Berkeley Means Business

[Monday, May 11, 2020] Today, the One Region initiative released the re|IGNITE plan to guide a safe return to business in our community. Included with the plan are industry-specific guidelines for Food and Beverage and Small Business organizations to safely reopen to employees, customers, vendors and others.  More industry-specific guidelines will release in the coming weeks.

The plan and guidelines leverage expertise from business, healthcare, nonprofit and government sectors to create a coordinated, science-based plan to restore Charleston’s regional economy. 

You can download the phase one plan and guidelines at OneRegionREIGNITE.org. The website also contains information about the One Region stakeholders, the re|IGNITE strategy and stakeholders, and will be updated with content throughout the duration of the pandemic.

PLANS & GUIDELINES

RE|IGNITE PHASE 1 PLAN 5-11-20

re|IGNITE Plans and Guidelines

COVID-19 information from the CDC:

The latest employer guidance from the CDC includes:

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
  • Establish policies that increases the physical distance between employees such as flexible worksites and work hours
  • Cross-train employees on essential functions in case of employee absences
  • Assess your essential functions and reliance on others – be prepared to change your business practices if needed to maintain critical operations

Encourage your employees to implement best health practices, including:

  • Good handwashing (soap and water for at least 20 seconds)
  • Covering your cough and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Regular use of tissues and hand sanitizer
  • Stay home if you or a family member is sick
  • Sanitize commonly touched surfaces and objects regularly

Test

Berkeley County Economic Development (BCED) is actively engaged in supporting the Berkeley County Industry Community for impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

BCED, in coordination with SC Department of Commerce, Berkeley County Government, and other local and state agencies, is committed to closely monitoring developments and is available via email at  webecd@berkeleycountysc.gov to answer non-medical questions related to business and industry support.

Berkeley County Economic Development offices might be physically closed, but we are still doing business and ready to serve you. Please feel free to reach out to a staff member directly, via phone or email. We are here to help and support our Berkeley County Industry Family.

Get Connected with Other Berkeley County Industries

Information you can trust is essential during an emergency, natural disaster, or public health crisis. Berkeley County Economic Development would like to ensure our industries are getting the most accurate information. To do this we have put together a new program (Berkeley Industry Interconnect or BI2) that will allow all of our companies and our supportive government offices to communicate directly on a real time, digital platform. This is similar to a “blog page” allowing for our industries to ask questions and converse at large with the whole group or allow for direct messaging between members. This private platform is by invitation only and is limited to the number of representatives per industry. Please contact kristen.lanier@berkeleycountysc.gov to see if your organization qualifies to participate in BI2.


COVID-19 Updates from Berkeley County Government

All Berkeley County updates will be posted on the Berkeley County website under Coronavirus COVID-19 latest. Related updates are also available on the County’s Facebook and Twitter. Berkeley County Government has also launched a new email service for users to subscribe to automated email updates. Visit https://berkeleycountysc.gov/ to sign up via the pop-up notice.


COVID-19 Business Resource Center from S.C. Commerce

While the full impact of COVID-19 is still unknown, S.C. Commerce wants to assure the business community that Team South Carolina is here to assist throughout this unprecedented event. In an effort to provide guidance and much-needed tools for our industry, S.C. Commerce has launched the online COVID-19 Business Resource Center

SC Commerce, through Emergency Support Function (ESF) 24, is closely monitoring developments and is available via email at ESF24@emd.sc.gov to answer non-medical questions related to business and industry support. 


Charleston Metro Chamber Resource Guide

Our friends at the Charleston Metro Chamber have composed a Business Resource Guide with updates and best practices shared by their member companies, a series of webinars, and tips for your business to prepare for short term and long term recovery.

SCMEP Resource Center

The team at SCMEP and the MEP National Network have compiled a list of valuable resources in helping your company navigate these challenging times. As they receive new information, they will update this resource page. SCMEP is committed to doing whatever it takes to help the manufacturing community stay strong.

Financial Resources

BCDCOG Revolving Loan Fund (RFL)

The primary purpose of the RLF is to aid in the creation and retention of jobs in the Berkeley Charleston Dorchester region. Read more the program and email BCDCOG Finance Manager Katie Paschall before submitting an application.

Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved Governor Henry McMaster’s request for the agency to offer South Carolina’s small businesses with disaster assistance. The disaster declaration means that small businesses in South Carolina that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 virus may qualify for low-interest federal disaster loans. Apply online. 

Additional Resources

The Post & Courier COVID-19 Coverage

FEMA Coronavirus Rumor Control 

Restore Your Economy

The following are credible sources to stay up to date on COVID-19:

(Thursday, January 16, 2020) Berkeley County will host an information meeting to provide training for manufacturing positions on Thursday, January 30, 2020. The meeting will be held at Cainhoy Elementary School. It is open to Berkeley County residents looking for manufacturing jobs.

            When: Thursday, January 30, 6 p.m.

            Where: Cainhoy Elementary School, 2434 Cainhoy Rd. Huger, SC 29450

            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, March 14, on the Cainhoy Elementary School Campus. This 3-week course, concluding on April 2, will provide the necessary training to qualify candidates for positions at industries around Berkeley County and throughout the state of South Carolina. Graduates of the program will have an opportunity to connect with local employers and community partners.

The course is free for candidates who are Berkeley County residents who meet the following requirements:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • be 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)

All applications must be submitted to Berkeley County Economic Development, via email to kristen.lanier@berkeleycountysc.gov or turned into the Supervisor’s office at 1003 Highway 52, Moncks Corner, on or before 5 pm on Feb. 21, 2020.


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 re-branded the program to ManuFirstSCTM and has begun to roll it out across the state’s technical college system by industry demand.


In the News! Check out a recent article in the Post and Courier about ManuFirst:

SC manufacturers’ training program has participants changing careers and lives

Winnie Harley, a process technician at Volvo Cars, times the manufacturing process to look for improvements at the automaker’s manufacturing plant near Ridgeville. Harley has held numerous jobs over the years but said she’s found a home at Volvo. Gavin McIntyre/Staff
[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.

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