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September 24, 2015   Chamber Website Facebook Twitter YouTube

GE highlights the importance of Ex-Im Bank reauthorization.


General Electric Co. said that it plans to put 400 jobs in France instead of at its power turbine plant in Greenville, S.C. and two other U.S. locations because Congress didn't re-authorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States, as reported by Dolph Bell of the Greenville News. Ted Pitts, president of SC Chamber, had this comment: “When American businesses are hurting because the federal government puts politics ahead of competitiveness, the unfortunate consequence is that jobs suffer, and that is why the SC Chamber continues to fight for the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank. This announcement extends beyond GE to the many small businesses across South Carolina that work with GE and will also suffer as a result of more inaction from Washington. Congress should stop stalling and take the vote to reauthorize the bank for the sake of American jobs and business – Washington putting politics over jobs is the reason Americans are fed up with Congress.”  

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Palmetto Vision Award Winners include Manufacturer of the Year

Among the winners September 10 for the 2nd Annual Palmetto Vision Awards Gala were the 2015 South Carolina Manufacturers of the Year. The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce was pleased to recognize businesses and individuals for excellence in manufacturing, human resources and workplace diversity. However, the most special part of the night came when the Diversity Council awarded Emanuel AME the Excellence in Community Diversity Award for their leadership during the most trying time for our state. Reverend Doctor Goff was on hand to accept the award, and it was an honor to hear from him as he discussed forgiveness and love. The Chamber presented a touching tribute to the Emanuel 9 and you can view that HERE.

A full list of the winners is below and you can read our press release here. You can also view our full photo album from the Gala HERE. Manufacturing is integral to who we are as South Carolinians. We are already looking forward to seeing you next year!

List of Award Winners
Manufacturer of the Year:
The Boeing Company South Carolina (large company)
T&S Brass and Bronze Works Inc.  (small/midsize company)
Excellence in Workplace Diversity:
Google South Carolina (large company)
Starbucks Coffee Company – Sandy Run Roasting Plant (small/midsize company)
Human Resources Professional of the Year:
Tanya Weldon, MHRD, PHR, Gildan USA, Inc
Special Award: Excellence in Community Diversity:
Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, S.C.

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Tribute to Emanuel Church
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SC’s Manufacturing Growth Leads the Southeast out Of Recession

Great news!  South Carolina’s manufacturing industries have gained 6 percent from the employment level at the end of the recession.  Apart from South Carolina, only Tennessee has seen positive manufacturing employment growth since then (a modest +0.5%).  According to the SC Department of Commerce, here are the number of jobs gained / lost in manufacturing for each of the southeastern states since July 2009:

Alabama -5,500
Florida -6,300
Georgia -300
Louisiana -1,000
Mississippi -5,100
North Carolina -6,300
South Carolina +12,400
Tennessee 1,400
Virginia -11,400

Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Program, March 2012

Current Employment Statistics
SC Workforce Statistics
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Continental Invests $500 million in Sumter County

Continental has broken ground on the expansion of its Sumter facility, which will increase tire production capacity from approximately four million units planned for 2016 to approximately eight million units and will more than double the current 700 jobs within the facility. Total employment is projected to reach 1,600. Tires produced at the Sumter plant will help meet the increasing demand for Continental and General brand tires from both aftermarket business and automotive manufacturers.

The second phase of construction is expected to bring the plant’s full production capacity to approximately eight million units per year by 2021. Altogether, Continental will invest more than $500 million into the Sumter plant and create about 1,600 new jobs. With the expansion, Continental has met the total projected investment of more than $500 million announced in October 2011.

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Continental Tires
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Manufacturers Day is October 2

Courtesy National Association of Manufacturers

MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

Supported by a group of industry sponsors and co-producers, MFG DAY is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges. The rallying point for a growing mass movement, MFG DAY empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.

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