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June 26, 2015   Chamber Website Facebook Twitter YouTube

South Carolina Jobs in Jeopardy


By Ted Pitts, Special to The Herald

For more than 50 years, Morrison Textile Machinery has been a major employer of Lancaster County, a region that is growing at a rapid pace. Lancaster is the fastest growing county in South Carolina and the 26th-fastest in the U.S. York County is the fourth-fastest growing in the state and 68th in the nation.

Thanks to the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, companies such as Morrison have attracted global customers who have helped keep South Carolinians employed through good times and tough times. Morrison has remained a legacy for generations of local employees and the families they support. Like Morrison, several other companies in York County utilize the Ex-Im Bank, including Honeywell International in Fort Mill, Hydra Platforms Mfg. in Rock Hill and Northcourse Imports in York.

Just 12 days remain before the deadline to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. The Ex-Im Bank, an export credit agency that helps tens of thousands of American businesses sell their products overseas, will lose its charter unless reauthorized by Congress by June 30.

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S.C. Jobs Pipeline: Not Just a Problem for Parents

If there’s one lesson South Carolina has finally mastered, it’s that when it comes to economic development, incentives are nice, but it’s the indigenous workforce that makes or breaks a deal. Developing a highly-skilled and well-educated population is integral to increased job opportunities. States with the highest levels of educated citizens will have the advantage in attracting and creating jobs, thus improving the state’s overall standard of living. South Carolina must start now, and the business community supports initiatives that will transform the current education system to achieve that goal. The private and public sectors must work together to ensure workforce needs are addressed.

See the agenda. Learn from the S.C. State Superintendent of Education as she explains the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. Her talk dovetails with the S.C. Department of Commerce’s presentation on matching economic development to workforce development. Hear from experts at SCDEW, legislators, university researchers, business leaders and educators representing kindergarten to higher ed. Register today.

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Business Community Joins Governor Haley Calling for the Removal of Confederate Flag From State House Grounds

In 2000, prior to the General Assembly voting to remove the Confederate Flag from atop the S.C. Statehouse dome, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce was a vocal leader in supporting its removal. We join Governor Nikki Haley in calling for the state legislature to act in an expeditious manner. The business community of South Carolina expects the General Assembly to deal with this issue. The South Carolina Chamber mourns for those affected by the tragedy in Charleston, and we commend South Carolinians for responding with grace and unity. South Carolina is a great place to live, work and do business. This effort will only make it better.

On a related note, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s partner organization, SC BIPEC, has set up an education fund to help the children of Senator Clementa Pinckney. Reverend Pinckney is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and daughters Eliana, 11, and Malana, 6 years of age.

A contribution check may be made out to the Senator Clementa Pinckney Children’s Education Fund, BB&T, PO BOX 687, Columbia, SC 29201.

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Haley's Statement
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Governor Haley and Coach Staley team together to announce teacher supply drive

The Original Six Foundation and INNERSOLE will be teaming together to host a Teacher Supply Drive. Donations will be accepted in July. The purpose of this drive is to collect needed school supplies in an effort to offset out-of-pocket expenses for both teachers and students for the 2015-2016 school year. The drive will benefit teachers in the counties that The Original Six Foundation serves: Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Clarendon, Dillon, Marlboro, Marion and Union.  

In addition, INNERSOLE will be collecting shoe donations for second graders and providing them to students for back-to-school incentives to engage students in reading. As part of the EDUCATE MY SOLE initiative there will be a yearlong competition for students to actively participate in class, attend school, practice good behavior, engage in physical fitness, and enhance reading skills.   

All DMVs around the state will serve as drop-off locations for donations. Collection boxes will be placed inside of each building. Any and all teachers from the eight counties will be able to go online and create a wish list of items they specifically need for their classrooms. Donors can either choose a specific teacher to support, and order materials via links on the foundation’s website, or they can physically drop off donations at their closest DMV branch. General supplies are welcome too which will be distributed evenly among all schools in these counties.

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Local Apprentice Wins ABC National Craft Championships

The Charleston Electrical Contractors Association (CECA) is proud to announce that Jesse Babington, with Watson Electrical’s Charleston, SC branch was named the overall best residential/commercial electrical apprentice in the nation.  Babington won the residential/commercial Electrical Division Gold Medal at the 2015 National Craft Championships.  Babington, a fourth year apprentice in CECA’s nationally registered electrical apprenticeship program, won the competition that was recently held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  The competition was an intense two-day event consisting of written and practical hands on exams.  The National Craft Championships are conducted by the national Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of which CECA is an affiliate through the ABC Carolina Chapter.  CECA articulates their electrical apprenticeship with Trident Technical College for advanced standing in their electrical program.

Babington, a 1996 Fort Dorchester High School graduate, is the first person in South Carolina to win a National Craft Championships in any category.

national Craft Championships
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