Berkeley County takes leading role in SC economic development report

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. [MONDAY, FEB 11, 2019]  Berkeley County had three of South Carolina’s top economic development announcements in 2018, according to the state’s Commerce Department, which tallied nearly $4.2 billion in projects last year.

A $600 million expansion of search engine giant Google Inc.’s data center in Moncks Corner was the year’s biggest announcement in terms of value, according to the state agency charged with recruiting industry. The facility, one of only a handful of data centers the technology giant runs in the U.S. , is part of the backbone that keeps services like Gmail and Google Drive online.

J.W. Aluminum’s announcement of a $255 million expansion of its Goose Creek campus ranked fourth in value. The expansion, scheduled for completion in 2020, includes a new 220,000-square-foot building and state-of-the-art equipment to make flat-rolled aluminum for the construction and other industries.

“Additional planned investments will bring the total investment in Goose Creek to over $300 million and make our South Carolina facility one of the most technologically advanced continuous cast plants in the world,” said Stan Brant, the company’s chief operating officer.

W International, a welding and fabrication firm doing work for defense projects like a next-generation Navy submarine, finished No. 3 on the Commerce Department’s list for the year’s top job creation announcements. The company plans to hire 600 people at its Charleston International Manufacturing Center site near Goose Creek.

All told, the state’s new projects totaled 14,071 jobs. The top job creator was RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corp. which is bringing 1,100 jobs to a new corporate headquarters in York County.

This year’s recruitment list includes industries from the metal, automotive, plastics, chemicals and agribusiness industries as well as corporate office jobs.

“South Carolina continues to cultivate a diverse economy in all corners of our state,” said Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt. “This year’s industry recruitment results reflect that diversity and show that South Carolina has become a leading business destination for companies of all types.”

Since 2011, the year Hitt became Commerce Secretary, the agency has recruited $35,6 billion in capital investment by new or expanding businesses.

More than 60 percent of the jobs created last year were by new businesses while the rest were from expansions of existing businesses.

United States firms represented three-fourths of the investments by dollar value, followed by German companies at 5 percent and Chinese businesses at 4 percent.

Berkeley County was the only county to land at least three projects on the annual list. Spartanburg County had two announcements, including a Keurig coffee roasting and packaging facility that was the state’s second-biggest investment and fourth-largest job creator.

SOURCE: Post and Courier, Charleston SC

Reach David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_

Berkeley County Economic Development and SC Works Trident Host a Community Job Fair in Town of St. Stephen

[January 28, 2019]Berkeley County Economic Development and SC Works Trident in partnership with the Town of St. Stephen and St. Stephen Elementary School will be hosting a Community Job Fair on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. The event will be held at St. Stephen Elementary, 1053 Russellville Road, Saint Stephen, SC from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm. Employers from various fields throughout the Tri-County area will be on-site to meet potential employees.

Career Seekers

Come Prepared – Please bring copies of your resume and come prepared for an interview. Computers will be available for you to immediately apply online. There will also be a number of community organizations present so you can learn more about the available resources for workforce development and how to enroll for training that equal employment opportunities including the new ManuFirstSC certificate.


Please Register – There is no fee to participate.  Space is limited, however, and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tables and chairs will be provided.  Please feel free to bring your company’s table cloth and other marketing materials.

Employers must be registered with SC Works and have active posted jobs on the SC Works website in order to participate.  All jobs must be direct hires. We will contact you approximately one month following the event for feedback regarding those hired by your company.

If your company is interested and has positions available, please complete a Job Fair Participation Form and return it by email to [email protected], no later than 2pm, Wednesday, February 13, 2019.

We look forward to seeing you at the job fair!


VTL Precision expanding Lowcountry presence

with new operations in Berkeley County

$8.2 million investment to house new business line in Goose Creek, S.C.

COLUMBIA, S.C. [January 3, 2019] – VTL Precision, a leading developer and manufacturer of precision-engineered engine, transmission and turbocharger components for the commercial vehicle and passenger car markets, is locating new operations in Berkeley County. The company’s $8.2 million investment is projected to create 10 new jobs.

VTL Precision is a venture of VTL Group, a privately-owned automotive and precision engineering company with manufacturing operations in Europe, India and North America. Specializing in the design, development and manufacture of high-specification, complex machined components, VTL Group supplies a variety of original equipment manufacturers and tier one suppliers.

The company’s new facility, located at the Crowfield Corporate Center at 5 Corporate Parkway, Goose Creek, S.C., will house a new business line to produce automotive components. The facility will complement VTL’s existing operations in Palmetto Commerce Park. Those interested in joining the VTL Precision team should visit the company’s careers page online.


“VTL is proud to call the Lowcountry our home. For more than 11 years, we have supported the automotive manufacturing industry in South Carolina and watched the region and industry flourish. Our expansion demonstrates VTL’s commitment to serving our global automotive customers from a South Carolina base. Our partners within the S.C. Department of Commerce and Berkeley County worked tirelessly to keep our expansion within the Lowcountry.” -VTL Group COO and Co-Founder Chris Elliott

 “We’re always proud to congratulate a company that has decided to expand its footprint in our state. Today, we celebrate VTL’s latest investment in the Lowcountry and look forward to the continued growth of this partnership.” -Gov. Henry McMaster


“We are delighted to see manufacturing growth – the key to job and wealth creation in our state – continue in the Lowcountry. Today’s announcement by VTL Precision is another sign that our economic development efforts are paying off in South Carolina.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

 “Goose Creek’s commitment to economic development has never been greater, and we welcome VTL’s thriving business to our city. As a global leader in its field, VTL provides Goose Creek with another important building block in our ability to live, work and play without leaving the city limits. VTL’s history shows they will be here for a long time. Along with our partners at Berkeley County and the state of South Carolina, we are ready to support them at every step.” -Mayor of Goose Creek Greg Habib


  • VTL Precision is locating new operations in Berkeley County.
  • $8.2 million investment to create 10 new jobs.
  • VTL Precision is a leading developer and manufacturer of precision-engineered transmission and turbocharger components for the automotive industry.
  • The company’s new facility will be located at the Crowfield Corporate Center in Goose Creek, S.C.
  • For more information on the company, visit

Metal fabricator investing $35.2 million to support submarine industry

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. [TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2018] – W International, a full-service manufacturer of large, complex, welded metal fabrications, today announced plans to locate new production operations in Berkeley County. The company’s $35.2 million capital investment is projected to create more than 600 new jobs.

Headquartered in Madison Heights, Mich., W International serves the aerospace, defense, energy and marine industries. Within the defense sector, in addition to combat vehicles, the company supports U.S. Navy platforms, such as submarines, aircraft carriers and frigates. The company’s highly-trained staff also supports requirements associated with a diverse range of materials, including ballistic armor, aluminum, titanium and other high-strength steels.

Located at the Charleston International Manufacturing Center at Bushy Park, W International’s new, 451,000-square-foot facility will provide manufacturing, custom fabrication, project management, tooling and engineering services to clients in the aerospace, defense, automotive, energy and commercial business industries. Hiring for the new positions is projected to begin in January 2019, and interested applicants can visit the company’s careers page online. According to a press release with on the Company’s website, a second phase will begin soon which could provide more new job announcements in addition to the 600 new jobs already projected.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits, as well as a $2 million Set Aside grant to Berkeley County to assist with the costs of the project.


“We are thrilled to be expanding our family-owned business to Berkeley County, S.C. The ability to build a manufacturing facility on the East Coast offers a unique opportunity to our clients and customers. We are looking forward to being part of the Lowcountry community for decades to come.” –W International CEO Ed Walker

“Today, we’re proud to celebrate another major win for South Carolina’s thriving manufacturing industry. This announcement by W International is a landmark moment not only for the company but also for Berkeley County, the Lowcountry community and our entire state.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

“From premium automobiles and wide-body commercial aircraft to medical devices and luxury boats, South Carolina is now a state that produces advanced products. With today’s announcement that an industry leader like W International is locating in Berkeley County, our manufacturing portfolio continues to grow. Congratulations to everyone involved on this project, and we look forward to seeing the impact these new jobs will have in the Lowcountry.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“Berkeley County is pleased to be the new production home of W International. We are looking forward to the increase of 600 additional jobs for this county that continues to grow. We are excited for those who will get to be a part of this industry.” – Berkeley County Supervisor Bill Peagler

“We are so pleased to welcome W International to our community and look forward to their continued success. This was a seamless effort among several partners, and this company will be an integral part of our region’s growing industry clusters.” –Charleston Regional Development Alliance Board Chairman Robert Pratt


  • W International is launching new production operations in Berkeley County.
  • $35.2 million investment to create more than 600 jobs.
  • W International is funding two new welding training programs at Cross and Timberland High Schools to train high school students as well as adults in partnership with Berkeley County’s Department of Adult Education.
  • W International is a full-service manufacturer of large, complex, welded metal fabrications for a variety of industries.
  • Located at Bushy Park Industrial Complex, the company’s new, 451,000-square-foot facility will provide manufacturing, custom fabrication, project management and more to a variety of clients.
  • Hiring for the new positions is projected to begin in January 2019, and interested applicants can visit the company’s careers page online.

Roper Opens Medical Office on Berkeley County Campus

Monday, December 10, 2018Roper St. Francis Healthcare has opened its new Berkeley County medical office building, half of the hospital system’s new Summerville campus.

“Our strategy in developing our health care system revolves around serving residents closest to where they live and work,” President and CEO Lorraine Lutton said in a news release.

“With this new medical office building, we’re making it easier for families in Berkeley and Dorchester counties to access the quality and affordable health care that is the backbone of our brand.”

Construction was ongoing during the open house to finish upfitting part of the third floor for OB-GYN practices. (Photo/Patrick Hoff)

The new Berkeley Hospital medical office building, slated to open Dec. 10, will include the offices of a variety of specialists, including general surgeons, breast surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and OB-GYNs. Other services will include urology, dermatology, digestive disease treatment, cardiology, hematology and oncology.“I’m 5 miles away from here, so I know for the past 22 years, anytime we needed something, we have to get in the car, go, and drive 10, 15 miles to get to a facility,” said Jennifer Crawford, chief nursing officer for Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital. “And so for me, this is us being able to offer quality care to like family, friends, neighbors.”

Doctors will rotate into the medical office building based on patient need. Elisa Cooper, director of property management for Roper St. Francis, said 12 doctors will work out of the building initially, but at least 100 doctors could eventually be rotating in and out of the practices housed there.

“We are bringing the health care to the community instead of having the community fight to come to us,” Cooper said.

The first floor of the building can house classrooms, as well as radiation and oncology departments. The second and third floors are occupied by examination rooms and offices for doctors and hospital administrators.

“The cost of clinical space is really high, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to put your administration within the clinical environment of a hospital,” Cooper said. “They can go over there, but they don’t need to be housed over there.”

The office building is part of the new Roper St. Francis Berkeley County Hospital campus, which will include the county’s first hospital in 40 years. A hospital in Moncks Corner closed in the 1970s. (Photo/Roper St. Francis Healthcare)

Photo: Charleston Regional Business Journal

The office building is part of the new Roper St. Francis Berkeley County Hospital campus, which will include the county’s first hospital in 40 years. A hospital in Moncks Corner closed in the 1970s. (Photo/Roper St. Francis Healthcare)

The office building will be connected by a covered walkway to the new, 140,000-square-foot, 50-bed Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital, scheduled to open in October. This will be Berkeley County’s first new hospital in more than 40 years.Dr. Kenosha Gleaton, whose practice is based in West Ashley, said she decided to work out of the hospital’s office building one to two days per week.

“Health care access is paramount in our Charleston community,” she said. “We have a lot of patients who drive, for us in our West Ashley office, over an hour to get there.”

Gleaton previously worked out of Roper St. Francis’ Moncks Corner office for that reason.

She said moving her Moncks Corner office to the new office building is a “win-win situation.”

“It allows our Moncks Corner patients to have less of a drive than our West Ashley office, but it also allows us to be able to serve the Summerville patient population and to make sure that we’re here to support the hospital,” Gleaton said.

Cooper said the Berkeley Hospital campus also has the capacity for another medical office building as the community continues to grow.

“We’re committed to Berkeley County,” she said.

Source: Charleston Regional Business Journal – Reach Patrick Hoff at 843-849-3144.




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 [email protected]. 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

[email protected] / [email protected]

(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]

Evonik Industries Cuts the Ribbon on New Chemical Plant in Berkeley County

Oct 16, 2018 – Berkeley County joined industry leaders today to cut the ribbon and celebrate Evonik Industries’ new chemical plant in Goose Creek. The precipitated silica plant will supply the tire industry. The plant will result in $120 million investment and 50 new jobs.

Evonik adds to our international family, bringing a German company to Berkeley County.

Berkeley County Economic Development Director Barry Jurs spoke on behalf of the County, welcoming Evonik to the Berkeley County family, celebrating a promising future in Goose Creek. Jurs was joined by David Riley, the Senior Vice President of Global Specialty Silica, and Business Line Silica North America, Dr. Harald Schwager, Deputy Chairman representing Evonik Industries, Dr. Johannes Ohmer, Managing Director, representing Evonik Resource Efficiency, Mandy Brawley from South Carolina Department of Commerce, and Ralph Walker from Pacolet Milliken Enterprises.

Many spoke on the sustainable energy and efficient solutions offered at the plant and its tremendous innovative strength.

Welcome to Berkeley County, Evonik!

Read more about Evonik’s investment in Berkeley County here.

Berkeley County Announces Additional Training for Manufacturing Jobs

Sign-up and information session scheduled October 9 at 5 p.m.

 MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Monday, October 1, 2018) Berkeley County will host an information meeting to provide training for manufacturing positions on Tuesday, October 9th at 5 p.m. The meeting will be held at Trident Technical College Berkeley Campus. It is open to Berkeley County residents looking for manufacturing jobs.

When: Tuesday, October 9 at 5 p.m.

Where: Trident Technical College Berkeley Campus, 1001 S Live Oak Drive in Moncks Corner

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

Attendees will have the opportunity to sign-up for the upcoming ManuFirstSC, formerly known as Lean Manufacturing, course that will begin on Saturday, October 13 at Trident Technical College Berkeley Campus. This 4-week course 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, ReadySC, and Adult Education with Berkeley County School District.

Berkeley County worked in partnership with Trident Technical College, South Carolina Department of Commerce, Volvo Cars, and Ready SC to start the pilot program in May of 2017. The pilot program saw 155 people graduate from the Lean Manufacturing course, which put them on the path to land manufacturing jobs at major industries around the County, including Volvo Cars in Ridgeville. Since then, neighboring counties have emulated the training program to provide opportunities for residents around the state with over 600 graduates in the Tri-County area. South Carolina Department of Commerce has rebranded the program to ManuFirstSC and will be working to standardize the curriculum for the certificate to be offered at all South Carolina Technical Colleges.

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