical degrees and residencies in many health care disciplines; College of Charleston, in the heart of downtown, is among the oldest higher-learning institutions in the nation. The Citadel, also on the peninsula, is a public, militaryoriented school, and Charleston Southern University is a Baptist-supported private

school in North Charleston. The Charleston School of Law is a privately funded institution offering postgraduate law degrees. The county is also home to Trident Technical College, part of the S.C. Technical College System. It offers two-year associate degrees and specialty training for manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, health care and other industries.


market. “The investments of large manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz and Volvo and the expansion of the S.C. Ports facilities have really impacted the spec market,” Lambert said. “We have seven spec buildings either finished or near completion in the county right now. In the past decade, we might see one or two per year. The level of activity is really impressive.” Lambert cited the fact that 1.4 million square feet of industrial space is currently under construction or in the preconstruction phase as evidence of the strength of the market. “Nothing in the pipeline suggests a weakening or slowdown in the near future,” he said. “Global policies might change that at some point, but right now we see strong growth across the Charleston economy.” The county is home to three of the state’s largest cities. The county seat of Charleston recently passed Columbia as the largest city in the state. North Charleston, third behind Columbia, is home to Boeing and MercedesBenz facilities and a thriving retail market, and Mount Pleasant, fourth in population, is one of the fastest-growing cities east of the Mississippi River. Most of the new construction activity is outside the Charleston Peninsula, which is mostly built out with a few remaining, prohibitively expensive available properties. Redevelopment is more common on the peninsula, with several large mixed-use projects under construction and a major expansion of the Medical University of South Carolina facilities underway near the Ashley River. The peninsula is the main tourist drawing card in the Lowcountry. It is home to the iconic Rainbow Row of stately antebellum mansions, the Charleston Market where the slave trade was centered until the Civil War and several churches whose origins date as far back as the late 1600s. Major public-sector employers in the county include MUSC, Joint Base Charleston and the Charleston County Public School District. Boeing, Roper St. Francis Healthcare and Trident Health System are among the county’s largest private-sector employers. Charleston County is home to five

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Nuclear project’s shutdown sparks multiple investigations By Chuck Crumbo, Editor, Columbia Regional Business Report




n the last Monday of July, South Carolina Electric & Gas and its stateowned partner Santee Cooper made a momentous announcement: They were abandoning their new reactor construction project at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. By Friday of the same week, the utilities along with regulators who green-lighted the project found themselves targets of multiple investigations being launched by S.C. legislators and the state Attorney General’s office. And, so it went as news of the July 31 decision snowballed into a political bandwagon with officials vowing to find out what led to the project’s collapse and why an obscure state law puts ratepayers on the hook for the billions that have already been spent on the half-finished project in Fairfield County. The event that led to the project’s shutdown was the bankruptcy filing of Westinghouse Electric, designer of the new reactor units and the project contractor. Westinghouse said it wants to get out of the construction business. Once staffers considered the cost of completing construction, Santee Cooper, which owns 45% of the project, suspended its participation. SCE&G looked for other partners and found none. Without a partner, SCE&G said it had no choice but to walk away. “What is abundantly clear and conclusively proven is that the decision-making process for South Carolina’s energy future is broken – it does not work,” said state Rep. James Smith, D-Columbia, in announcing on Aug. 2 the formation of the S.C. Energy Caucus, a group of more than 50 Republican and Democratic members of the legislature. Smith then paused and addressed a crowd of about 100 people gathered in the

SCE&G places the final Unit 2 containment vessel ring. (Photo/SCE&G)

Statehouse lobby for the press conference. Many wore orange safety vests and lime green T-shirts bearing “V.C. Summer New Build” on the sleeves. Two days earlier they had been working on the reactor project. “And I want to speak to all of those who have lost their jobs: You deserve better.” Later that day, Sen. Tom Alexander, R-Walhalla, chairman of the Public Utilities Review Committee, agreed to a request by Sen. Luke Rankin, R-Conway, to call a special meeting on Aug. 23 to explore circumstances that led SCE&G and Santee Cooper to abandon the project. On Aug. 3, Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey and Minority Leader Nikki Setzler asked that legislators return to Columbia for a special session of the General Assembly to take up a joint resolution to block further electric rate increases for SCE&G and Santee Cooper customers until they have a chance to act during the 2018 session. By Aug. 3 (Friday), S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson announced plans to investigate. “We would like the opportunity to investigate this issue in order to ensure

all laws were complied with and all applicable procedures were followed,” Wilson said in a letter to Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman and House Speaker Jay Lucas. “Meanwhile, we trust that the Public Service Commission will delay any rate increase while our investigation is ongoing. The public needs to know any recourse the people have to protect those who were harmed by these actions,” Wilson added. The Base Load Review Act is the law at ground zero of the project furor. It overwhelmingly passed the Senate and House in 2007. Former Gov. Mark Sanford, who objected to the measure, allowed it to become law without his signature. Two years later in March 2009, South Carolina Electric & Gas, principal subsidiary of Cayce-based energy provider SCANA Corp., won approval from the state Public Service Commission to add two reactor units to the Summer plant where the utility and Santee Cooper have operated one reactor since 1984. The law allows SCE&G to seek annual rate increases to cover the cost of borrowing money during the life of the nuclear project.


Since approving the project, the PSC has granted SCE&G nine electric rate increases totaling 18% or about $1.4 billion without having to produce the first kilowatt of energy from the nuclear plant. The law also provides that if SCE&G abandons the project, it needs to prove to state regulators that its decision was “prudent.” Although SCE&G has filed a proposal with the PSC that would mitigate any increase in electric rates in the near future, it’s possible under the BLRA that ratepayers would have to cover some of what the company itself has spent on the project. During a July 31 conference call with industry analysts, SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh was asked about the possibility of regulators balking at requiring ratepayers to cover the costs of the unfinished project. Marsh conceded that the commission could reject the decision SCE&G made. “However, I feel comfortable once we’re presented them with the evidence of our evaluation and the basis for our decision, we believe they will find that prudent. … I can’t speak for the commission because they’ve got to hear all the evidence, but I’m confident in the presentation we will make before them.”

A brief timeline of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station 1984 (Jan. 1): V.C. Summer Unit 1 begins commercial operation. 2007: Unit 1 produces 8.48 billion kilowatt hours, 100.2% of capacity. 2008 (March): SCE&G applies to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build two AP1000 pressurized water reactors. 2008 (May): SCE&G and Santee Cooper announce engineering, procurement and construction contract with Westinghouse. 2012: NRC approves the construction license. 2013: Construction of Unit 2 begins, followed by start of construction on Unit 3.

2015: The CA-01 module is placed. 2017 (March): Westinghouse files for bankruptcy. 2017 (July): Santee Cooper votes to suspend the project. SCE&G, with no partner on the project, announces it will abandon construction.


2014: Fabrication delays cause delays in construction and extra costs.


TRENDING: AEROSPACE IN S.C. www.scbizmag.com

Aerospace training heads for S.C. high schools



any future aerospace engineers, aviation mechanics and plane assemblers currently sit in high school classrooms around the state. That’s the idea behind a model program that will soon roll out a fourcourse aerospace engineering curriculum in six high schools. While some high schools already offer a few aerospace courses, the new curriculum is more robust in preparing students for

By Liz Segrist, Staff Writer careers in the field, said Adrianne Beasley, the aerospace initiatives director for S.C. Council on Competitiveness, an industry advocacy group. S.C. aerospace executives and educators said they see an opportunity to cultivate a larger homegrown workforce by teaching aerospace engineering courses to high school students. They said the growing sector demands a bigger pipeline. Boeing South Carolina now builds three

Dreamliner derivatives in North Charleston, employing more than 7,000 people at its Lowcountry operations. Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin operates in Greenville County, while Boeing suppliers like GKN Aerospace in Orangeburg County continually expand. Steve Townes, president and CEO of Ranger Aerospace in Greenville, pushed the state to establish an aerospace-themed high school.

TRENDING: AEROPSPACE IN S.C. Students crowd around screens to learn about aerospace and flight technologies at Battery Creek High School. (Photo/Beaufort County School District)

go to a two- or four-year school, so they’ve got to be equipped to hit the workforce.”

‘Generational changers’

Beaufort County School District Superintendent Jeff Moss tests aerospace technology at Battery Creek High School. (Photo/Beaufort County School District)

year college program, or have a skillset that makes them employable and trainable at an aerospace company. “Kids need to come out of school with these skills so they can be employed right away, especially at a school like ours, a very rural school,” Ames said. “Not all of our kids will

S.C. Aerospace — a partnership among the state Commerce Department, Council on Competitiveness and industry executives — talked with aviation-related companies around the state in recent years about challenges they face. Students’ lack of long-term interest in science, technology, engineering and math fields was a major concern, spurring S.C. Aerospace to gather 35 educational institutions to tackle the issue, Beasley said. The educators evaluated existing aerospace courses in S.C. schools and searched for a new curriculum. They landed on a four-course program, developed by the Southern Regional Education Board. Aerospace companies and educators evaluated the materials, and the state Education


“It was perplexing that we’d become one of the fastest-growing states in the aerospace industry, yet we didn’t even have one,” Townes said. Educators said the courses are for students interested in how planes and spacecraft are designed, built and flown. The program introduces students to the diversity of aerospace careers — like becoming a CNC (computer numeric controlled) machinist, a design engineer or an airframe assembler, Beasley said. Students do not receive a certificate for completion of the four courses — although that is an eventual goal — but they will be considered a “completer.” Beasley said students would graduate with a strong foundation of aerospace concepts, readying them for further education or training. Michael Ames, principal of Edisto High School in Cordova, said he wants graduates to be ready for either a two-year or four-



Department approved them. In addition to six high schools in South Carolina, the program is launching in schools around the country — three in Ohio, two in Alabama, two in North Carolina and one in both Delaware and West Virginia. The state’s education department designated $50,000 grants for each participating school in South Carolina. The money will cover teacher training and equipment purchases, according to several principals. Teachers spent two weeks in Atlanta undergoing training from NASA and Georgia Tech instructors. Classrooms will be outfitted with equipment, such as 3D printers, wind tunnel models, laser cutters and software. Students will learn on the same equipment and software used in aerospace plants today. James Stephens, executive director of the S.C. Aeronautics Commission and chairman of the S.C. Aerospace Education Working Group, said in a statement that students will learn aerospace engineering principles and present projects to industry representatives. Each class can have up to 24 students. Brad Nickles, principal of Emerald High School in Greenwood, said he hopes the courses will give students a jump-start in the field. “We can create a pool of very efficient employees that are ready to go,” Nickles said. “These jobs could be generational changers for some of our communities.”

‘Well-paid job for life’ The new aerospace engineering courses will expand Battery Creek High School’s existing aviation program, located in its new Advanced Technical Center in Beaufort

A student at R.B. Stall High School in North Charleston tries out aerospace training equipment. The school will begin offering a new aerospace curriculum in spring 2018. (Photo/Provided)

County. Principal Chad Cox said the new curriculum and grant money come at a good time for students since skilled aerospace workers are in demand. The average salary at a private-sector aerospace employer is about $70,000 a year in South Carolina, according to S.C. Aerospace. Ken Hitchcock, director of Pickens County Career and Technology Center, said he wants interested students to gain a foundation in aerospace, helping them to envision themselves building planes at Boeing or working in space with NASA, for example. Many educators said the aerospace

courses could help students find jobs in the communities they grew up in. “We have so many kids that leave here because there are not a lot of economic opportunities, or they’re not prepared for what is offered here,” Ames said of Orangeburg County. “I hope to produce kids that can either step right into a two- or four-year school … or they can walk right into a job and make good money so they can support a family and live and work in the community they grew up in.” Officials hope the pilot program will expand over time, ensuring there are enough graduates with the needed skills or educational levels to fill the future aerospace jobs in South Carolina, rather than pulling so many workers from out-of-state. “These courses not only prepare students for post-secondary success but also teach them critical skills needed to fill jobs in one of our state’s most thriving industries,” S.C. Education Superintendent Molly Spearman said in a statement. Townes, also the chairman of S.C. Aerospace, said implementing the aerospace curriculum in six high schools is a strong move toward expanding S.C.’s aerospace skills, but he wants to see the state’s 16 technical colleges partner with high schools around the state to expand the program. He said such an initiative would attract more aerospace suppliers and manufacturers, as well as set students up for careers in the field. “For young people who may be attracted to this high-tech, steadily growing industry, I can tell you that if you learn skills to work on or around airplanes, it’s likely you’ll have a well-paid job for life,” Townes said.


Aerospace program coming to six S.C. high schools:


• Battery Creek High School in Beaufort, spring 2018 • Edisto High School in Cordova, spring 2018 • Emerald High School in Greenwood, spring 2018 • Pickens County Career and Technology Center in Liberty, fall 2018 • R.B. Stall High School in North Charleston, spring 2018 • Sumter Career and Technology Center in Sumter, spring 2018

Four-course curriculum:


• • • •

Two years: Time it will take students in schools with a block schedule to complete the courses

Fundamentals of aerospace technology Advanced aerospace technology Aeronautics engineering applications Astronautics engineering applications

Four years: Time it will take students in schools with a traditional schedule to complete the courses

Source: S.C. Aerospace

TRENDING: AEROSPACE IN S.C. The McNAIR Center features a productionlevel automated fiber replacement machine. (Photo/USC)

USC’s McNAIR Center students to learn on advanced software, hardware from Siemens By Travis Boland, Staff Writer | Photography by Chuck Crumbo


A 22

s demand for trained aerospace workers ramps up, the University of South Carolina is poised to meet it with the help of new product development and production software and hardware from Siemens. USC’s College of Engineering and Computing has received a $628 million grant from the company. Siemens’ product life-cycle management (PLM) software will be used in combination with its automation and control hardware in a digital factory innovation lab at USC’s McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research. Andrew Eulberg, a sen ior electrical enginee ring major, checks a sheet of carbo n fiber material.


Michel JL van Tooren, director of the McNAIR Center, said he wants to see the software implemented into the current curriculum with the hope that the center can develop an aerospace undergraduate program. “Students will be able to visualize their ideas in a CAD (computer-aided design) program and use kinetics to show how the design operates. The first two years of a program would be gaining an understanding, then trying to design things yourself,” van Tooren said. “Interaction with the hardware for research is the most important thing.” The aerospace industry has experienced an 11.4% employment growth rate in South Carolina since 2010. The new software and hardware will help develop the highly skilled STEM workforce needed for advanced manufacturing, USC leaders say. “We’re trying to be the best manufacturing center in the United States for composite and specific part composites,” van Tooren said. “Integration of new manufacturing technology on robotics controlled in a smart way through PLCs (programmable

An Ingersoll Lynx automated fiber placement machine at the McNAIR Center uses infrared light to heat composite material so it can be applied to molds. The same machine is used by Boeing. (Photo/USC)

logic controllers) through Siemens software helps the research part. It will be a trajectory. We do some of that stuff now, but with this software we hope to do it better.” Aerospace is a high-impact industry cluster that contributes $19 billion per year to South Carolina’s economy. Employment in the aerospace cluster is growing at a rate

eight times higher than the state’s average, according to an economic impact study. Adrianne Beasley, director of aerospace initiatives for the S.C. Council on Competitiveness, said the aerospace companies’ biggest need is a highly skilled advanced manufacturing workforce. “With the hardware, software and




Hossein Haj-Hariri, dean of USC College of Engineering and Computing, says the Siemens grant will help students learn and grow.

Above, students at the McNAIR Center, which opened in 2011, work on a wide range of aerospacerelated projects. At left, students in the lab will soon be working with software provided through an in-kind grant from Siemens.

robotic PLMs, research development students will learn a set of skills in automation robotic systems,” Beasley said. “Having skills in aerospace research and development, manufacturing time will shorten, making it more cost efficient to work within the state.” With an undergraduate program, van Tooren believes companies like Boeing will be able to fine more people to hire locally, but he knows it’s important for the state to have workers trained at all levels. Beasley said the hardware will give


See MCNAIR, Page 25


Cities Mean


Cities walk the walk

(and bike the path)




You see a police car‌

We see a police officer who works closely with fire departments and EMS, who knows every business owner downtown, who can name every city street and who buys 12 snow cones on Saturdays even though his T-ball team has never won a game. www.masc.sc

Follow: Cities Mean Business @MuniAssnSC MuniAssnSC.blogspot.com

12 Cities walk the walk and bike the path


By Sarita Chourey

Cover photo: The Swamp Rabbit Trail has become an economic boon for Greenville and Travelers Rest.

BUSINESS A publication of Municipal Association of South Carolina 1411 Gervais St., P.O. Box 12109 Columbia, SC 29211 803.799.9574 mail@masc.sc www.masc.sc @muniassnsc

5 When community development runs on people power

8 Cities use food to build community

By Sarita Chourey

Miriam Hair Executive Director, Municipal Association of SC

By Sarita Chourey

10 Cities embrace, enhance their blueways

Reba Campbell Deputy Executive Director, Municipal Association of SC


Cities Mean

By Amy Edgar

Contributing writers Amy Edgar, Sarita Chourey

DEPARTMENTS Published by



Letter from the Editor

By Reba Hull Campbell

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

15 Hometown Snapshot

Cities Mean BUSINESS 3

Letter from the


Reba Hull Campbell

Editor and Deputy Executive Director, Municipal Association of SC

It’s summertime, and our thoughts turn to fun and outdoor activities. Cities of all sizes are using their natural assets to bring people together in the summertime to enhance residents’ quality of life and encourage community engagement. Walking and bicycling are not just good for our health and well-being. These activities are also big boosters for economic development. Cities of all sizes are making sure their long-range planning processes take into consideration bike lanes, sidewalks and other alternative forms of transportation. Find out what Columbia, Cayce, Blythewood, West Columbia and York are doing to encourage more walking and biking. Summertime also means gardening, and several cities are getting in on the action to help strengthen community connections through strategic use of food. City-supported community gardens and food incubators are helping boost tourism and bring jobs. Learn about projects in Landrum, Walterboro and Mauldin that meet the dual goals of providing food to those who need it and encouraging community engagement. Who doesn’t want to be around water in the summertime? South Carolina is blessed with a multitude of rivers, ponds, lakes and streams. Cities are making the most of what these waterways offer to residents, visitors and the local quality of life. Read about how North Augusta, Pacolet, Calhoun Falls and Ware Shoals are making the best possible use of their natural waterways. We always say it’s the people who make our communities strong – they are the greatest natural asset all our cities and towns have to offer. Three South Carolina cities are finding success in using the power of their own people to encourage personal interaction and strengthen community connections. Take a look at how projects in Mount Pleasant, Travelers Rest and Columbia are educating residents and encouraging acts of kindness. So it’s summertime. Take off for the river, putter in a garden or hop on a bike. I think I’ll head for the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Reba Hull Campbell rcampbell@masc.sc


4 Cities Mean BUSINESS

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina





he personal touch, some TLC, a patient explanation and a campaign to pay it forward. These are all ways that some cities and towns are seeing community development successes through direct interactions between municipal staff members and residents. In the Town of Mount Pleasant, the pace of growth brought frequent public debates and questions over

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

zoning and development decisions. So the Department of Planning and Development created the biannual Planning College, a two-semester program that familiarized residents with the land use planning, zoning, development and permitting process. The Planning College helped residents make sense of the rules, procedures and roles of various boards, and ultimately act as ambassadors for the town. continued on page 6

Cities Mean BUSINESS 5


continued from page 5

The department also began holding Meet and Greet events that involved building inspectors and staff to inform residents about town facilities and services and generate interest in the Planning College. One of the initial purposes of their public outreach program was for town residents to be able to put a face with a name and meet town staff members in person, said Christiane Farrell, director of Mount Pleasant’s planning and development department. “With so much communication now being through emails and other digital 6 Cities Mean BUSINESS

means, we have limited opportunities to speak with and meet people in person. Meet and Greet allows our residents to meet staff and to spend time asking questions and learning more about our role in the community,” she said. “Planning College is another opportunity where residents can participate and where they can learn more about planning processes directly from staff over the course of about 10 weeks. In building these personal relationships and also by helping citizens build knowledge and understanding of the process, we can build a sense of

community and encourage greater civic engagement.” In the City of Columbia, community development staff held a four-hour homebuyer workshop to help residents navigate and understand the home buying process, money management skills, barriers to credit and how to obtain a mortgage loan. The city holds workshops several times a year to educate the public about the benefits of owning a home. “The City of Columbia’s Community Development Department understands that home ownership is still one of the best ways families can build generational

(left) “The Kindness Diaries” host Leon Logothetis conducted a kindness workshop at Travelers Rest City Hall. (above) The Department of Planning and Development for the Town of Mount Pleasant created Planning College for residents to learn about land use, zoning, permitting and other topics.

arrested for allegedly trying to exchange stolen goods at a retail store for cash. However, in the course of the arrest, the officer realized the woman needed help. She said her ex-boyfriend had assaulted her and her 6-year-old child, and she had to quit her job because she had no one at home to take care of her children. She said her electricity was about to be shut off, because she could not pay her bill. The officer’s actions were part of something larger, however. In Travelers wealth,” said Gloria Saeed, the city’s direc- Rest, the police department has taken tor of community development. the lead on a new community building “Home ownership contributes toward initiative. building strong communities and neighJust a few days before the arrest, borhoods by providing tax revenues that the police officer, who asked not to be are used to improve our schools, maintain named, attended a workshop at the police roads and infrastructure and deliver basic department put on by Leon Logothetis, service needs, such as police and fire a motivational speaker who hosts “The protection.” Kindness Diaries” TV show on Netflix and is promoting the concept of kindness ‘Kindness is explosive’ worldwide. In May, employees of the City of “I thought of Leon and his speech Travelers Rest and the police department (during the arrest),” recalled the officer. collected $150 among themselves to pay But he said he would have helped the the power bill of a resident who had been woman regardless of the workshop,

because helping someone in need is human nature. Travelers Rest Police Capt. Randy Fisher coordinated the workshop with Logothetis and has led the department’s own kindness campaign, which includes passing out cards that encourage recipients to commit an act of kindness and then pass the card along to someone else. “If they email us, we’ll ask where the kindness took place, so we can map them and see how far they went,” said Fisher, who has created a website: thekindnessfactor.com/. He detailed possible future plans, including a Kindness Square and Kindness Café and Bicycle Emporium. The square is envisioned to be a landscaped sitting area with benches and tables where residents may play chess or use it as a gathering space. The café would function similar to a police substation, where young people could learn how to repair bikes and those in need might receive refurbished bikes. “Kindness is explosive, and connecting with the community we serve should be our first priority,” Fisher said. “The rest will fall in place from there.”

Cities Mean BUSINESS 7

FEATURE STORY Colleton Commercial Kitchen trainees/ Walterboro



t all started with a piece of land that nobody knew what to do with. City of Landrum officials were hoping someone would build a house on the awkward, rectangular acre, even though there was a bog on it that flowed with water in the summertime. But when a prospective buyer offered a very low bid, Landrum officials decided to change course and find a better use for it. Early this year, Landrum City Administrator Rich Caplan approached the local school district superintendent with the offer of letting students use it as a vegetable garden. “He said, ‘Terrific,’” Caplan recalled. And so for $1 per month, the city began leasing the land to the school district for its Landrum High School agriculture students. The students are expected to design and build raised garden boxes in the 8 Cities Mean BUSINESS

fall. They haven’t decided what to do with the vegetables they’ll harvest, but options include selling the produce at the Landrum Farmers Market, serving it in the school cafeteria to encourage healthy eating or donating the produce to local food banks. Meanwhile, a local florist found out about the city’s plans with the high school and wanted to get involved. “He said, ‘What’s going to happen there?’” said Caplan. “‘I could maybe contribute a greenhouse.’” The florist wanted the students to grow flowers that he could then buy to sell in his shop, further linking the students to their community and local economy. “I could have hugged him,” said Caplan. “We didn’t advertise that.” The City of Landrum, which is close to the North Carolina border,

has applied for a grant to supply the students with gardening tools and a shed from a community foundation that serves the city but is located in Polk County, N.C. With its one acre of land and a creative plan, Landrum leaders are in a position to build connections among city government, the public schools, a local business and its customers, and potentially even a local food bank and its clientele, if those programs receive some of the students’ fresh vegetables.

Learning to cook with local produce Landrum is not the only city that has found a way to strengthen community bonds through its strategic use of food. In the City of Mauldin, mobile cooking demonstrations by an area restaurant will show visitors to the city farmers

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

market how to turn the fresh, local produce for sale there into healthy meals. “The local aspect of it is when you show people that it’s really easy to cook with fresh ingredients, and they find out at the market that those ingredients are extremely accessible — you can grab ’em and make (meal) plans for the weekend and week — it connects them with those farmers,” said Keira Kitchings, director of Mauldin Cultural Center, which is part of city government. Last year the owner of a restaurant and catering business in nearby Greenville brought his mobile burners and equipment to the market and gave demonstrations. “They go around and look at what vendors are selling that day and come up with recipes on the fly,” said Kitchings. “Last year, they created this really easy and really healthy dish that people could do themselves. It shows people, ‘Hey, find some local ingredients and find 10 minutes of time and you’ve got dinner.’” Bon Secours St. Francis Health System sponsors the BeWell market, but the city operates it. The market runs for three months starting in June and will also offer small-group fitness classes in the amphitheater and sell local produce, dairy, eggs, honey, baked goods and gifts.

Landrum Farmers Market/Landrum

“This helps us add more local options to the market, and as we say in Walterboro, ‘We like to keep our bucks in the ‘boro,’ to ensure that the money that we spend here stays in this economy.” Mardell said that, in addition to strengthening the local economy, the growth of unique, local businesses shapes the city’s identity. Others are noticing. The Colleton Commercial Kitchen, which is part of Colleton County government, draws entrepreneurs from the region and attracts tour groups sometimes as large as 80 people, along with officials from other South Carolina cities and towns who want to learn how the incubator works. “Quite often tour groups will call (the Walterboro tourism office) and then Homegrown food entrepreneurs arrange to come to our facility for a tour, In the City of Walterboro, the get lunch, visit our museum and marketColleton Commercial Kitchen operates place,” he said. a culinary incubator where several area “We are one big connected facility entrepreneurs have honed their skills with with the Colleton Museum and Farmers the help of kitchen infrastructure and Market, so it’s a very popular spot with training. They then sell their goods onsite tourists. with the goal of opening a storefront in The city welcome center also helps the city. advertise the incubator. “We’re one of those small towns “When big events come to town, overrun with fast food options and few quite often we are the first two organizalocal options,” said Matt Mardell, kitchen tions involved in coming together on a program manager. planning committee, and we are sought A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

out for our event space, food producers, storage and tourist attractions,” said Mardell. He said the city tourism staff also works with the kitchen staff on local boards, such as the Eat Smart Move More board. “The city is excited to feature and partner with the Colleton Commercial Kitchen when approached by potential new events hoping to come to Walterboro,” said Michelle Strickland, Walterboro’s tourism director. In this respect, the commercial kitchen advances community development by driving commerce, crowds and festivity to the city’s downtown. The event space, capacity for food delivery, storage and preparation, and general logistics are major benefits to any event held in the city, Strickland said. An example was the FestiVELO event. It brought more than 300 bicyclists to Walterboro for five days and four nights in November 2016 and is returning again this November with even bigger plans for the greater Historic Downtown District and potentially larger attendance. “The Colleton Commercial Kitchen is a key piece in moving Walterboro forward,” said Hank Amundson, Walterboro’s assistant city manager.

Cities Mean BUSINESS 9

FEATURE STORY Savannah River/ North Augusta



rom moving sewer lines to adding trails, South Carolina cities and towns are recognizing — and maximizing — the appeal of their rivers. That means taking any number of steps, such as adding a boat launch, rerouting infrastructure or securing an easement to open up public access and attract residents and visitors. The City of North Augusta has worked for years to take advantage of the Savannah River. In the 1990s, the city did

10 Cities Mean BUSINESS

a study on riverfront development and adopted the tag line “South Carolina’s Riverfront,” according to Lark Jones, who recently retired as the city’s mayor. In the mid-1990s, a private developer built a golf club and riverfront homes, which sold for up to $1 million. This was the catalyst that began to bring people into North Augusta and cultivate an identity for the city as something other than a bedroom community of Augusta, Ga., which sits across the river, Jones said.

As developments grew, the city retained access to the riverfront because city leaders believed public access would be key for future successful development. “The philosophy of the city has always been to provide public access to the river,” Jones said. “It’s part of the public realm that our residents own. When we develop these things, we want the residents to feel ownership.” The city had a greenway from a railsto-trails project and then added a 1-mile

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

spur to the riverfront. The spur circles the Brick Pond Park, which is a 40-acre restored wetland, water treatment system and public nature park. Significant developments continue at the riverfront. Project Jackson is a mixedused development that includes a new minor-league ballpark for the Augusta GreenJackets. A hotel, restaurants, shops, homes and condominiums all are underway near the riverfront. Other towns are investing in their riverfronts, as well. The Town of Ware Shoals succeeded in having its project to reroute a 40-year-old sewer line along the Saluda River included on the Greenwood County Penny Sales Tax Commission’s list of projects funded by the penny sales tax, which voters approved in 2016. This project addresses the dangers of possible pollution and contamination that come from having waste running through sewage pipes along the river, said Town Administrator Heather Fields. In addition, the town is working to improve Pitts Park, which lies along the shoals and offers access to the river. Fields said the town would like to clean up the park, add trash cans and restrooms, and make it handicapped accessible. The river is part of the Heritage Corridor, and signage there points to the kayak launch and access to fishing, Fields said. The park is a true gem of the community, she said. “On any given day, we have hundreds of people in the park,” she said.

Reaching an agreement Scores of people visit the Pacolet River Paddling Trail, and the Town of Pacolet has been working on other improvements to draw visitors to the riverfront area, according to Mayor Michael Meissner. “Providing public access to the river gives community members and individuals something to do,” Meissner said.

Saluda River/ Ware Shoals

For years, there was no public access to the Pacolet River, due in part to industrial sites located there. The town reached an easement agreement with Lockhart Power, which provides hydropower along the river, to create trails and allow public access to the water, Meissner said. The town has other projects in the works, including a new traffic circle in front of Pacolet Town Hall, and improvements, such as benches, to the park area and river walk. An old building known as the Cloth Room, which is a remnant of the textile mill, is undergoing renovations to become a community events center that will spur revitalization efforts by the river. Eventually, Meissner said, they hope to expand the trails, add a bridge, increase signage and expand a fishing pier.

‘Get connected to nature’ The Town of Calhoun Falls, located in the Savannah River Basin, provides numerous recreational activities for residents and visitors. Calhoun Falls State Park and the Blue Hole Recreation Area

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

offer boat ramps, playgrounds, picnic areas, and canoeing and kayak areas. The West Carolina Pavilion on Lake Russell hosts musical and outdoor events, said David Garner, Calhoun Falls town administrator. The town works closely with the Calhoun Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Russell Recreation and Tourism Coalition to plan and organize events and draw people to the area, he said. In the future, Garner said they hope to establish a rails-to-trails project accessible from downtown Calhoun Falls, to create a regional recreational trail linking the two counties of Abbeville and McCormick. The activities around Lake Russell and the Savannah River Basin offer an oasis from the fast pace of daily life. When cities embrace and enhance the rivers and waterways that make them unique, they can increase economic development while providing healthy spaces for citizens to enjoy the outdoors. “We want to get people disconnected from technology for a while and get connected to nature,” Garner said.

Cities Mean BUSINESS 11


CITIES WALK THE WALK and bike the path By Sarita Chourey

The Swamp Rabbit Trail 12 Cities Mean BUSINESS

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina



rekking from the car to the canned food aisle of a big box superstore can actually be more of a hike than walking across a city’s downtown. A few years ago, Randy Wilson, president of Community Design Solutions in Columbia, worked on a master plan in the City of Conway and superimposed the outline of a Walmart Superstore and its parking lot over the city’s downtown. The result: The drawing of the giant retailer covered almost the entire downtown core of Conway. “There was almost no place in downtown Conway that would be farther to walk than an experience at a Walmart,” said Wilson. “And yet, it feels like it’s such an inconvenience to walk.” Travelers Rest Mayor Wayne McCall explained how the beloved Swamp Rabbit Trail, a multi-use greenway that connects Travelers Rest and Greenville, was a very divisive idea when it was first discussed about 10 years ago. “It actually split the community almost in half — the folks that supported it and the folks that opposed it,” McCall said, during a panel discussion at the Mayor’s Bike & Walk Summit in Columbia in May. “The folks that opposed it, (said) ‘Well, that has always been a railroad, and it might bring a railroad back. … We don’t want change.’ Well, I can tell you about change — Change is going to happen. And it’s up to us to make it happen in a positive way.” The Swamp Rabbit Trail runs almost 20 miles and now annually draws more than 500,000 users, who have easy access to shops and restaurants from the trail in both Greenville and Travelers Rest. Cities and towns across South Carolina are laying the groundwork for streets and downtowns that invite walkers and cyclists. The objectives are clear: Improve

residents’ quality of life, appeal to visitors, manage traffic and parking pressures that come with growth, and bolster the local and regional economy. But encouraging walking and cycling often calls for more than just making physical changes to streets and infrastructure. Often it means changing people’s perceptions and attitudes.

New mindset “People are so accustomed to driving to the mall or Walmart and parking in this big open parking lot that they consider to be convenient, that they never calculate the fact the distance they walked from their car to the Walmart is equivalent of one or two city blocks,” said Wilson. Changing the public’s mindset is part of the process. “The burden is on us,” said Wilson. Ideally, where someone parks should not be a major factor. “It doesn’t matter, because everything you pass going from B to A is intriguing and oftentimes leads to discovery — ‘Wow, I had no idea that new bar, that new entertainment venue had opened.’ Otherwise, we get really frustrated. Not only did we not park in front of where we’re going to, but the walk there was unenjoyable.” He said the City of Columbia’s parking garage off Main Street shows how creating attractive and well-designed spaces around the structure to connect the garage with where people are going appeals to the public. “Sometimes we’ll have parking garages, but we don’t want to park there, because we have to walk through a scary, sketchy alley,” said Wilson. “For lots of communities, the experience to walk between parking garages is incredibly uncomfortable.”

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin led a community ride to celebrate Bike Month in May.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin pointed to another example of how changes to existing city spaces may face skepticism initially but can ultimately prove their worth in terms of greater foot and bike traffic. Benjamin said there were only a handful of people a few years ago who agreed the Lincoln Street Tunnel project — repurposing an old train tunnel downtown into a bike and pedestrian way — was a good idea. “’Who would want to go down into that tunnel? It’s not safe, it’s not clean,’” Benjamin recalled of the doubts that surfaced at the start of the effort. But perseverance paid off with a “huge psychological win,” when the highvisibility tunnel area in a vibrant entertainment district was transformed, said Benjamin during the mayor’s summit panel discussion. Cities Mean BUSINESS 13

The new Vista Greenway in Columbia (above) connects downtown to nearby neighborhoods.The cities of Greenville and Travelers Rest, along with Greenville County, maintain the 19.5-mile Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail (right).

Map it out Sometimes, things are already built and just need to be linked together conceptually for the pedestrian or cyclist. Officials in the City of York have increased walkability by highlighting existing places of interest and by encouraging and showing residents and visitors how to enjoy them on foot. York officials recently created a downtown walking tour map that notes a dozen historical markers. It was created as part of the Eat Smart Move More York County program. The 2.5-mile loop also marks points of interest, such as the county library and York Bike Trail. Additionally, it offers safety tips for walkers and bikers, such as to make eye contact with automobile drivers, to carry a flashlight while out at night, and to avoid headphones and cell phone usage when in a crossing. Eat Smart Move More York County awarded the City of York a $1,400 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield to design and print the walking map of the historic district. 14 Cities Mean BUSINESS

Additional funding from ESMMYC has allowed the city to make other improvements downtown. “These include painting and improving crosswalks and installing wayfinding and other directional signs that will help make York safer and more attractive for pedestrians,” said Carolyn Leake, York recreation director. “Hopefully we will be able to extend these improvements to other areas of the community in the future.” A similar mission of boosting walking and cycling is taking shape among local government officials in all parts of the state. For a cluster of Midlands cities, the push made sense as a team effort. The Central Midlands Council of Governments, the cities of West Columbia and Cayce and Town of Springdale are working together on the West Metro Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan to develop a comprehensive plan for active transportation.

The group is also undertaking a bike share feasibility study and adding a bike lane to a major thoroughfare in West Columbia, which was selected due to its sufficient right-of-way width for cyclists. The new lane will be funded by state and federal dollars, said Tara Greenwood, director of grants and special projects for the City of West Columbia. The city hopes the lane, to be designed and constructed by the S.C. Department of Transportation, will be ready to use by next year. In the Town of Blythewood, officials are planning and building a pedestrian and bicyclist friendly city, Town Administrator Gary Parker said. It’s a central feature of the town’s master plan. The county penny tax project of widening Blythewood Road, which is currently being engineered, will feature a bike-pedestrian multi-use trail in the right of way. “All this is now in its infancy,” said Parker. “But we hope to see it accomplished in the years ahead.”

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina



Photo/Reba Campbell

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Follow: Cities Mean Business @MuniAssnSC MuniAssnSC.blogspot.com


USC President Harris Pastides says the Siemens software can be applied to machines in real time.

MCNAIR, from page 24 students at the McNAIR Center a leg up when entering the workforce. “Students will have access to actual equipment they will use when they take a job,” Beasley said. “Most traditional fouryear students never see a piece of a plane, and it takes years to train. McNAIR students will have had hands-on training and be prepared for the challenges of an evolving advanced manufacturing environment.” Van Tooren called the software an enabler to move research forward at the McNAIR Center. “The combination of hardware and software is interesting,” van Tooren said. “I believe you must first do something with your hands before creating a model of it. Reality doesn’t just appear because you draw up something. “Siemens is not a software company, but a hardware company that has a large software department. They don’t live in a world where a student can do everything behind a screen; in the end, it’s the machine and people that make the aircraft. Software supports the development team, and that’s why this partnership is invaluable.”

About PLM


Product life-cycle management (PLM) is an information management system that can integrate data, processes, business systems and, ultimately, people in an extended enterprise, according to the Siemens website. PLM software allows a company to manage this information throughout the entire life cycle of a product efficiently and cost-effectively, from ideation (idea or concept), design and manufacture through service and disposal.



WAITING FOR TAKEOFF Decision on Lockheed Martin T-50A now rests with Air Force By Matthew Clark, Editor, GSA Business Report



he decision on whether Upstate workers will build the next advanced pilot training aircraft and ground-based system sits in the hands of the U.S. Air Force. Lockheed Martin officials turned over the required flight data on its T-50A — a joint venture with Korea Aerospace Industries — to the Air Force at the end of June. The T-50A is competing with three other aircraft for the multibillion-dollar contract replacing the aging T-38 trainer aircraft fleet. Greenville Operations was chosen in 2016 to be the final assembly and checkout site for Lockheed Martin, if awarded the contract. It would mean as many as 250 new jobs at the plant. Now, the Air Force will comb through the data from each entrant and make a decision, expected late this year or early in 2018. The competitors for the contract are: • a clean-sheet, or new, design from the


Lockheed Martin’s T-50A is under consideration as a training aircraft by the Air Force. Two of the aircraft are based in Greenville and have over 100 hours of flight between them. (Photos/Provided)

team of Boeing Co. and Sweden-based Saab AB; • a clean-sheet design from the team of Sierra Nevada Corp. and Turkish Aerospace;

• and the Javelin Mk-30 from Minnesotabased Stavatti Aerospace Ltd. Two other teams — Raytheon/Leonardo SpA and Northrop Grumman Corp./BAE Systems/L-3 Communications — dropped out of the competition shortly after the Air Force released its official request for proposal on Dec. 30, 2016. The request from the Air Force includes a ground-based training system as well as the actual jet. Initial estimates are for 350 trainers for the Air Force, with the potential for international orders following with congressional and White House approval. Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s aeronautics division, said the two T-50A aircraft already assembled and based at the S.C. Technology and Aviation Center in Greenville have over 100 hours of flight time between them. “Quite frankly, our competitors just don’t have those numbers,” Carvalho said.


“We are ready now to bring high tech, advanced manufacturing jobs to South Carolina.” During an April event in Greenville showcasing the T-50A for nearly 100 — including South Korea’s ambassador to the United States, Ahn Ho-Young — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., touted the partnership between Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries. They suggested that the partnership was another reason the Air Force should “strongly consider” the T-50A. “For us to be working with South Korea, it is a great opportunity to show just how strong we are here in South Carolina,” Wilson said. A Bloomberg Government report suggested if cost is a factor in the Air Force’s decision, the T-50A could have an upper hand as the aircraft’s older iteration, the T-50, is already in use in South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and Iraq. “It certainly can be a positive if it is something that can be put into production. The customer can get what it wants quicker and that usually leads to cheaper,” said Andrew Hunter, director of the Defense Initiatives Group for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. The winning contract for the next fighter-trainer will be for 350 aircraft over 16 years, according to Lockheed Martin officials.



TRENDING: AEROSPACE IN S.C. www.scbizmag.com


Looking for aerospace business in the City of Light S.C. companies find international opportunities at Paris Air Show By Licia Jackson, Editor


our South Carolina companies turned up the heat, quite literally, on aspirations for international business as they attended the Paris Air Show with Team SC in June. The visit to the major world air show was coordinated by SC Aerospace and the S.C. Department of Commerce, much as the two put together a visit to the Farnborough Airshow in the United Kingdom last year. “This was a good opportunity for us to engage as a South Carolina team,” said Eric Tremble, global marketing manager, aerospace, for Zeus Industrial Products, headquartered in Orangeburg. The other companies represented at the show were FSC Cutting Tools of Greenville, TIGHITCO of North Charleston and Innegra Technologies of Greenville. The companies applied to go on the trip and were selected based on the expected benefit from exposure at the Paris Air Show as well as to represent the diversity and landscape of the state’s aerospace cluster. The show had more than 2,300 exhibitors, with 300,000 people and 320 planes in attendance. The purpose of the TeamSC trip was to help South Carolina companies find international customers. “It’s clearly a B2B show,” said Mark Smith, president of Innegra Technologies, a manufacturer of high-performance fiber used in composites such as carbon fiber. “There were a lot of decision makers there. It’s an ordering and selling show.” The companies had booth space within the South Carolina Pavilion. They also received assistance in setting up meetings with possible client companies. “It’s a good way to meet with a lot of existing contacts in a short period of time and also to meet new customers,” said Darren Friberg, director of business development for TIGHITCO. “You meet with senior folks

at Spirit, Boeing. They are there to meet with suppliers and customers.” TIGHITCO, a part of the Intertech Group, manufactures composite structures for aerospace customers including Boeing. “I have a different target now that I know the companies,” said Afzaal Mir, president of FSC Cutting Tool Technology, which makes precision cutting tools for composites. He said he expects to be able to add 10 jobs to the 60 at his company as he secures new business overseas. The Paris Air Show includes companies from Europe, Asia and the Middle East as well as the United States. Attending it might be too costly for companies on an individual basis, but the shared expenses along with possible aid from the S.C. Export Incentives Program help make it more affordable. Another value of the show is seeing the new technologies, products and aircraft, Friberg said. “You’re looking at the needs and requirements of the companies, how to support customers better.” It’s an excellent way to see “where the aerospace industry is going, with new developments and new technologies,” Tremble said. Zeus manufactures advanced polymers and thermoplastics used in wire and electric harnessing as well as other uses. In aerospace, contracts are long-term, from seven to 10 years, Smith said. “They have very high quality expectations, and the qualification requirements (to bid on a contract) are higher.” The attendees mentioned the unseasonable heat Paris was experiencing during the show, held June 19-25. Much of the action is outside. They were thankful for upgraded air conditioning in the S.C. hall. As for 2018, plans are underway for the Farnborough Airshow in July. Companies interested can send an email to Adrianne Beasley (abeasley@sccompetes.org).





est Places to Work in South Carolina is a multiyear initiative to encourage the state’s companies to focus, measure and move their workplaces toward excellence in the hope that they will attract and keep talented employees. Recognizing the Best Places to Work in South Carolina is an initiative between SC Biz News – publisher of the Charleston Regional Business Journal, the Columbia Regional Business Report, GSA Business Report and SCBIZ magazine – and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. The companies who choose to participate are surveyed by Best Companies Group, an independent research company. The research is a two-part process. In part one, the employer completes a questionnaire about employee policies and procedures, among other information. In part two, employees


Event photography by Jeff Blake

2017 answer an employee survey. The collected information from both sets of questions is used to determine the strengths and opportunities of each participating company. The workplaces are then ranked based on this data. All participating companies receive an individual Assessment Findings Report that not only summarizes and sorts employee feedback, but includes South Carolina

benchmarking data for comparison. Each participating company pays a fee that covers the cost of research, the survey and report. The cost an individual company would have to pay if the analysis were done independently would be considerably more. Economies of scale apply when Best Places Group conducts a survey with a large number of companies from the same state. We are convinced that the real value of participating in the program is not whether a company wins an award but in the employee survey feedback it receives. The report will enable a company to develop and implement the strategic steps necessary to create a great workplace and continue to improve the performance of its business. On the following pages, we present the Best Places to Work in South Carolina for 2017.

Sponsored by




GET A LIFE Work/life balance includes days at and away from the desk By Jenny Peterson




arah Leitner is a new mom with a full-time job. She has to juggle parenthood with being a high-performing marketing manager at work. For most people, this balancing act would be a highly stressful experience. But her employer, Palmetto Technology Group in Greenville, is among a number of companies that offer employees a flexible work schedule for a healthy work/life balance, even allowing employees to work from home on occasion. “It’s incredibly valuable to me as a new parent,” Leitner said. “I can leave when I need to take my child to the doctor without feeling guilty about being out of the office.” John Shuford has the same benefits at Equiscript in North Charleston. The regional sales manager and single dad enjoys a flexible work schedule and unlimited paid time off (PTO) to run family errands. “This freedom, without guilt, allows me to balance my personal responsibilities with my work,” Shuford said. “If anything, the generosity of this policy probably has me working longer hours because I’m so appreciative.” That’s the idea behind work/life balance initiatives at many of this year’s Best Places to Work companies: happier employees

As an award for winning a company goal, a Hire Dynamics team got to attend a local comedy show-dinner night. After the show, they were able to ‘take the stage’ for some impromptu photos. (Photo/Provided)

who work harder, even if that means fewer days behind a desk. “When I first started Equiscript, we had a more traditional PTO policy,” said Mike Burkhold, CEO of the company. “What we learned was that supporting our employees’ lives outside of work is one of the best things we can do to allow them to focus and commit to their careers while they are at work.” Leitner said the flexible schedule at Palmetto Technology Group allows her to focus more on work rather than being

stressed by a rigid time clock. “I know my job performance isn’t being graded based on how many hours I am in the office – it’s based on my performance,” she said. The key to making a flexible work schedule a success is creating a company culture that trusts employees, along with the full backing of company management. “We’ve chosen to adopt a flexible work schedule and trust that our team members will not abuse it,” said Reed Wilson,

The millennial factor Today, a flexible work-life balance is all but required to attract and retain discerning millennials, employers find. Best Places to Work winners acknowledge the growing number of millennials and their unique workplace styles, but also note that this demographic values employer efforts to be socially conscious and give back to the community. This includes volunteering and performing community service during work hours. “One consistent theme we see in our

Top employee perks Here are some innovative options offered by employers among the Best Places to Work in S.C. for 2017:

Culinary excursion

Elliott Davis Decosimo employees feel like winners kicking off their United Way campaign with an office tailgate party. (Photo/Provided)

millennial population is the desire to be a part of something bigger, to really engrain themselves in the community around them,” said Dale Thrush, executive director of human resources at Advoco in Greenville. “Because of this, we put a big focus on ‘Advoco for Good,’ the charitable giving arm of our company.” With 200 millennial employees – 47 percent of its total – South Carolina Federal Credit Union in North Charleston has implemented more community involvement initiatives to engage younger employees. “They want their passion to help serve a purpose,” said Meggan Corbin, human resources manager. “Community involvement allows them to continue to grow and make a difference.” At VantagePoint Marketing in Greenville, younger employees are encouraged to teach older co-workers the particulars of social media and new digital technology. It’s “reverse mentoring,” which further bonds those in the workplace. “Millennials bring a different perspective on life and work to our company,” Thrush said. “They challenge us to evaluate how we do things and if we can be doing things better.”

VantagePoint Marketing in Greenville offered employees a “Culinary Excursion,” which tied into their marketing focus for the food service industry. Each employee was given a Friday off work and $600 to spend on a long weekend in a new city, including a culinary tour.


founder and CEO of Palmetto Technology Group. “In our experience, this has led to great employee retention and high levels of engagement.” At PhishLabs in Charleston, unlimited PTO for employees is only possible with full employee accountability. “It wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have a trusting and collaborative culture that is supportive of each other’s work/life needs,” said Suzie Rybicki, vice president of talent management. “Our team members love the opportunity to work remotely on occasions or schedule personal appointments during the day and not feel like they’re being judged. It has created a great sense of camaraderie in covering for each other when team members are out.” With over 500 employees, Life Cycle Engineering in Charleston makes flexible work schedules possible by accommodating different daily schedules. “We offer team members the ability to work a schedule that allows them one day off every other week,” said Caleb Shomo, vice president of human resources. “Other employees can opt to arrive early and leave earlier in the day, or to arrive later and work later.”

Grape picking Advoco in Greenville makes its own wine. Every year team members go to California to pick grapes and bottle the previous year’s yield.

All-inclusive vacations At Edwards Jones, thousands of financial advisers earn all-expense-paid Edward Jones Travel Award trips to exotic destinations across the globe each year. An additional “Where in the World is Edward Jones?” online contest features branch associates dropping clues about their locations. Correct guesses get associates into a drawing for an all-expensespaid trip anywhere in the continental U.S. Advoco pulls out all the stops for its annual Christmas party. In 2016, the company sent every team member and a guest to an allinclusive resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Mission trip www.scbizmag.com

Equiscript employees take part in a highly competitive ugly holiday sweater contest. (Photo/Provided)

Top leaders at Equiscript in North Charleston represented the company at a OneWorld Health Mission trip to Nicaragua. CEO Mike Burkhold and CFO Steven Kerr left during the summer for the trip, and the whole Equiscript team worked together to support and embrace the cause at work.







The companies are listed by ranking. Large companies have 250 or more employees. The numbers given here are for their employees in South Carolina.


1. Edward Jones City: Florence Employees in SC: 589 Industry: Financial services - other www.edwardjones.com Edward Jones is the nation’s largest financial-services firm in terms of branch offices, with more than 12,300 U.S. locations. Every aspect of its business, from investment types to branch locations, is designed to cater to more than 7 million clients in communities where they live and work. Financial advisers work with clients to understand personal goals – from college savings to retirement – and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. The typical Edward Jones branch has one financial adviser and one branch office administrator serving clients in neighborhoods where they live and work. The firm pays expenses, installs technology and provides all the training and support needed to succeed. Edward Jones is a partnership owned by 19,000 limited partners and 418 principals,

all associates. It is headquartered in St. Louis and operates in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. All income after expenses is paid out to associates through bonuses, profit sharing and partnership earnings.

4. Fred Anderson Toyota of Columbia


2. Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange


City: Charleston Employees in SC: 65 Industry: Insurance (non-healthcare) www.pureinsurance.com/index PURE provides comprehensive propertycasualty insurance for high net worth individuals and families including high value homes, cars, jewelry and art, and personal excess liability coverage. PURE boasts a fun and modern workspace that promotes collaboration and interaction. Events include frequent happy hours, a summer picnic and family trick-or-treating for children of employees. Employees have access to a Passion Fund, from which PURE will provide up to $1,500 a year toward a non-work-related passion.

3. Elliott Davis Decosimo City: Greenville Employees in SC: 309 Industry: Accounting www.elliottdavis.com Elliott Davis Decosimo provides comprehensive assurance, tax and consulting solutions to diverse businesses, organizations and individuals. With a network of forward-thinking professionals in major U.S. markets and alliance resources across the globe, the firm ranks among the top 30 and fastest-growing accounting firms in the U.S. Employees receive office and firm-wide recognition for milestone years of service and monetary bonuses for successfully completing the CPA certification exam within one year of hire, as well as for exceptional client service.

City: Columbia Employees in SC: 103 Industry: Automotive www.andersonautomotivegroup.com Anderson Automotive Group is a family owned and operated business in North Carolina and South Carolina. The group has Toyota, Nissan and Kia dealerships in Raleigh, Sanford, Fayetteville and Asheville, N.C, and in Columbia and Charleston. With all dealerships known as “The Family Store,” the business is rooted in family values and structured with several family members serving in key positions.

5. Total Quality Logistics City: Daniel Island Employees in SC: 119 Industry: Transportation www.tql.com Total Quality Logistics is a fast-paced, energetic sales organization within the transportation industry. The company arranges truckload delivery and pickup for business-to-business freight movements across North America. Using its industry expertise along with cutting-edge, proprietary


technology, TQL negotiates truck loads, rates and destinations between companies needing products hauled and truck carriers delivering goods. TQL, with offices in 25 states, arranged the movement of more than one million loads of freight last year.

6. South Carolina Federal Credit Union City: North Charleston Employees in SC: 422 Industry: Financial services - other www.scfederal.org South Carolina Federal Credit Union is headquartered in North Charleston. More than 155,000 members own and belong to the not-for-profit financial cooperative, which has more than $1.6 billion in assets. South Carolina Federal is a communitychartered credit union. Anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Calhoun, Orangeburg or Georgetown counties, and most of the Columbia area, is eligible to join. South Carolina Federal has 19 financial centers, and ATMs throughout Charleston, Columbia, Georgetown, and Florence.

7. Southern Diversified Distributors City: North Charleston Employees in SC: 62 Industry: Distribution sddholdings.com Southern Diversified Distributors is a flooring covering distributor. The privately held investment company is comprised of subsidiaries William M. Bird, TranSouth Logistics and East Bay Supply Co. Southern Diversified Distributors provides investment support, including financial management, human resources and information technology, for its entire family of companies.

8. BAE Systems Inc. City: Aiken Employees in SC: 104 Industry: Defense www.baesystems.com/us Headquartered in Arlington, Va., BAE Systems Inc. employs approximately 32,300 in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, and Israel, and generated 2015 sales of $10.4 billion. BAE Systems

provides support and service solutions for current and future defense, intelligence and civilian systems; designs, develops and manufactures a wide range of electronic systems and subsystems for both military and commercial applications; produces specialized security and protection products; and designs, develops, produces, and provides service support of armored combat vehicles, artillery systems and munitions.

9. Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union City: Columbia, SC Employees in SC: 279 Industry: Banking www.palmettocitizens.org Palmetto Citizens’ goal is to be the best place for its member owners, and a great place to work! Palmetto Citizens provides essential financial products and services to its members such as checking accounts, mortgage loans, car loans, IRAs, VISA, savings and investment type services. The credit union especially works to improve the financial well-being of members, with the ability to provide valuable products and services that are in the best interest of members, both by saving them money compared to other financial institutions and by offering financial products that are intended to truly benefit them as consumers.


10. Life Cycle Engineering


City: Charleston Employees in SC: 114 Industry: Consulting www.LCE.com Life Cycle Engineering provides consulting, engineering, applied technology and education solutions that deliver lasting results for private industry, the Department of Defense and other government organizations. The quality, expertise and dedication of its employees enable Life Cycle Engineering to serve as a trusted resource that helps people and organizations achieve their full potential. Founded in 1976, LCE is headquartered in Charleston, with offices across North America and experience around the globe.


City: Columbia Employees in SC: 100 Industry: Services – Other www.cpisecurity.com For more than 20 years, CPI Security has been a leader in customized security and home automation solutions. CPI’s best in class customer service and state of the art technology bring fast, personal response when needed. CPI is one of the only providers to design, install, monitor and service its own security systems. The inTouch platform keeps the customer connected to his home bringing real-time knowledge with remote interactive services like system alerts, video monitoring, temperature and door control.

12. Terminix Service Inc. City: Columbia Employees in SC: 737 Industry: Pest control www.TrustTerminix.com For 70 years, Terminix Service Inc. has been protecting the health, property and environment of the residents of South Carolina, western North Carolina, and the CSRA Georgia. Locally owned and operated, Terminix Service provides quality pest control through professional training, state of the art equipment and the most advanced treating technology. Terminix Service also provides precision pest control with its residential ProSTAR Pest Control Service. Provided on a quarterly basis, this concentrates on getting control of pests before they enter the home.

13. Denny’s


City: Spartanburg Employees in SC: 426 Industry: Restaurant www.dennys.com Denny’s, headquartered in Spartanburg, is America’s favorite diner. Opened over 60 years ago in 1953 by founder Harold Butler, he promised “To serve the best cup of coffee, make the best donuts, give the best service, offer the best value and stay open 24 hours a day.” Today that donut stand is a restaurant chain with over 1,700 locations and a proven reputation for keeping Mr. Butler’s original promise. Denny’s is always



open, always welcoming and always serving up hearty classic American food along with a mug of fresh hot coffee.

14. Select Health of South Carolina City: North Charleston Employees in SC: 596 Industry: Health care - insurance/services www.selecthealthofsc.com Select Health of South Carolina, part of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, partners with South Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services to offer First Choice by Select Health of South Carolina (First Choice), the state’s oldest and largest Medicaid managed care health plan, to more than 350,000 members, across all 46 counties statewide. First Choice is the top-rated Medicaid plan in South Carolina, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2015-2016, and has been since 2010. SHSC also offers the First Choice VIP Care Plus Medicare-Medicaid Plan in 39 South Carolina counties.

15. SYNNEX Corp. City: Greenville Employees in SC: 687 Industry: Technology www.synnexcorp.com SYNNEX Corp., a business process services company, provides business-to-business services that help customers and business partners grow and enhance their customerengagement strategies. With operations in 26 countries, SYNNEX is an industry leader in IT distribution and customer care outsourced services, operating in two business segments: Technology Solutions and Concentrix. SYNNEX is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SNX) and was ranked 212 on the 2016 Fortune 500 list.


16. Molina Healthcare of SC


City: North Charleston Employees in SC: 271 Industry: Health care - insurance/services www.molinahealthcare.com Molina Healthcare of SC contracts with the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services and serves as a health plan

providing a wide range of quality health care services to families and individuals who qualify for government sponsored programs including Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

17. Interim HealthCare of Greenville Inc. City: Greenville Employees in SC: 277 Industry: Health care - Provider www.interimcares.com Interim HealthCare provides home health, hospice and personal care services to patients, allowing them to remain at home while receiving care. The company also provides telemonitoring services and staffing for health care facilities and providers in the Upstate.

18. Fred Anderson Toyota of Charleston City: Charleston Employees in SC: 114 Industry: Automotive www.andersonautomotivegroup.com Anderson Automotive Group is a family owned and operated business in North and South Carolina. The group has Toyota, Nissan and Kia dealerships located in Raleigh, Sanford, Fayetteville and Asheville, NC, and Columbia and Charleston. With all dealerships known as “The Family Store,” the business is rooted in family values and structured with several family members serving in key positions.

19. Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP City: Columbia Employees in SC: 122 Industry: Legal www.wcsr.com Established in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1876, Womble Carlyle now comprises 550 lawyers in 15 offices, including Charleston, Columbia and Greenville. A full-service business law firm, Womble Carlyle serves a wide range of regional, national and international clients in industries that include health care, life sciences, financial services, commercial real estate, intellectual property/patent, and telecommunications, as well as educational institutions and governmental bodies and agencies.

20. ScanSource Inc. City: Greenville Employees in SC: 685 Industry: Technology and services provider www.scansource.com ScanSource, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCSC) is a leading global provider of technology products and solutions, focusing on pointof-sale, barcode, physical security, video, voice, data networking and technology services. ScanSource’s teams provide value-added solutions and operate from two segments, worldwide barcode, networking and security and worldwide communications and services. ScanSource is committed to helping its resellers and sales partners choose, configure and deliver the industry’s best solutions across almost every vertical market in North America, Latin America and Europe. Founded in 1992, the company is headquartered in Greenville and ranks No. 685 on the Fortune 1000.

21. South State Bank City: North Charleston Employees in SC: 1725 Industry: Banking www.southstatebank.com South State Bank has been serving the financial needs of individuals and businesses in the South since 1934. By staying true to its values of relationship banking and commitment to customers, it is one of the fastest growing banks in the Southeast. South State Bank provides customers in the Carolinas and Georgia with financial needs for themselves or their business. This includes personal and business banking services, lending needs, mortgage and investment needs.

22. McAngus Goudelock & Courie LLC City: Columbia Employees in SC: 263 Industry: Legal www.mgclaw.com McAngus Goudelock & Courie is a metricsdriven law firm built specifically to meet the needs of insurance companies and their customers. From 13 regional offices, the firm serves clients across the Southeast. It includes practitioners with varying levels of experience, ranging from senior litigating

23. Charleston Water System City: Charleston Employees in SC: 433 Industry: Water and wastewater utility www.charlestonwater.com Charleston Water System is a public water and wastewater utility. It provides clean water services to the Greater Charleston community. Formally known as the Commissioners of Public Works of the City of Charleston, it is an independent utility governed by an elected board of commissioners. The utility’s associates protect public health and the environment of the community by providing high quality, reliable water and sewer services.

24. WYNIT Distribution City: Greenville Employees in SC: 159 Industry: Distribution www.wynit.com WYNIT Distribution is a leading North American wholesale distributor of emerging technology and products from top brands in the independent retail, photo/video, specialty print, and sports and recreation industries. Based in Greenville, the company serves a wide range of customers from large national retailers and e-tailers to independent resellers through dedicated business units and strategically located distribution facilities.

a more streamlined, automated approach, flexible solutions are consistently executed with the exceptional quality and efficiency built from over 20 years of experience. Headquartered in Fort Mill, Lash Group employs more than 4,000 associates across five offices throughout the country.

26. RealPage - Greenville City: Greenville Employees in SC: 244 Industry: Technology www.realpage.com This is no ordinary apartment leasing call center service. The RealPage Contact Center works around-the-clock cultivating the premium leads that convert to more leases, and acting as a natural extension of a company’s leasing and marketing team — and Property Management Group. The RealPage Contact Center leasing agents undergo four weeks of intense training to become one of the market’s biggest competitive advantages, fielding prospect inquiries and maintenance requests when onsite leasing staff cannot, responding to calls, online chats, and emails 24/7.

27. Sage Automotive Interiors Inc. City: Greenville Employees in SC: 861 Industry: Manufacturing www.sageautomotiveinteriors.com Sage Automotive Interiors develops and manufactures innovative automotive bodycloth and headliners preferred by automotive manufacturers around the world. The company has established a reputation for being on the cutting edge of design and engineering, with technical capabilities supported by world-class manufacturing.


partners to associates, as well as paralegals and professional support staff. The firm strives to understand the insurance defense industry, and works with clients to help achieve their goals in the most cost-effective way possible.

28. Continental Tire the Americas City: Fort Mill Employees in SC: 1585 Industry: Manufacturing www.conti-online.com Continental develops intelligent technologies for transporting people and their goods. As a reliable partner, the international automotive supplier, tire manufacturer, and industrial partner provides sustainable, safe, comfortable, individual and affordable solutions. Continental currently employs more than 220,000 people in 56 countries.

25. Lash Group, a part of AmerisourceBergen


City: Fort Mill Employees in SC: 1461 Industry: Health care - insurance/services www.lashgroup.com Lash Group, a part of AmerisourceBergen, is a patient support services company. Associates work with purpose, and put patients at the center of everything they do. To support patients, Lash Group strategically designs and delivers patient support programs that improve access, affordability and adherence to vital therapies. Whether program needs are highly complex or require






SMALL-MEDIUM COMPANIES The companies are listed by ranking. Small to medium companies have fewer than 250 employees. The numbers given here are for their employees in South Carolina.


1. Advoco Inc. City: Greenville Employees in SC: 24 Industry: Technology www.advocoinc.com Advoco is a leading management and consulting services company delivering Infor Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) services and implementation. Headquartered in Berkeley, Calif. with a technology office in Greenville, a Northeast delivery branch in Syracuse, NY, and remote employees in six other major U.S. cities, Advoco helps companies optimize business performance through an improved application and implementation of Infor EAM. Advoco’s team of flexible, creative and highly experienced Infor EAM and maintenance consulting professionals help companies increase efficiency and productivity. Advoco forms a trusted partnership and continues to meet the complex needs of leading organizations including Fortune 1000 accounts and leading private and public organizations around the world. In Latin, advoco means “to call in an adviser.” Advoco means expecting the success that comes from a trusted adviser.

affordable private alternatives is severely limited, MSS is providing children with transformational educational opportunities. The focus is on schools because MSS believes that educational opportunity is the gateway for economic and personal achievement.


2. Meeting Street Schools — Meeting Street Academy


City: Charleston Employees in SC: 48 Industry: Education www.meetingstreetschools.org Meeting Street Schools (MSS) is a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to the creation of a new mandate for education in South Carolina and beyond. MSS was founded upon the belief that all children deserve an excellent education regardless of their geographic or socioeconomic circumstances, and all children have the ability to excel in the classroom. Where access to quality public education or

3. Hire Dynamics City: Greenville Employees in SC: 17 Industry: Staffing www.hiredynamics.com Hire Dynamics is an industry leading staffing provider for manufacturing facilities, supply chain, e-commerce, logistics. contact/call centers and corporate offices.

4. Accelera Solutions City: North Charleston Employees in SC: 58 Industry: Technology www.accelerasolutions.com Accelera is a leading provider of cloud computing, mobility, and virtualization solutions with a focus on private, public, and hybrid cloud, end user computing, workplace mobility and virtualization. Its focus areas include desktop as a service, infrastructure as a service, cloud assessments and migrations, backup/coop/dr, end user mobility, enterprise virtualization, and IT managed services.

5. Sentar City: Charleston Employees in SC: 33 Industry: Defense www.sentar.com Sentar is a small, woman-owned business providing advanced cyber security and information assurance services, as well as related products to customers, primarily within the DOD and Armed Forces. Sentar’s

6. Equiscript LLC City: North Charleston Employees in SC: 59 Industry: Health care - Insurance/services www.equiscript.com Equiscript is dedicated to improving access to health care in the communities it serves. A pharmacy services management company, Equiscript runs 340B home delivery pharmacy programs on behalf of hospitals and clinics. These programs generate muchneeded revenue for qualifying hospitals and health centers, helping them keep high-risk, high-need patients healthier and happier.

7. Recruiting Solutions City: Columbia Employees in SC: 47 Industry: Staffing www.recruitingsolutionsonline.com Recruiting Solutions was established in 1992 as a local, independent, woman-owned staffing and recruiting company. The key to its success has been building quality, long-term partnerships for both client companies and field associates. With over two decades of experience through branches in Greenville, Columbia, and Florence, Recruiting Solutions developed strong partnerships with top companies and talented job seekers in the Upstate, Midlands, and Pee Dee areas, as well as across the Southeast.

8. Palmetto Technology Group

9. Experience Columbia SC City: Columbia Employees in SC: 51 Industry: Hospitality experiencecolumbiasc.com Experience Columbia SC directs and manages the activities and mission of the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Experience Columbia SC Sports, and Visitor’s Center. Experience Columbia oversees the development and operation of the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center under a long-term management agreement.

10. HudsonMann City: Mount Pleasant Employees in SC: 15 Industry: Consulting www.hudsonmann.com HudsonMann provides consulting, training, and HR outsourcing solutions to companies nationwide. With a primary specialty in Affirmative Action Plan and OFCCP compliance, HudsonMann works with federal contractors and subcontractors to develop and support their Affirmative Action Programs. HudsonMann also provides online and on-site training services in a number of HR compliance areas.

11. Quality Business Solutions Inc. City: Travelers Rest Employees in SC: 30 Industry: Services – other www.qualitybsolutions.net A 100% woman-owned business, QBS is a cost effective outsource solution for noncore business functions. Its integrated PEO/ ASO services include payroll administration, unemployment management, insurance, benefit administration, human resources, workers’ compensation, tax reporting and more.

12. VantagePoint Marketing City: Greenville Employees in SC: 24 Industry: Advertising/public relations/marketing www.vantagep.com VantagePoint Marketing is a B2B marketing and advertising agency that specializes in food service marketing, serving a select group of regional, national and global clients. Vantage Point has significant depth of experience in marketing, advertising, branding, digital and public relations. It also has experience in transportation, packaging, technology, health care, advanced materials and building products industries.

13. Ceterus City: Charleston Employees in SC: 61 Industry: Technology www.ceterus.com Ceterus empowers entrepreneurs by replacing the hassle of bookkeeping and accounting with Edge, a complete, “DoneFor-You” solution. Combining the expertise of professional accountants with cutting edge technology, Edge provides insight to small business owners, freeing their time to focus on what they do best.

14. New South Construction Supply City: Greenville Employees in SC: 46 Industry: Building products distributor www.newsouthsupply.com New South Construction Supply specializes in building products distribution, mainly in the Sunbelt, but across the U.S. and abroad as well.

15. SCRA City: Summerville Employees in SC: 32 Industry: Economic development www.scra.org SCRA supports entrepreneurs and bridges the gap from friends and family financing to later-stage investments. The SC Launch program provides investments, grant opportunities, mentoring and support to early-stage technology companies. Participants are closely aligned in the


City: Greenville Employees in SC: 21 Industry: Technology www.GoPTG.com Palmetto Technology Group offers customers managed IT services and supplemental IT support, specifically focused on helping companies securely move to the cloud. PTG gives the companies the freedom to focus on growing their own business, without having to worry about technology problems. PTG helps address

problems before they happen and helps customers plan for the future.


passion is protecting our nation’s security and our way of life, by innovating, building and securing mission critical assets. Sentar currently has over 135 professional technical staff members providing technology and services.



following industries: advanced materials/ manufacturing, information technology and life sciences.

16. Mount Pleasant Waterworks City: Mount Pleasant Employees in SC: 119 Industry: Water and wastewater utility www.mountpleasantwaterworks.com Mount Pleasant Waterworks is a public water and wastewater utility that provides clean water service to the Town of Mount Pleasant and surrounding areas east of the Cooper River. Founded in 1935, MPW serves approximately 38,000 customers, with an average daily usage of 8 Million gallons per day (MGD). In addition, MPW operates four reverse osmosis plants, six deep wells, and eight ground or elevated storage facilities, with over 550 miles of water lines. The wastewater system includes 480 miles of lines, and 162 wastewater pump stations.

17. Scott and Company LLC City: Columbia Employees in SC: 23 Industry: Accounting www.scottandco.com Scott and Company LLC is a full-service firm of certified public accountants, with offices in Columbia and Greenville, providing a comprehensive range of auditing, tax, small business and specialized consulting services to clients in various industries, including real estate, medical, manufacturing, hospitality, government, nonprofit, banking and insurance, among others.


18. Bauknight Pietras & Stormer P.A.


City: Columbia Employees in SC: 60 Industry: Accounting www.bpscpas.com Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, PA, is one of the Southeast’s largest and most trusted accounting and consulting firms. The firm puts its extensive experience in public accounting and with the IRS to work in serving a wide range of corporations, privately-held companies, health care

providers, emerging or start-up firms, nonprofits, and successful individuals.

19. in-tech Automotive Engineering City: Greer Employees in SC: 66 Industry: Engineering www.in-tech.com in-tech is an innovative engineering company focusing on electronics and software. As specialists in development and digitalization, it offers a comprehensive service portfolio to manufacturers and systems suppliers in the automotive industry as well as to engineers of manufacturing and transportation systems.

20. VC3 City: Columbia Employees in SC: 63 Industry: Technology www.VC3.com VC3 offers managed IT services, private cloud services, hosted VOIP, custom web applications, sharepoint consulting, and website design and hosting. VC3 has more than 20 years of experience providing a full range of Information Technology solutions and services to hundreds of organizations.

21. Softdocs City: Columbia Employees in SC: 74 Industry: Technology www.softdocs.com Softdocs develops enterprise content management, e-forms and process automation solutions exclusively for the higher education and K-12 markets. The company’s Etrieve platform redefines business processes, reducing the need for paper and improving student service and employee productivity by providing educational institutions complete control over how content is captured, processed and distributed.

22. Travel Nurse across America City: Florence Employees in SC: 77 Industry: Staffing www.nurse.tv

Travel Nurse across America places travel nurse professionals on multiweek assignments in health care facilities in all 50 states. The company is one of the top 10 largest health care recruitment firms in the country.

23. JEAR Logistics City: Mount Pleasant Employees in SC: 75 Industry: Transportation www.jearlogistics.com JEAR provides full and less-than truckload services (refrigerated, dry and flatbed) throughout the United States and Canada. Improving ways to serve customers and carriers is JEAR’s passion and it demonstrates success by staying abreast of industry trends, investing in technology and pledging a higher level of personalized service.

24. First Reliance Bank City: Florence Employees in SC: 135 Industry: Banking www.firstreliance.com First Reliance Bank, founded in 1999, has assets of approximately $408 million, and employs over 130 highly talented associates. The bank serves the Midlands, Low Country, North Myrtle Beach, Loris and Florence markets. First Reliance Bank offers several unique customer programs which include a Hometown Heroes package of benefits to serve those who are serving our communities, Check ‘N Save, a community outreach program for the unbanked or under-banked, a Moms First program, and an iMatter program targeted to young people.

25. Abacus Planning Group Inc. City: Columbia Employees in SC: 29 Industry: Financial Services - Other www.abacusplanninggroup.com Abacus Planning Group is a fee-only financial planning and investment counsel firm headed by Cheryl R. Holland, CFP. Abacus creates an environment that makes work fun, and also offers personal investment management of personal investments.

26. Rhythmlink International LLC

27. KeyMark Inc. City: Pickens Employees in SC: 87 Industry: Technology www.keymarkinc.com Since 1996, KeyMark has been a leading provider of enterprise information management solutions delivering data capture, document management, workflow and case management across the enterprise. KeyMark believes that information should be easy and helps clients leverage technology to increase efficiencies and decrease operating costs in industries such as commercial, financial services, government, health care, insurance, manufacturing and wholesale/ distribution.

28. The Brandon Agency City: Myrtle Beach Employees in SC: 53 Industry: Advertising/public relations/marketing www.thebrandonagency.com The Brandon Agency is a full-service, fully integrated marketing agency. Its services include branding, research, strategic marketing and planning, media, creative, public relations, interactive, video production and social media.

City: Summerville Employees in SC: 149 Industry: Distribution www.hjleedistributors.com Founded by Henry J. Lee Sr. in Charleston in 1961, Lee Distributors joined Reyes Beer

30. Trehel Corp.

33. Kopis

City: Greenville Employees in SC: 60 Industry: Construction www.trehel.com Trehel Corp. is committed to the design and construction of high-performance buildings that enrich the human experience. The company is an industry leader in preconstruction, design-build, general contracting and construction management. From small renovations to multimillion dollar projects, Trehel builds throughout the Carolinas and Georgia. Established in 1982, Trehel was instrumental in bringing the design-build method to Upstate South Carolina.

City: Greenville Employees in SC: 19 Industry: Technology www.kopisusa.com Kopis creates game-changing custom software and business intelligence solutions. The company believes innovative technology solutions have the power to dramatically improve clients’ profitability. From cloud and mobile applications to predictive analytics and data warehousing, Kopis works to show companies and people with exceptional vision that there is a better way.

31. CF Evans and Co. Inc. City: Orangeburg Employees in SC: 60 Industry: Construction www.cfevans.com CF Evans and Co. is a general contractor firm specializing in multifamily construction. It provides a full range of services including concept analysis, preconstruction and construction management. CF Evans is a family-owned business and treats its employees like family.

32. Immedion City: Greenville Employees in SC: 51 Industry: Technology www.immedion.com Immedion’s objective is to keep customer business-critical data and applications available 100% of the time every day. They accomplish this by coupling world-class data center facilities and a strategic array of managed services developed to deliver the highest degree of reliability at a very competitive price. Since 2007, Immedion

34. Hawkes Learning City: Mount Pleasant Employees in SC: 80 Industry: Technology www.hawkeslearning.com Hawkes Learning specializes in educational technology and publishing. The company has created an innovative, educational courseware platform providing instructional content and mastery-based learning to enhance student success in mathematics, statistics, and English college courses.

35. Find Great People LLC City: Greenville Employees in SC: 68 Industry: Staffing, consulting, executive recruiting www.fgp.com Find Great People is a nationally recognized recruitment and human resources consulting organization that specializes in multiple functional areas across industries throughout the United States and internationally. Since 1982, they have served as career partners for organizations and professionals with the goal of developing long-term relationships built on performance and client satisfaction.


29. Lee Distributors

has provided its customers with fully redundant power, Internet bandwidth, cooling and humidity control to secure their IT infrastructure. Customers leverage Immedion’s enterprise-class data centers and cloud services to minimize critical computer system downtime caused by commercial power outages, Internet problems, or other system failures.


City: Columbia Employees in SC: 45 Industry: Manufacturing www.rhythmlink.com Rhythmlink International designs, manufactures and distributes medical devices and provides custom packaging, private labeling, custom products and contract manufacturing to its customers. Rhythmlink is recognized as a leader within its field at providing the important physical connection between patients and the diagnostic equipment to record or elicit neurophysiologic biopotentials.

Division in 2006. Lee Distributors sells and distributes nearly five million cases of some of the world’s best known and loved brews along with a number of great craft beers to nearly 2,000 accounts along the Southeast coast of South Carolina and the seven surrounding counties. The company operates from Summerville and a branch facility in Beaufort.



36. O’Neal Inc. City: Greenville Employees in SC: 202 Industry: Integrated engineering and construction www.onealinc.com O’Neal is an employee-owned, nationwide provider of design, construction and facility services for a variety of clients in industrial, manufacturing, and process chemical activities. The firm is headquartered in Greenville, with an additional office in Atlanta, Ga.

37. J. Davis Construction City: Westminster Employees in SC: 69 Industry: Construction www.jdavisinc.com J. Davis Construction is a full-service commercial and industrial contractor serving the Carolinas and Georgia. The company primarly operates in two divisions, an industrial division and a general contracting division. Its employees have experience ranging from small maintenance projects to $60 million projects.

38. Central Electric Power Cooperative Inc.


City: Columbia Employees in SC: 49 Industry: Generation and transmission electric cooperative www.cepci.org Central is a generation and transmission cooperative owned by South Carolina’s 20 distribution electric cooperatives. These organizations are committed to providing affordable and reliable electricity to over 1.5 million consumer members located in all 46 counties in the state.


39. Advanced Technology International City: Summerville Employees in SC: 159 Industry: Research and development www.ati.org ATI will be the premier force in uniting the best and brightest research and development teams to solve the nation’s greatest challenges. It aims to fundamentally improve the way government and industry execute their R&D portfolios. ATI embraces workplace innovation to foster an agile and energized workforce focused on meaningful work that brings value to our nation.

40. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Co. City: Greenville Employees in SC: 74 Industry: Insurance (non-health care) www.rosenfeldeinstein.com Rosenfeld Einstein, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, is a full-service, independent insurance agency and consulting firm in its third generation of family leadership. Its philosophy is to design highly personalized programs for clients in which the agency first provides assistance as a trusted adviser and advocates for their needs. The agency’s broad areas of specialty include employee benefits, business and personal coverages, financial planning, workplace safety consulting and wellness programs.

41. Electric Guard Dog LLC City: Columbia Employees in SC: 61 Industry: Services – Other www.electricguarddog.com Headquartered in Columbia, Electric Guard Dog, the No. 1 Theft Deterrent Service in the U.S., is the market leader in electric security fences and perimeter security in the country. As a security partner for over 3,700 commercial and industrial locations across the U.S., the company protects businesses from theft and provides a safer work environment for employees while reducing total security costs.

42. PhishLabs City: Charleston Employees in SC: 85 Industry: Technology www.phishlabs.com PhishLabs provides 24/7 services that help organizations protect against the cyberattacks targeting their employees and their customers. Top organizations worldwide, including four of the five largest U.S. financial institutions, trust PhishLabs to fight back against cyberattacks targeting their employees and their customers. Using a powerful combination of proprietary technology, specialized security operations, and deep threat intelligence, PhishLabs detects threats early in the attack process and takes rapid action to mitigate attacks before damage is done.


Ports, Logistics & Distribution


By Matthew Clark, Editor, GSA Business Report

BMW adds $800 million to investment in Spartanburg County plant


n top of the $1 billion being invested in expanding its plant in Spartanburg County, the BMW Group is planning a further $800 million investment in infrastructure and training at the facility. BMW Group Chairman Harald Krueger made the announcement recently during the company’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of its Spartanburg plant announcement. Of the new dollars, $600 million will be spent on plant production infrastructure and the remaining $200 million will be for additional associate training and the launch of a national training program. The new investment is expected to create 1,000 new jobs by 2021, bringing the total number of employees at the facility to more than 10,000. Krueger said the training program is a culmination of work with colleges to “offer a combination of training on


BMW X3. (Photo/BMW Manufacturing Co.)

the job and earning a degree.” Since initially announcing the plant, BMW Group has invested $8 billion in the facility, which has rolled out nearly 3.9 million vehicles since starting production on Sept. 8, 1994. The $1 billion investment announced in 2015 is to create a production line for the new X7 model scheduled to be unveiled in 2018. As of today, the facility produces around 1,400 of BMW’s X3, X4, X5 and X6 models

each day. Its more than 411,000 vehicles produced in 2016 made it the largest manufacturing facility in the BMW chain. Current maximum production capacity is 450,000 vehicles per year. More than 70% of those vehicles are exported to 140 countries. “The presence of this company has changed everything in the trajectory and the future of our state,” S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster said. In addition to announcing the new investment, BMW rolled out its latest X3 model. The newest in the line will be equipped with the M sport package — the only X3 model to have the package. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the work of BMW in Spartanburg is a testament to globalization. He called on President Trump to work with Germany and other countries on trade deals to make exporting from South Carolina more economical.

By Chuck Crumbo, Editor, Columbia Regional Business Report

VW to use S.C.-made Giti tires on 2019 model


G 44

iti Tire, which is building a 1.8-million-square-foot plant in Chester County, has received confirmation that two of its Giti-brand tire sizes will come as original equipment on the 2019 Volkswagen Passat. The announcement marks the first OEM placements for Giti brand tires that will be manufactured at the $560 million plant, expected to begin production later this year. Officials of the Singapore-based tire company said Giti’s “Made in America” tires will be on Passats assembled at Volkswa-

gen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. “One of our stated goals when we announced the Chester County plant was to become a valued original equipment supplier in North America,” said John Aben, senior vice president of OE & Consumer Sales North America, for GITI Tire (USA) Ltd., headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. “Today’s announcement is an important step in that direction, and we are thrilled that this first announced fitment is with such a prestigious automaker.” The company’s premium All-Season

Giti ComfortA1, which will be available on the U.S.-made Passats, will be sized in 235/45R18 95H and 235/40R19 92H. A Giti Tire brand has been sourced as original equipment on the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, the German automaker’s all-new full-size sport utility vehicle (SUV), to be produced at VW’s Chattanooga plant. Giti’s South Carolina plant, which will have the capacity to produce five million radial passenger and light-truck and SUV tires annually, is expected to create about 1,700 jobs over the next 10 years.



By Liz Segrist, Staff Writer

Leaving recession behind, port plans for big ships


he Port of Charleston’s future growth hinges on successfully completing several large-scale infrastructure projects and ensuring a consistent cargo base to support those investments. As the port moves into fiscal year 2018, it seems to have overcome the depressed volumes caused by the recession in the early part of the century, port officials said. In fiscal year 2017, ended June 30, the S.C. State Ports Authority handled more than 1.2 million pier containers — a 10% jump from the year prior. Those volumes surpass the previous record set in 2005, when workers moved 1.1 million boxes. From 2011 to 2016, the Port of Charleston grew its TEU volume by 45% — faster than any other port in the country, according to data from the American Association of Port Authorities. Norfolk grew the second-fastest with 38% growth, followed by Savannah at 24%. “We are back to where we were in 2005 and beyond that … We wanted to solidify ourselves as a top 10 container port because that’s what it takes to invest,” S.C. State Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome said of Charleston’s No. 9 ranking, based on container volumes. The newly expanded Panama Canal and the anticipated raising of the Bayonne Bridge between New York and New Jersey open the East Coast to a higher frequency of larger ships. The first 13,000-TEU ship


Fiscal year 2017 volumes


The fiscal year saw some tumultuous months industrywide as shipping company consolidation continued, one of the largest shipping lines, Hanjin, went bankrupt, and Charleston’s volumes declined for several months. The port ended the fiscal year breaking record volumes, however. S.C. State Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome said the port “had a good year,” enabling significant investment in infrastructure projects to continue through 2020. Source: S.C. State Ports Authority

arrived in Charleston Harbor in May only to be eclipsed a few weeks later by a slightly larger ship. In response to this trend, the ports authority board recently approved the agency’s largest capital spending plan to date. The fiscal year 2018 budget includes $262 million for port infrastructure. Much of that money will pay for ongoing projects, driving toward an end-of-decade completion. “We’ve got an ambitious plan going forward for this year,” Newsome said. Renovation work began this summer on the third and final berth at Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant, strengthening the pilings below and the terminals’ sides and surface to handle larger ships and 155-foot-tall cranes. The project should wrap up in March. Site preparations at the future Hugh Leatherman Sr. Terminal on the old Navy Base in North Charleston near completion, meaning the ground should soon be ready for vertical construction. With many larger ships unable to clear the Don N. Holt Bridge to access the North Charleston Terminal, port officials emphasized the need for the future terminal’s location and capacity. Perhaps the biggest project underway at the port is the deepening of the Charleston Harbor to 52 feet. The initial construction — involving dredging the harbor’s entrance channel — is likely to begin in December with contracts awarded this fall.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District and the S.C. State Ports Authority signed a project partnership agreement, enabling this work to begin. The contract essentially outlines involved parties’ roles and cost-sharing responsibilities. The entire project is expected to cost $529 million, with $330 million coming from the federal government and $199 million from the ports authority. The state set aside $300 million for the project in 2012, which will be used for the port’s cost share. Earlier this year, the federal government set aside $17.5 million in federal funding from the fiscal year 2017 work plan. The new agreement enables the Charleston District to begin spending set-aside funds. Port funding can cover both its portion and the federal portion of construction costs — with the plan of getting reimbursement from the federal government. This enables the project to move along in the absence of full federal funding, although there is no guarantee of reimbursement. Newsome said the S.C. Legislature has been instrumental in securing funding early on, showing the federal government that the project has support. He said the ports authority and S.C. legislators now “have to keep the pressure on for federal funding.”

Fiscal year 2017 and percent change from FY 2016




Total TEUs

Cruise passengers


Up 10.0%

(an industry measurement representing 20-feet of container)

Up 5.6%

Down -5.8%


By Liz Segrist, Staff Writer


n undisclosed number of Boeing South Carolina workers who help ensure 787 Dreamliners are flightready have received voluntary layoff notices. Flight-ready technicians and flight readiness technician inspectors received voluntary layoff letters from Boeing earlier in the summer, company spokeswoman Loretta Gunter said in an email. Workers had to decide whether to accept by Aug. 4. The company declined to share how many employees received the offers. Boeing has been shedding thousands of jobs, particularly in Washington state, since early 2016, when company executives said cost-cutting measures were needed to boost the manufacturer’s competitiveness with rival Airbus. Around 7,400 jobs were cut in Washington last year, and more layoffs have occurred in 2017, according to The Seattle Times.

At the end of July, Boeing South Carolina had 7,236 employees. (Photo/Kim McManus)

As of July 27, Boeing South Carolina employed 7,236 people — down 329 workers from January, according to company data. The S.C. site had its highest employment in March 2014 with about 8,400 employees, data show. No involuntary layoffs occurred during this most recent round of notices at Boeing South Carolina. In June, Boeing sent fewer than 200 involuntary layoff notices to employees in a variety of departments — a first for the North Charleston campus. Those

workers do not leave payroll until Aug. 25, Gunter said. Voluntary layoffs have occurred at the Lowcountry aerospace campus in the past. In April 2016, 200 workers received voluntary notices, followed by 600 voluntary notices handed out in January. In the past year, the Boeing S.C. site opened a new paint facility for Dreamliners, rolled out the first 787-10 Dreamliner, was visited by President Donald Trump and held a unionization election with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in which voters overwhelmingly turned down union representation. Boeing’s Lowcountry operations include building all three models of the 787 Dreamliner, producing interior components for the 787, making engine parts for the 737 Max and 777X, and running centers for information technology and for research.


Boeing trims work force through layoffs



1,000 WORDS


A bumble bee works on pollinating the colorful bloom of an old-fashioned lantana in a Forest Acres garden, near Columbia. The lantana is a member of the verbena family, Verbenaceae, and attracts bees and hummingbirds. (Photo/Chuck Crumbo)


Profile for SC Biz News

2017 SCBIZ - Fall  

SCBIZ is the quarterly magazine serving senior level decision-makers across the entire state of South Carolina. In addition to the print pub...

2017 SCBIZ - Fall  

SCBIZ is the quarterly magazine serving senior level decision-makers across the entire state of South Carolina. In addition to the print pub...

Profile for scbiz

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