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January 27, 2015   Chamber Website Facebook Twitter YouTube

Legislators Talk Infrastructure, Workforce Development at
Business Speaks


The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce hosted a town hall-style meeting last Tuesday featuring two legislative panels that talked about business priorities and the most pressing issues facing the South Carolina General Assembly. Presented by Zeus Industrial Products, Inc., much of the conversations centered on positions featured in the 2015 Competitiveness Agenda.

Business Speaks had a bipartisan focus on infrastructure funding and the need for workforce development initiatives. Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman (Florence) said he has “no interest in a Band-Aid” when looking for a sustainable revenue source for the state’s system of roads and bridges. “If we are going to fix it, we’re going to fix it completely,” he emphasized. He also thanked the business community for “stepping up to the plate on infrastructure,” referencing the unified business support for action on funding. Regarding workforce development, Senator Leatherman noted that South Carolina has more per capita foreign investment than any other state in the nation and that we must educate South Carolinians to fill the jobs that are coming. “The biggest incentive is a skilled workforce,” he said. See more of what Senator Leatherman said.

Speaker of the House Jay Lucas (Darlington) explained the cost of waiting to fix roads. He noted that once a road is beyond rehabilitation, it can cost upwards of $250,000 a mile to replace it as opposed to $11,000 to maintain it. “It continues to worsen while we wait,” said Lucas, who encouraged members of the business community to keep up the pressure. Speaker Lucas also touted diversifying funding sources for infrastructure, something most other states already do. “We will not solve the problem with one revenue source,” he said.  See more of what Speaker Lucas told business leaders.

Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler (Cherokee) echoed that “everything’s on the table” regarding highway funding. He feels a bipartisan bill that could get the governor’s support would be the best path to a successful plan. And Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setzler (Lexington), who has released a funding plan, encouraged bipartisan leadership on the issue. See more of their conversation.

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CEO Corner Features SCDOT Director

Join South Carolina Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ted Pitts as he sits down with South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Executive Director Janet P. Oakley to discuss why South Carolina’s businesses are paying closer attention to infrastructure than ever before.

And, don’t miss the upcoming Infrastructure Forum, February 24 in Columbia.

CEO Corner
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Infrastructure Forum: All Aboard!

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s Infrastructure Forum is trucking along, and the final event destination is less than a month away! Don't miss this discussion on one of the business community's top priorities! There are many great topics, speakers and panels planned including U.S. Congressman Tom Rice, who will discuss federal funding. Other topics covered include: 

  • Transportation Needs and Priorities
  • Legislative Panel: Infrastructure Challenges and Opportunities
  • Road Users: Real Life Situations
  • How Infrastructure Impacts Tourism
  • SC Ports Update
  • Local Government Infrastructure
  • Design and Cost to Build Roads
  • How Other States Fund Infrastructure
  • Alternative Modes of Transportation

Various investment opportunities are also available including the exclusive Presenting SponsorshipThe Competitiveness Agenda Series is comprised of four informational forums covering the key aspects of the Chamber’s Competitiveness Agenda, including infrastructure, health care, environment/energy and education/workforce. Investors may select individual or multiple forums based on a company’s needs and exposure level. For event sponsorship inquiries, please contact Paul Dunn at 803.255.2566.

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Manufacturers Conference: Hotel Deadline is today!

Today is your last chance to receive the discounted rate for the 5th Annual Manufacturers Conference, presented by McNair Law Firm, PA. The conference, held this year for the first time in Greenville, is set for February 11-13.  
 Topics include:

A discounted rate of $155.00 per night is available at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville. Your hotel reservation must be made by Tuesday, January 27, 2015, to ensure space is available and secure the special rate. Book your room today!

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