Berkeley Means Business

Berkeley County joined state and local leaders on June 23 to celebrate the grand opening of the Volvo Car University Campus and Technical Center located in Ridgeville.

The campus consists of buildings that, together, make close to 89,000 square feet available for training and office space. With the addition of these buildings, the company will better educate retailer technicians on current vehicle technologies.

This grand opening will bring more opportunities to Berkeley County citizens and the state of South Carolina.

Read more about Volvo Car University here.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – XIFIN, a national leader in revenue cycle management (RCM) for diagnostic providers, today announced plans to establish operations in Berkeley County. The company’s new East Coast location will create more than 150 new jobs over the next two years.

With over 20 years of experience helping diagnostic providers manage business and optimize revenue cycle through the company’s cloud-based RCM and laboratory information systems, XIFIN offers clients access to the information and tools needed to optimize financial visibility and operations, including understanding business trends, ensuring maximum reimbursement and improving cash flow.  

Read full article by S.C. Department of Commerce here.

Nexton Announces Groundbreaking of High-Profile Commercial Property CoOp@Nexton

Summerville, S.C. – July 9, 2019 – Nexton, a 5,000-acre master-planned community under development in the heart of Charleston’s I-26 growth corridor in Summerville, South Carolina, announced today the groundbreaking of CoOp@Nexton, the first high-profile commercial parcel in Nexton’s Parkway District.

CoOp@Nexton launches Nexton’s commercial corridor and will function as an office and retail center with several commercial businesses in addition to a mid-rise multifamily community by The Spectrum Companies and a Refuel gas station and market. The parcel will additionally include green space with multiple trails and park elements, including an open lawn for lively activities and shaded spaces for quiet reflection. 

Home Telecom, one of the largest independently owned telecom companies in South Carolina, is building a two-story, 20,000-square-foot office building featuring a Home Telecom customer service center. The first floor will consist of the customer service center and 5,200 square feet designated for traditional office space or ground-level retail. The building’s second floor will offer wired 10 Gbps Internet access and Wi-Fi to 8,000 square feet of workshare or concept office space for small and start-up businesses. The building is expected to open by May 2020.

“As Nexton’s technology partner, Home Telecom is a natural fit for CoOp@Nexton,” said William S. Helmly, Home Telecom’s president and CEO. “This high-tech building provides the ideal location and resources for employees, and the inclusion of concept offices fills a void for Summerville’s growing number small-business owners.”

The Spectrum Companies, a commercial real estate firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is developing a community of 345 apartment homes featuring a variety of floorplans as well as some carriage-style units, all with upscale design and finishes. Amenities include a resort-style saltwater pool and expansive clubhouse with two-story fitness center, pool-side lounge areas and grilling and fire pits areas across the property. Spectrum expects to break ground this fall and to welcome the community’s first residents by spring of 2021.

“This project will provide a high-quality multifamily housing option and offer easy access to employment centers and lifestyle amenities in this fast-growing part of the Charleston region,” said Spectrum Vice President Ian Wagoner. “We’re proud to help build a sense of community in this exciting neighborhood with so many opportunities.” 

Gas station and convenience store Refuel is also opening a 4,500-square-foot flagship store at CoOp@Nexton. This will be the brand’s sixth Charleston-area location.

“As a company founded in Charleston, we’re proud to have been selected for this exciting location,” said Mark Jordan, Refuel Inc.’s owner and CEO. “Refuel at CoOp@Nexton will provide nearby employees, residents and visitors with healthy food, premium quality gas and top-notch service.” 

Those interested can learn more about Home Telecom and CoOp@Nexton’s available office space at Nexton Square’s July 19 Sounds on the Square event. A family friendly summer concert series in partnership with the Town of Summerville, Sounds on the Square will feature music by The Caroline Keller Band and bites from Sportsbook of Charleston along with free Wi-Fi provided by Home Telecom.


About Nexton

Nexton is owned by a business entity of North America Sekisui House, LLC (NASH), and is developed by Newland. NASH and Newland share a deep commitment to sustainable development practices and apply these core values to the vision, planning, and development of their projects. Nexton is one of more than 20 assets the NASHNewland partnership owns and manages together across the US. |      

Editorial Contact:

Cassie Cataline


Media Contact:

Lou Hammond Group

Kelsey Donnelly / Parker Butler /

843-628-3426 / 843-628-6112


MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Friday, May 31, 2019) Berkeley County will host an information meeting to provide training for manufacturing positions on Thursday, June 13th at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at St. Stephen Elementary School. It is open to Berkeley County residents looking for manufacturing jobs.

            When: Thursday, June 13, 6 pm.

            Where: St. Stephen Elementary School, 1053 Russellville Road, St. Stephen

            Why: Help connect Berkeley County residents with the necessary training for manufacturing positions

Attendees will have the opportunity to sign-up for the upcoming ManuFirstSCTM, formerly known as Lean Manufacturing, course that will begin on Saturday, July 20 on the St. Stephen Elementary School Campus. This 3-week course, concluding on August 9, will provide the necessary training to qualify candidates for positions at industries around Berkeley County and throughout the state of South Carolina. The course is free for candidates who are Berkeley County residents.

The information session will include presentations from representatives at Trident Technical College, Berkeley County Economic Development, Adult Education with Berkeley County School District, and more.

About ManuFirstSCTM – Berkeley County worked in partnership with Trident Technical College, South Carolina Department of Commerce, Volvo Cars, and Ready SC to pilot the program in June of 2017. More than 150 people graduated from the Lean Manufacturing course, which put them on the path to employment opportunities at Volvo Cars in Ridgeville. Since then, neighboring counties have emulated the training program to provide opportunities for residents around the state with more than 900 graduates in the Tri-County area, including 350 Berkeley County residents. SC Department of Commerce has rebranded the program to ManuFirstSCTM and has begun to roll it out across the state’s technical college system by industry demand.

Interested candidates are asked to sign-up for the information session here:


                                                     – Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office –

[May 30, 2019] – Berkeley County was pleased to welcome Absolute Haitian to their new plant in Moncks Corner today at the grand opening ceremony.

The 116,000-square-foot facility is located in Mount Holly Commerce Park, right off Highway 52.

Absolute Haitian manufactures plastic injection molding machinery. The company broke ground on the facility in January 2018. The company invested $14 million and will create 50 new jobs.

The facility is designed to provide additional capacity and capabilities to support Haitian International’s product lines for injection molders in the U.S. and Canada. The company already has existing facilities for the U.S. and Canada in Worcester, Mass.; Cleveland, Ohio; and Batavia, Ill.; plus, warehousing in southern California.

In a statement, Absolute Haitian said that approximately 100,000 square feet of the new Moncks Corner facility is dedicated to manufacturing, warehouse, and demonstration space with the capacity to assemble and test large tonnage machines and store stock machines and aftermarket parts. “High ceilings accommodate large tonnage presses even when equipped with top entry automation,” the company said. “Three overhead cranes including one 50-ton crane, plus multi-level docks and reinforced concrete flooring facilitate the delivery and storage of large- tonnage machine assemblies. The facility’s drive-in dock enables flatbed trucks to move fully loaded onto the floor for more convenient unloading.” The facility also has 16,000 square feet of space for a training centre, applications engineering offices, and sales functions.

“Although other states along the eastern seaboard were considered, economic development officials in the state of South Carolina and regional economic development groups helped make the selection an easy one,” said Absolute Haitian co-owner Nate Smith. “The expansion of the automotive sector, presence of white goods manufacturing and fast regional growth in the southeast were major considerations. In fact, we’re located in the same industrial park as a $1.2 billion Google data center.”

“Most of the large tonnage machines sold in the U.S. are delivered to customers in the southeastern U.S., the upper Midwest states of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, and Canada, forming a large machine corridor,” said Glenn Frohring, co-owner of Absolute Haitian. “The deep-water port of Charleston allows us to connect easily to that corridor via nearby intermodal transportation options for fast delivery to the customer.”

Absolute Haitian is the exclusive sales and service partner of Chinese injection molding machine maker Haitian International. The company is represented in eastern Ontario by Larry Bonehill of Shadow Automation and in western Ontario by Steve Bell; and in Quebec by Barway Plastics Equipment.

[May 3, 2019] Atlantic Building Components was founded 35 years ago, in 1984, at its headquarters in Moncks Corner. The company Manufactures roof and floor trusses.

Now, they have three manufacturing plants across North and South Carolina, and they employ more than 250 people across those states.

It’s no surprise Berkeley County was thrilled to celebrate the ribbon-cutting for the company’s expansion in Moncks Corner today, nestled in the Macedonia community.

Long time employees joined company leaders to cut the ribbon. They also ceremonially built the inaugural truss in their new building. Then, everyone signed the truss.

The company is located on Cane Gully Road, near Macedonia Middle School.

SCMA Honors Companies for Excellence in Corporate Responsibility

(April 26, 2019) – Today, at its statewide annual meeting in Charleston, the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance awarded 20 South Carolina manufacturing facilities with the its Corporate Responsibility Award for their accomplishments in 2018.

The Award honors South Carolina manufacturing facilities that positively impact their respective local communities. Applicants are judge in three categories: Community Involvement and Philanthropy, Environmental Stewardship, and Wellness and Safety.

“We created the Excellence in Corporate Responsibility Award to honor manufacturers for the incredible contributions they are making every day in South Carolina,” said Sara Hazzard, President & CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. “The companies who earn this award are held to very high standards and each have demonstrated that they have gone above and beyond in empowering their teams to be a catalyst for change that better their operations, community, and the state of South Carolina. We are proud to honor so many South Carolina facilities for their commitment to excellence in corporate responsibility.”

Photos of the award recipients are available upon request.

Award Winners:
• AFL – Duncan , SC
• BMW – Greer, SC
• Caterpillar – Sumter, SC
• Highland – Cheraw, SC
• Ingevity – North Charleston, SC
• International Paper – Eastover, SC
• Michelin North America – Greenville, SC
• Nucor Steel- Berkeley – Huger, SC
• Sage Automotive Abbeville Plant – Abbeville, SC
• Sage Automotive Cotton Blossom – Spartanburg, SC
• Sage Automotive Gayley – Greenville, SC
• Sage Automotive Sharon – Abbeville, SC
• Sonoco – Hartsville, SC
• Springs Creative – Rock Hill, SC




NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (Dec. 3, 2018 Federal Incumbent Worker Training Assistance (IWT) funds totaling $100,000 are available through the Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to assist tri-county employers in training current employees.

Private-sector employers in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties are eligible to receive funds, which must be used to train incumbent workers. The program is meant to assist with expansion, new technology, retooling, new services/product lines, and/or new organizational structuring. Incumbent worker training is not intended to fund periodic safety and refresher courses or occupational training for new hires.

Application submission deadline is 5 p.m. on Dec. 13, 2018.

“These funds will keep our region’s businesses and workers competitive in today’s rapidly evolving economy,” said BCDCOG executive director Ron Mitchum. “We encourage all eligible employers to apply quickly.”


To qualify as an incumbent worker, individuals must:

  • Be employed
  • Meet the Fair Labor Standards Act requirements for an employer-employee relationship
  • Have an established employment history with the employer for six months or more, unless the training is for a group of employees and the majority of employees in the specific training have been employed with the business for six months or more.


Businesses or consortia participating in IWT are required to pay for the non-Federal share of the cost of providing training to their employees, which must not be less than:

  • 10 percent of the costs for a business location with no more than 50 employees.
  • 25 percent of the costs for a business location with more than 50 employees, but no more than 100 employees.
  • 50 percent of the costs for a business location with more than 100 employees.


IWT funds (excluding Rapid Response funded-IWT) are awarded on a competitive basis and given priority based on:

  • Characteristics of the employees to be trained
  • The relationship of the training to the competitiveness of both the employer and employee
  • Per-participant cost
  • Credential and skills gained as a result of the training
  • Trainings in one of the in-demand sectors in the Trident area: Diversified Manufacturing, Transportation, Distribution & logistics, HealthCare, Information Technology, Construction Trades, Hospitality & Tourism.
  • Employer size (The employer size defined in the application.)
    • Small: 50 or fewer employees
    • Medium: 51 to 100 employees
    • Large: 101 or more employees

Note: Businesses should list trainings in order of priority of need, because, at times, not all programs listed on applications may be approved due to funding availability.


  • Training entities and providers are not eligible for IWT funding or to act on behalf of a business or group of businesses as a third party.

For more information or assistance with the application process, contact Sharon Goss, Workforce Development Director, SC Works Trident at (843) 529-0400 ext. 203 or via email at Please visit or for information and an application.


The BCDCOG is a voluntary association of, by and for local governments, and was established to assist Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester county leaders in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development. BCDCOG’s purpose is to strengthen the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions. For the latest on BCDCOG, visit, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @BCDCoG.



Daniel Brock / Michael Stettner

Rawle Murdy /

(919) 820-2612 / (214) 718-8027


Trident Technical College
December 3, 2018

The demand for workers in high-tech lean manufacturing is expected to continue to surge in the Lowcountry in the coming years and Trident Technical College’s Division of Continuing Education and Economic Development is gearing up to train the employees that can fill those jobs.

The college has modified its Lean Manufacturing program, originally developed in conjunction with local manufacturers to provide workers with the equivalent of one year of manufacturing experience, to conform to the state of South Carolina’s ManuFirstSC Grant program. The ManuFirstSC Grant program completely covers the cost of tuition, background checks and drug screening for a total of 84 participants for Trident Tech’s ManuFirstSC (Lean Manufacturing) continuing education classes running from January to May 2019. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Trident Tech Continuing Education is hosting a series of free information sessions about the ManuFirstSC Grant program in December 2018. Information sessions are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 4, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Trident Tech’s Berkeley Campus Library, 1001 S. Live Oak Dr., Moncks Corner
  • Wednesday, Dec. 5, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Dorchester County QuickJobs Training Center, 5164 E. Jim Bilton Blvd., St. George
  • Saturday, Dec. 8, 10-11 a.m. at Trident Tech’s Thornley Campus (formerly Main Campus), 7000 Rivers Ave., North Charleston, in Bldg. 910, Rm. 122

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce 2018 Talent Demand Study projected nearly 35,000 new jobs are being created in the Charleston Metro area within the next five years and approximately 18 percent of those are production or mechanical in nature. Additionally, it noted the demand is surpassing local graduate output by 300-500 positions. The ManuFirstSC Grants and Trident Tech’s Lean Manufacturing program can help train Lowcountry residents to fill that void.

To qualify for a ManuFirstSC Grant participants must:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • be able to legally work in the United States;
  • provide documentation of South Carolina residency;
  • have a high school diploma or GED;
  • provide proof of a Silver WIN/WorkKeys score;
  • pass a SC SLED background check (paid for by the grant);
  • pass a basic panel drug screen (paid for by the grant);
  • enroll in the SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) system

Interested students should attend the free information sessions to get more detailed information about all of the requirements. For additional information, visit and click on Funding Opportunities or call 843.574.6152.

Volvo Cars US Operations in Berkeley County Wins South Carolina Chamber Awards for Workforce Development and Manufacturing Employee of the Year

2018 Workforce Innovator Award for Medium-Sized Company

The SC Chamber of Commerce‘s Workforce Innovator Awards honor companies that have implemented unique private sector workforce development solutions. Three awards are granted based upon business size: small (fewer than 200 SC employees), medium (200-999 SC employees), and large (1000+ SC employees). A panel of judges selected from the SC Chamber’s Education & Workforce Committee reviews each nomination and selects the winners based on these criteria:

  1. Innovation (50%) – Utilizing new ideas in workforce development;
  2. Teamwork (25%) – Using teamwork in the design and implementation of unique training; and
  3. Concept Sharing (25%) – Readily sharing the training success with other companies.

On October 30, 2018, at the annual Workforce Development Symposium, Volvo Cars US Operations, Inc. was awarded the 2018 Workforce Innovator Award for Medium Sized Company. In its program, the SC Chamber writes, “In 2015, Volvo Cars chose Berkeley County for its first manufacturing facility in the U.S. and announced the creation of nearly 4,000 jobs. Recognizing that many in the rural areas of the Lowcountry lack manufacturing experience, Volvo Cars partnered with the SC Department of Commerce, Trident Technical College, readySC, and Berkeley County Administration to develop a curriculum that would provide the necessary training for those without manufacturing experience and satisfy Volvo’s one-year manufacturing experience requirement.”

The ManuFirstSC initiative, created in mid-2017, is a 62-hour curriculum that was originally piloted through Trident Technical College that has now been expanded to all technical colleges in the state of South Carolina, and will be available at all Berkeley County High Schools starting in the 2018-2019 school year. As of May 1, Volvo Cars has hired 26 ManuFirstSC graduates, and six more have received offers for a manufacturing career with Volvo. In addition, other manufacturers in South Carolina, including Mercedes Benz, BMW suppliers, and 46 other have agreed to accept the ManuFirstSC credential in lieu of one year’s manufacturing experience.”

[Read More]

2018 Manufacturing Employee of the Year, Support Category for Medium-Sized Company

On October 5, 2018, The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce celebrated the winners of the S.C. Manufacturing Employee of the Year Awards with an awards luncheon and panel discussion regarding the future of manufacturing in South Carolina. The 2018 Manufacturing Day Celebration, presented by Jackson Lewis P.C., recognized the important contributions honorees have made to their employers, customers and communities.

“We are grateful for the employees that are being recognized today,” said Ted Pitts, President and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. “These folks are not the CEOs and Presidents – they are the backbone of manufacturing in our state, working in production, enabling, and support jobs. Dedicated workers like these make their companies successful, and that success breeds prosperity in South Carolina. We recognize these winners for not just showing up to work every day, but for going the extra mile in their jobs and in their communities.”

Amanda Lovin, Supply Chain Manager, Volvo Cars US, was awarded this honor in the Support Category for a Medium-Sized Company.

[Read More]