With so many burgeoning industries creating seemingly endless opportunities for South Carolina manufacturing, it’s no wonder so many companies have chosen to manufacture there. As home to top companies such as Honda, Boeing, Patheon (Thermo Fisher Scientific), Volvo, Samsung, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Michelin, to name a few, South Carolina is mastering industry 4.0 and continuing to look toward the future. But what does the future of South Carolina manufacturing look like?
For starters, breakout industries and exciting startups are rapidly popping up across the state, bringing a new frontier of technology and new job possibilities. In the startup sphere, South Carolina has numerous tech companies, including one that is particularly applicable to manufacturers in light of their impending skills gap: ENGAGE AI Talent Intelligence provides artificial intelligence (AI)-powered software that uses predictive analytics to help companies attract talent and reduce turnover.
South Carolina has enacted many perks and incentives to entice manufacturers, including a:
- Corporate income tax rate of just 5 percent, one of the lowest rates in the Southeast
- Jobs tax credit that encourages companies to bring good-paying jobs to the region
- Research and development (R&D) tax credit of 5 percent
- Port volume increase tax credit for eligible manufacturers and businesses with at least 75 net tons of goods for cargo
- 5 percent investment tax credit, for which those of you shopping for new equipment at SOUTHTEC could be eligible*
The 5-percent R&D tax credit mentioned above applies to companies such as StormRider Technologies — one of South Carolina’s most versatile research companies — which is currently working with Nkanea Technologies to develop new technology for surface modification in biomedical applications.
South Carolina manufacturing not only benefits from financial incentives, it also benefits from a layer of protection provided by Gov. Henry McMaster’s approval of H. 3653 in February 2018. Better known as “the nuisance bill,” this law was passed to protect manufacturers from unfounded complaints regarding their operations. It states that manufacturers cannot be found a nuisance, public or private, provided they are following all state and federal laws and local ordinances, and have all proper licensing in place. McMaster has been a very vocal supporter of continued growth in South Carolina manufacturing throughout his tenure as governor.
Education is also a part of South Carolina’s appeal to manufacturers. The state’s solid, forward-thinking education plan to address the manufacturing skills gap aims to secure not only the present state of growth in South Carolina manufacturing, but the industry’s future as well.
“High school students and their parents must be made aware that these new opportunities are readily available,” said McMaster in his State of the State address on Jan. 23, 2019. “My executive budget prioritizes funding for our technical colleges to identify and recruit local businesses to participate in collaborative partnerships with high schools; to create internship opportunities; to promote certificate completion. This will provide our local businesses with a pipeline of future employees who are ready to work.”
McMaster’s budget includes $63 million in additional dollars dedicated to workforce training and development, and triples new lottery funding for workforce scholarships and grants to help students attend South Carolina’s technical colleges.