[Nov 15, 2019] Berkeley County was honored to celebrate the 21 graduates from the ManuFirst program in Cross yesterday evening.

The County worked with Berkeley County School DistrictTrident Technical College, and others to celebrate these individuals’ success in the program. The 21 County residents received certificates for completing the three-week, entry-level manufacturing training course. The course consists of 62 hours of general manufacturing skills and safety training for manufacturing positions. Additionally, an OSHA certificate was provided through the program.

Following the ceremony, there was an employer meet-and-greet, arranged by S.C. Works. Several businesses and agencies participated, including Grand Forest, ReadySC, Sanders Brothers, and Thorne Research.

The ManuFirst course provides the necessary training to qualify candidates for positions at industries around Berkeley County and throughout the state of South Carolina. It is free for candidates who are Berkeley County residents.

Additionally, the course is a collaborative effort among Trident Technical College, Berkeley County Economic Development, Adult Education with Berkeley County School District, and the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

This is only the second time the Berkeley County ManuFirst S.C. program has been offered outside of the Trident Technical Campus. Berkeley County Economic Development worked hand-in-hand with the Berkeley County School District to bring the program into the community.

#OneBerkeley #BerkeleyCounty

[November 14, 2019] According to the Post and Courier, Berkeley County ranked 8th in the Nation for attracting new talent.

“A new report that measures counties’ attractiveness to new talent placed Berkeley County eighth among the nation’s top-ranking counties. The rankings were released this week by Emsi, an economic analysis firm, for its fourth annual Talent Attraction Scorecard

The scorecard included large, small and micro (populations of 5,000 or less) counties across the U.S. A few main trends emerged:

  • Southern counties “rising in the ranks”
  • Western cities “punching above their weight”
  • Sunbelt states — the southeast to the southwest — “thriving”

Berkeley County has been moving up in the ranks in Emsi’s report, starting at No. 85 in 2017, then No. 41 last year. Of all the counties in this year’s top 10, it made the biggest jumps in the last three years. 

The county has been growing rapidly, and has seen success in recent years in attracting major investments from employers. In 2018, Berkeley County scored three of South Carolina’s top economic development announcements

A $600 million expansion of Google Inc.’s Moncks Corner data center was the year’s biggest announcement by value, per the state’s Commerce Department. A $255 million expansion of J.W. Aluminum’s Goose Creek campus ranked fourth in the state for value, and welding and fabrication firm W International‘s plans to hire 600 new workers ranked third for job creation. 

The county’s current unemployment rate is just 1.6 percent, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. That’s compared to 1.8 percent for South Carolina and 3.3 percent nationwide. Over the last year, job openings recorded by the department have hovered around 1,000 each month.

The top-ranking large county in Emsi’s report was Duval, in the heart of the Jacksonville metro area. According to the report, the largest industries there are hospitals and restaurants, but the addition of Amazon and Wayfair distribution centers over the last two years boosted the economy. 

Other high-ranking counties were in the PhoenixLas Vegas and Dallas-Fort Worth metro areas. 

Here’s how the top-ranking large South Carolina counties (those with populations of 100,000 or more) stacked up:

  • No. 8: Berkeley County
  • No. 46: York County
  • No. 48: Horry County
  • No. 72: Greenville County
  • No. 82: Charleston County
  • No. 93: Spartanburg County

Among small South Carolina counties, Lancaster County ranked the highest (No. 25), followed by Jasper (No. 34) and Chester (No. 136). 

Counties were ranked based on six metrics: net migration, overall job growth, skilled job growth, educational attainment, regional competitiveness and annual job openings per capita. ” – Post and Courier

[November 7, 2019] – Welcome to Berkeley County, Curtiss-Wright. The company celebrated its Grand Opening and Commissioning Event on Thursday. The 135,000-square-foot facility is located inside the Charleston Trade Center off Interstate I-26 in Summerville.

The Steam and Air Solutions company is a $55 million investment in the County that is expected to create at least 80 jobs. And, not just any kind of job. They will be good quality and high-paying ones with salaries between $29 and $42/hour.

“We will keep fighting for businesses in our state; we will lower our taxes and continue to create a workforce that you will be glad to have going into the 21st century.” ~Lt. Governor Pamela Evette

Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb broke down the numbers and explained exactly how Curtiss-Wright’s investment will benefit the taxpayer.

“For Berkeley County, it’s been said that for every $20 million investment— that’s the tax base for about 450-500 homes. This is a $55 million investment; that’s a lot of homes that you would have to have to create that type of tax revenue. So what does that mean? What do we do with that money? If we collect a half-million dollars a year in taxes between the school district and the County, for this one parcel of land, that’s five school teachers plus three sheriff’s deputies. And, I can change the terms out—the paramedics, the support staffs in schools—you name it. But, that’s how many people will be employed to serve not just your employees’ children (but also) the people who live here throughout the County. …These investments help us keep taxes low for our residents.”

~Supervisor Cribb

As part of the defense sector, the company’s manufacturing facility will contribute to the region’s shipbuilding industry.

“Berkeley County and the Lowcountry has always had a tie to the sea in support of our military. …The military presence remains strong and well in this region, and certainly Curtiss-Wright marched the return of these legacy industries in our region.” ~Supervisor Cribb

Operations at the facility are expected to start early next month and be fully staffed by April/May 2020.

Other local elected officials in attendance Thursday included Berkeley County Councilman Brandon Cox and S.C. Rep. Sylleste Davis

Curtiss-Wright is in the process of hiring. To apply, visit >> https://bit.ly/33tsbNj

[November 6, 2019] Welcome TemperaturePro to Moncks Corner, off U.S. 17A.

TemperaturePro is a HVAC franchise that offers heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services.

The company is run by a U.S. Navy veteran who was a machinist mate for nine years. He then worked at Nucor for 21 years before taking this opportunity to start TemperaturePro in Moncks Corner.

TemperaturePro has eight employees, three service vehicles, and a large box truck.

Welcome, TemperaturePro!

[Oct 30, 2019] “Communicate. Collaborate. Cooperate.”

That’s what Governor Henry McMaster said at the Salute to Manufacturing Awards Luncheon today to honor industries around South Carolina.

Two industries in Berkeley County were among the 20 statewide that were celebrated at the luncheon. Both JW Aluminum and W International received awards. JW Aluminum received The Carlisle Associates Smart Move SC Award for its expansion. W International received The Carlisle Associates Smart Move SC Award for its new plant.

JW Aluminum is located in Goose Creek and manufactures flat-rolled aluminum. They announced a $255 million expansion investment in 2018. This landed them in the state’s top economic investment announcements for the year.

W International moved into its new facility in Bushy Park earlier this year. The industry is a full-service manufacturer of metal fabrications for the aerospace, specialty commercial, defense sector, energy, and marine industries. They announced 600 new jobs and a $32.5 million investment in the County.

Berkeley County leadership was thrilled to honor and recognize these remarkable industries.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Investment creating 26 jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Sapience Automation, a full-service integrator of robot systems, is establishing operations in Berkeley County. The $500,000 investment is expected to create 26 new jobs. 

Focusing on the integration of industrial robots for manufacturers and supporting existing users of robots, Sapience Automation also works with automation, paint, system integration and various other operations. 

Located at 2079 Wambaw Creek Rd., Suite 5 in Charleston, S.C., Sapience Automation’s new facility will allow the company to grow current operations and increase collaboration with educational systems and local schools to help encourage and train students for jobs in the automation industry. To support workforce initiatives, the company launched a nonprofit to enrich mechatronics and robotics programs on the high school level and identify students who could excel in the area of automation. 

Operations are online, and continue to ramp up. Individuals interested in joining the Sapience Automation team should visit https://sapienceautomation.com/contact


“Sapience Automation has a lot of experience with advanced automotive and aerospace manufacturing systems but is also designed to work efficiently with smaller shops that may require less complex automation. That is one of our main focuses, and we’re excited to be in Berkeley County because we are surrounded by many customers in each category.” –Sapience Automation President and CEO Martin Rola

“The investment that Sapience Automation is making in our people and our state shows the world that our workforce and competitive business environment can lead to success for companies in every industry. We congratulate Sapience Automation on its decision to establish operations in Berkeley County, and look forward to watching the company continue to grow here for a long time.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

“We pride ourselves on the pro-business climate we’ve cultivated in South Carolina, and this announcement today is yet another testament to that environment. We celebrate Sapience Automation’s investment in our state and commend the company on its focus on training the next generation of automation professionals.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“We are thrilled that Sapience Automation has chosen to expand into Berkeley County. This announcement is continued proof that Berkeley County is a top choice for companies in the manufacturing industry to setup, or expand, their operations. We are also confident that Sapience will create high-quality, cutting-edge job opportunities for our local workforce.”—Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb

“Sapience Automation is a welcome new advanced industry asset for our region’s STEM-based economy. Advanced industries led the post-recession employment recovery and are America’s best opportunity to support innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth. Sapience Automation’s decision to locate in the Charleston region demonstrates that this market offers the competitive advantages innovative companies need to succeed, including a skilled, adaptable and enthusiastic workforce.” –Charleston Regional Development Alliance Board Chair John Hagerty


•    Sapience Automation is establishing operations in Berkeley County. 
•    The $500,000 investment is expected to create 26 new jobs.  
•    Sapience Automation specializes in robot system designing, optimizations and integration.
•    Located at 2079 Wambaw Creek Rd., Suite 5 in Charleston, S.C., Sapience Automation’s new facility will allow the company to grow current operations and increase collaboration with educational systems.
•    Individuals interested in joining the Sapience Automation team should visit https://sapienceautomation.com/contact.

In response to industry demand, Trident Technical College is exploring the development of a new Manufacturing Apprenticeship Alliance for industry sector partnerships to create in-demand, adult manufacturing apprenticeships. These unique programs will be employer-led and designed for industry needs based on feedback from members of the alliance.
The first alliance apprenticeship in consideration is Industrial Maintenance Mechanic. If your company would benefit from an Industrial Maintenance Mechanic apprenticeship program, we encourage you to join the conversation now. 

NEXT MEETING: Thursday, October 31st at 2:30 pm, at the College Center (Building 920, Room 101) at Trident Tech Thornley Campus.

WHAT’S HAPPENED SO FAR:  Trident Tech is using the Industrial Mechanic Certificate as a base for the program. From the 2 meetings conducted thus far, 7 companies have already committed to support 9 apprentices.

ADDING ELECTRICAL: The Industrial Mechanic Certificate apprenticeship is designed as a 3 year program attending class just one day a week. However some of the companies in attendance at previous meetings expressed an interest in adding some electrical courses, specifically AC/DC circuits and PLC’s to the class schedule. This will add a year to the program and make it 4 years long instead of 3. These classes will be added it to the end of the program so if you don’t want PLC’s and AC/DC, you can just opt out of them and be done earlier. 

TWO PROGRAM DESIGNS TO CHOOSE FROM: Welding was also discussed so TTC decided to create two different schedule options which are attached. One that has No Welding and one With Welding. 

MOVING FORWARD: To move forward with the alliance and begin classes in January, TTC needs 16 apprentices committed by October 31st.

For more information, contact:

Mitchell R. Harp, MA, MT(ASCP) Dean of Apprenticeships Division of Apprenticeship Programs 1-843-574-6979 [email protected]  To learn more and apply for the Charleston Regional Apprenticeship Programs go to https://trident-technical-college.breezy.hr/

* Employer designed
* Class meets only once a week, instead of 2-3 nights a week making it easier for you and your employee.
* Employer will get regular communications from TTC on the progress of their apprentice.
* Employer will receive regular summaries of class topics so mentor can cover those same topics during the On-The-Job training sessions.
* Apprentice will only be short 5 core classes from receiving their Associates Degree so there is incentive to continue their education.
* Apprentice is automatically enrolled in all classes so they don’t have to worry about missing registration dates.
* Employer can fill the apprenticeship internally with a current or new employee or TTC can help advertise and recruit for the apprenticeship on the employers behalf.
* Employer is eligible for $1,000 tax credit for every apprentice, every year, up to 4 years.
The estimated cost of this program is around $4,000 so your tax credit almost covers all the cost of tuition!

[Oct 28, 2019] – Over 20 adult residents of the Cross community and surrounding area are preparing for a graduation ceremony for the ManuFirst SC program. The celebration will be held on Thursday, November 14, 2019, at 6pm at Cross High School. Following the ceremony, graduates will have an opportunity to meet with manufacturing employers willing to accept the certificate en lieu of 1 year manufacturing experience. The ManuFirst SC program is an expedited and condensed manufacturing course to better train—and do it quickly—the local workforce to not only increase area job opportunities but also meet a need of local manufacturing plants seeking skilled workers. While its free to qualified Berkeley County residents, the program requires 100 percent attendance.

The County recently celebrated 31 graduates of the ManuFirst SC program in St. Stephen. “We sat with Volvo and some long hours when they came to Berkeley County because they said they wanted to do something for Berkeley County; and they came up with this course,” said LaRone Murphy, business consultant services with Trident Technical College.

Kristen Lanier, the county’s workforce development manager, explained further.

“This was something that Berkeley County did for our residents,” she said. “When we bring in these new companies, it means a lot to our residents to have the opportunity to fill these jobs.”

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 400 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.

Berkeley County provided scholarships to residents who met the following criteria:

At least 18 years old

Able to legally work in the United States

Provide documentation of Berkeley County residency

Have a high school diploma or GED

Provide proof of a Bronze WIN/WorkKeys score

Pass a SC SLED background check (paid for by the scholarship)

Pass a basic panel drug screen (paid for by the scholarship)

[Oct. 23, 2019] Incumbent Worker Training funds (IWT) is being made available under provisions of the Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act.   The Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) Program provides funding to help cover the costs of training needed to retain a competitive workforce. Such training is meant to assist with expansion, new technology, retooling, new services/product lines, and/or new organizational structuring, or to be used as part of a layoff aversion strategy. As a result, IWT is not intended to fund the periodic safety and refresher courses necessary for a business to continue to operate (i.e. First Aid, CPR, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration certifications) or the occupational training a new hire would need.

Incumbent Worker Training grants allow employers an opportunity to upgrade the skills of their current workforce through reimbursable training services and expenses. An eligible employer must be current on all South Carolina state tax obligations, have at least one full time employee, and document that potential trainees have an established employment history with the employer for six months or more. 

Training entities and city, county and state governments are not eligible for IWT funding. Businesses receiving services through ReadySC™ may be eligible for IWT so long as the training funded is not a duplication of services. IWT funds are not available to a business that has relocated, if that relocation resulted in the loss of jobs at the original location, until the company has operated at that new location for 120 days.


Businesses/consortia participating in IWT are required to pay for the non-Federal share of the cost of providing training to their employees. The non-Federal share 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 are awarded on a competitive basis.


  1. Characteristics of the employees to be trained: Priority given to frontline staff
  2. The relationship of the training to the competiveness of both the employer and employee: Training allows the employer and/or employees to be competitive with comparable employers/employees in similar are related positions.
  3. Per Participant Cost: priority given to those with lower cost of training per employee
  4. Credential and Skills gained as a result of the training: priority given to trainings that lead to a state or national certification such as NCCER
  5. Trainings in one of the in-demand sectors in the Trident area: Diversified Manufacturing, Transportation, Distribution & logistics, HealthCare, Information Technology, Construction Trades, Hospitality & Tourism.
  6. Employers Size: This is determined as the employer size defined in the application.
  • Small: no more than 50 employees
  • Medium: 51, but no more than 100 employees
  • Large: 101 or more

Please list trainings in order of priority for your business because there are times that all training programs on an application may not be approved due to funding availability.

Please submit only one application per business.  Please submit a training curriculum with application.

The deadline for submission of application is November 18, 2019 by 4:00 pm.  Please submit applications to [email protected].

No reimbursements can be made for expenditures that occur prior to the agreement period. This includes ordering trainings, paying for trainings and/or beginning trainings etc.

You can direct businesses to contact Sharon Goss, Workforce Development Director, SC Works Trident, for more information and /or assistance with the application process at 843-529-2582 or via email at [email protected].  You can also direct them to our website at http://www.scworkstrident.org/ or http://www.bcdcog.com for information and a copy of the application.


$60 million investment creating over 60 jobs

OCT 21, 2019 – MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – A&R Logistics, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing dry bulk transportation, warehousing, packaging, third-party logistics (3PL) and export solutions to the chemical industry, is establishing a new state-of-the-art export facility in Berkeley County. The $60 million investment is expected to create over 60 new jobs. 

Founded in 1969, A&R Logistics, Inc. provides a variety of bulk transportation and logistics solutions to multinational customers in the chemical industry. A&R Logistics, Inc. has more than 1,000 employees, with a large fleet of trucks and trailers across its extensive, nationwide network of terminals and warehousing and packaging facilities. 

Located in West Branch Commerce Park in Moncks Corner, S.C., A&R Logistics, Inc.’s new 615,000-square-foot facility will use cutting-edge equipment to offer an array of packaging solutions and complete logistics services for customers shipping product out of the Port of Charleston.  

The new facility is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2020. Individuals interested in joining the A&R Logistics, Inc. team should contact Brenda Barnhart at [email protected] or visit http://www.ardoingitright.com/


“A&R is thrilled to partner with the great state of South Carolina and the Port of Charleston to expand its operations to the East Coast. We believe combining the Port of Charleston’s efficient operations with A&R’s deep experience in packaging and premier customer service will offer unparalleled service to the chemical and plastics industry.” –A&R Logistics President and CEO Mark Holden

“South Carolina’s logistics sector continues to impress, and today’s announcement by A&R Logistics, Inc. is a further testament to that. Not only do we have everything we need to make high-quality products in South Carolina, but we also have the resources to move those products all over the globe. Congratulations to A&R Logistics, Inc. for establishing operations here in South Carolina.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

“Today’s announcement by A&R Logistics, Inc. is a testament to the logistics advantages and pro-business environment that South Carolina offers. We’re excited to have such a dynamic company locate its operations in the Lowcountry, and look forward to their success in our state for many years to come.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“S.C. Ports Authority (SCPA) is thrilled to have A&R Logistics invest in a new facility in the Lowcountry to provide warehousing and packaging services for the chemical industry. Proximity to the Port of Charleston gives A&R Logistics access to global markets for exports, as well as the ability to handle growing import volumes bound for Southeast consumers. SCPA excels at meeting companies’ supply chain needs with excellent customer service, reliable operations and efficiently run port terminals. We are excited to welcome A&R Logistics as a customer, and we look forward to the opening of their state-of-the-art facility.” -S.C. Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome

“Berkeley County is pleased to welcome A&R Logistics to our corporate family. This company is a good fit for a unique location. Much of A&R Logistics’ product will be moved utilizing existing rail, limiting the number of additional trucks on roadways. The county looks forward to seeing the many opportunities ahead for A&R Logistics.” -Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb


•    A&R Logistics, Inc. is establishing operations in Berkeley County. 
•    The $60 million investment is creating over 60 jobs. 
•    A&R Logistics, Inc. is a leading supply chain services company providing dry bulk transportation, warehousing, packaging, 3PL and export solutions.
•    Located in West Branch Commerce Park in Moncks Corner, SC. 
•    The expansion is expected to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2020.

State and Local Officials join A&R Logistics for a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 21, 2019. The company broke ground on a 615,000-square-foot facility inside West Branch Commerce Park, located off Highway 52 in Moncks Corner on the former site of Carolina Nursery.