Commerce Minister: SC has 500 active economic development projects

South Carolina Commerce Secretary Harry Lightsey said the state has as many as 500 active economic development projects.

While none of them are likely to support SC, Lightsey said there are about 93 other businesses in the state committed to expanding or entering the state.

Upgrade the SC’s “engine”

When the Lexington Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center spoke at a “Business for Lunch” event last week, Lightsey declined to provide a full list of economic development projects, but he did specifically mention the North, calling it the “engine of business” South Carolina.

“The north is a very attractive part of South Carolina,” Lightsey said.

Lightsey said the region will play an important leadership role as the auto industry in the North continues to grow in size as the industry transitions to electric vehicles, which he called “the biggest change since the Henry Ford era”.

It also remains unclear which companies will enter the north. Still, he noted that rural counties have invested heavily in facilities and infrastructure to allow businesses to move to the state and start as quickly as possible. These investments are mainly related to industrial parks, regulated buildings or infrastructure improvements such as electricity and internet access.

“A lot of these investments are starting to pay off,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean the state doesn’t have competition.

Regional states such as North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee are competing with Palmetto, Lightsey said, stressing the importance of continuing the state’s partnership with industry and providing a business-friendly environment.

Works well at the local, state level

“We’ve worked really well at the local and state level,” Lightsey said. “The people of South Carolina impressed the CEO.”

He also praised the technical college system, saying programs like readySC — which provides customized recruiting and training solutions for companies bringing new jobs to the state — provide professional help that attracts businesses. high-demand jobs.

“Our technical college system is world-renowned,” he said.

As for economic headwinds, Lightsey said there are no signs of any national slowdown yet.

“We need to see what the future might bring,” he said.

Key Economic Data for SC

  • Workforce: 2,399,637
  • Greenville/State Unemployment: 3.1%/3.2%
  • Available online job postings: 106,900
  • Regional population: 920,477
  • Average hourly wage, Greenville/state: $28.89/$28.24
  • Greenville Manufacturing Growth July 2021-July 2022: 5%

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