Do you own a business in Berkeley County or are interested in starting one? We want to hear from YOU!  Our Berkeley County Economic Development teams wants to know what you like about living, working, and doing business in Berkeley County.

Please consider taking our survey so we can learn more about how your business is doing—and what WE can do—to help make EVERY business a success in our County.

On Thursday, April 21, Berkeley County Economic Development hosted its inaugural Industry Luncheon at the Lowcountry Conference Center in Nexton. Nearly two dozen industry partners gathered to learn more about what the County, and municipalities within the County, are doing to draw in new business and support existing ones.

“Industrial development in Berkeley County helps keep our taxes the lowest of any County government in the State. More than that, it has provided many job and career opportunities for our residents. The average hourly wage on new investment in 2021 was over $27 per hour, compared to the $21 (per hour) average County wage. Everyone focuses on ‘unemployment,’ but we realize many of our hard-working residents are ‘underemployed’ and these job opportunities are life-changing.” -Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb

Supervisor Johnny Cribb, Berkeley County

“I hope the word that you have heard over and over from every leader…is the word ‘together.’ We’ve heard ‘One Berkeley’—that’s the theme—and it’s something that we truly do so well. …We need to become a team together. …Your (industry’s) people are our residents; we care about our residents. They are your employees; they’re the people shopping in the towns that we’re…all trying so hard to make so amazing.” –City of Hanahan Mayor Christie Rainwater

Mayor Christie Rainwater, City of Hanahan

“If you’re thinking about putting your business here (or) you’re growing your business, you want to have a quality of life for the people who work for you; and that’s what we work very hard at. …We want to create as many opportunities for people to come together as possible. …We put people and jobs and education and retail and recreation in the same place.” –City of Goose Creek – Municipal Government Mayor Greg Habib

Mayor Greg Habib, City of Goose Creek

“We, Moncks Corner, are going to focus more on commercial and retail because we see development as a broadband approach; it is our responsibility to create the communities that those industries want to come into. …The things Moncks Corner is doing is a three-pronged approach: recruiting new businesses, providing infrastructure for significant development, and business assistance because we can’t forget the businesses that we already have.” –Town of Moncks Corner Administrator Jeff Lord.

Administrator Jeff Lord, Town of Moncks Corner

This event was a direct reflection of the #OneBerkeley mindset that helps create positive partnerships, fuel the County’s ongoing economic success, and sustain our communities’ exceptional quality of life.

#BerkeleyCountyBerkeley County School District

$80 million investment creating 117 new jobs

Sagebrook Home, a global home décor brand, today announced plans to establish operations in Berkeley County. The company’s $80 million investment will create 117 new jobs.

Founded in 2015, Sagebrook Home’s portfolio includes over 10,000 products including furniture, accessories, wall art, garden décor, lighting and more. The company is a leader in delivery, fulfillment and drop shipping to customers worldwide.

Located at 574 Trade Center Parkway in Summerville, Sagebrook Home’s Berkeley County facility will serve as a 500,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art distribution center for the company’s home décor and wholesale operations.

Operations are expected to be online in May 2022. Individuals interested in joining the Sagebrook Home team should visit the company’s contact page.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has awarded a $100,000 Set-Aside grant to Berkeley County to assist with the costs of site preparation and building construction.

QUOTES

“As Sagebrook Home continues to grow, the decision to distribute from both the East and West Coasts seemed a natural evolution. With the rising cost of shipping, there was no better time to add bicoastal distribution. This new distribution center gives us the opportunity to implement the latest in technology and keep Sagebrook Home a force in the HOME category.” -Sagebrook Home Co-CEO Justin Kachan

“With its proximity to Interstate 26, Interstate 95 and the Port of Charleston, Berkeley County is the ideal place for a business to get their product to marketplaces all over the world. Today’s announcement by Sagebrook Home is a testament to our strong logistics network that helps make South Carolina the ideal destination for businesses.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“Sagebrook Home’s decision to locate a new distribution facility in Berkeley County is reason to celebrate. This announcement speaks volumes to our state’s logistics advantages, infrastructure and business-friendly environment.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“SC Ports is thrilled to handle goods for Sagebrook’s first East Coast distribution center. This impressive home décor company will benefit from SC Ports’ creative supply chain solutions and expansive port infrastructure. Sagebrook’s new furniture distribution center builds on Charleston’s centrality to the furniture and home goods segment.” -SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome

“Berkeley County is proud to welcome Sagebrook Home to our community. Sagebrook Home’s $80 million investment will help provide more jobs and quality workforce opportunities for the hardworking people in our county. This industry commitment is proof that Berkeley County continues to shine as a bright beacon for industry growth.” -Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb

FIVE FAST FACTS

·    Sagebrook Home is establishing operations in Berkeley County.

·    $80 million investment will create 117 new jobs.

·    Sagebrook Home’s portfolio includes over 10,000 products including furniture, accessories, wall art, garden décor, lighting and more.

·    Located at 574 Trade Center Parkway in Summerville, S.C.

·    Individuals interested in joining the Sagebrook Home team should visit the company’s contact page.

(April 18, 2022 – via Post and Courier)

Adam Seger credits a family holiday visit during the COVID-19 lockdown with the idea to build one of the largest speculative warehouse projects in the Charleston region.

“My wife’s mother lives in West Ashley and we were visiting around Christmas in 2020 and my mother-in-law could tell I was bored,” Seger, an executive with Indianapolis-based Pure Development, said during a groundbreaking event April 13 at the construction site off Interstate 26 near Summerville.

“My mother-in-law was like, ‘Get your butt out of the house,’” Seger said. “So, I went out and just got super enthused about everything that’s going on at the port and the harbor deepening — it seemed like a macro wave that it would be smart to get in front of.”

Seger reported his findings back to the home office in the Hoosier State and was told to start making offers on available land. Pure Development ultimately teamed up with Citimark Realty, paying $8.75 million a year ago for the 131-acre site at the Jedburg exit.

The 1.1 million-square-foot Coastal Crossroads project is expected to attract a retail distributor that will move cargo from the Port of Charleston to an inland network of stores.

It’s one of just three speculative deals — meaning no tenants have been secured at the time construction starts — topping the 1 million-square-foot mark in the region. A surge in retail imports and the growing Southeast consumer market means there likely will be more in the near future.

“The interest of companies wanting to locate in Charleston and South Carolina is only expanding,” said Micah Mallace, senior vice president of marketing and sales for the S.C. State Ports Authority. Mallace said the port operator is fielding inquiries from some of the nation’s largest retailers looking for storage and distribution space.

“The pandemic really solidified the place of the giant retailers — the Walmarts, Targets and Amazons — it’s really accelerated their pace of growth,” he said. “It’s a story of the ‘bigs’ getting bigger.”

And the big retailers need big buildings.

“The market is still vibrant — we’re definitely seeing larger buildings than we’ve ever seen,” said Bob Barrineau, senior vice president with the Charleston office of CBRE, the commercial real estate firm in charge of  marketing the Coastal Crossroads property.

Barrineau said he’s seeing a mix of retail and manufacturing customers looking for space in the region, with the Volvo Cars plant in Ridgeville attracting attention from electric-vehicle suppliers like battery manufacturers. And they are wanting space quickly, with lead times of typically months instead of a year or two.

“We’re getting to the point where we can find out just how vibrant our market is with the big-box buildings,” Barrineau said, adding he expects a 1.5 million-square-foot warehouse eventually will test the local market’s strength.

A report by Daniel Island-based Charleston Industrial shows that 5.1 million square feet of speculative warehouse construction is in the pipeline for 2022, and 85 percent of that space is expected to find a tenant before work wraps up.

The report predates the start of construction of Coastal Crossroads and the announcement by Dallas-based Dalfen Industrial of a 1.3 million-square-foot warehouse — the area’s biggest to date — planned for Palmetto Commerce Park in North Charleston.

Interest in the Dalfen project “has been a lot more than we were hoping for and expecting, which is great,” said Kevin Caille, the Texas developer’s Southeast market manager. A single e-commerce retailer is expected to fill that space, he said. 

All of that new construction is in addition to 1.9 million square feet of space that was leased during the first quarter of this year.

“Shockingly, there is no existing ‘Class A’ space over 40,000 square feet available to be leased and occupied today anywhere in Charleston,” said Mike White, broker in charge for Charleston Industrial. “Warehouse users will have to commit now but wait until (at least) the third quarter of 2022 to occupy their new warehouse space.”

Imported consumer goods continue to break records at the port, which moved 263,344 20-foot-long containers through its terminals in March — the most in a single month and topping the previous high hit in November. Mallace, the maritime agency’s marketing chief, said the flood of imports means more warehouse space is needed.

“We have to be able to continue to develop more,” he said. “If we don’t want to run out of toilet paper and we want to continue buying gym equipment for the home — which we’ve learned we’re not going to use — we have to have available buildings to do so.”

Berkeley County is proud to announce Nucor Steel has been named the “Coolest Thing Made in SC.” The inaugural competition was put on by the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance to highlight the state’s manufacturing industry.

In all, 175 products were nominated. After two months and more than 100,000 votes, Governor Henry Mcmaster announced Nucor Steel as the winner on March 30.

Other Berkeley County industries that took part: Horizon ScientificIFAThorne HealthTechW InternationalFreeman BoatworksCurtiss-Wright Steam & Air SolutionsVolvo Cars USA, and Nexans High Voltage USA Inc.

Nucor Steel has been making steel—one of the world’s most important engineering and construction materials—in the Palmetto State since 1969. Nucor opened its local plant in 1996.

Berkeley County is honored to have world-class companies like Nucor as part of our business community. We look forward to future opportunities to attract more business investments and continue to grow our local economy.

For more about Nucor Steel, visit https://www.nucor.com/.

Read More

Nexans High Voltage USA, Inc. and Berkeley County Government recently celebrated the long-awaited unveiling of Nexans’ new, state-of-the-art offshore wind power vessel, the CLV Nexans Aurora. This milestone moment took place at a special event March 26 at Nexans, located on Bushy Park Road in the County’s unincorporated part of Goose Creek.

The event served as a priceless part of history for Nexans, the County, and the global offshore wind power market. In addition to a number of guest speakers—who were local-elected leaders and Nexans’ officials—the event offered site tours, kids’ activities, an informational tent featuring various community partners, and much more.

It was a celebratory day that served as a prominent example of the ongoing success of economic development across Berkeley County and the Palmetto State, as well as a positive outlook for the future of the nation’s rapidly expanding offshore wind market.

Nexans officially opened its transformed high voltage subsea cable plant in Berkeley County in November. It is the only facility in North America with such capability. Nexans is planning to transport the first subsea high voltage export cable, via the CLV Nexans Aurora, to an offshore windfarm in the UK later this month.

“Nexans’ state-of-the-art operation in Berkeley County shows the world that South Carolina is on the cutting edge of industries of all types. We congratulate Nexans on today’s milestone and look forward to the exciting work they’re doing to connect infrastructure in South Carolina and around the world.” – Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“We are excited to welcome this next step for the future of Nexans and the global offshore wind power market. The arrival of the CLV Nexans Aurora is an unprecedented milestone for Nexans and the County’s industrial sector. Nexans is one of a number of incredibly valuable industries to call Berkeley County home; and we are proud to say that we’re continuing to attract similarly successful, quality industries to our area.” – Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb

For more information on Nexans, visit www.nexans.com.

GET INVOLVED

June 20 – 30, 2022

Tricounty STEMersion 2022 is a two-week, unique hands-on institute for middle and high school instructors in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties in South Carolina. During the institute, educators visit one or two sites per day and will be introduced to local companies’ work environments including the practical use of formulas, theories and/or concepts necessary for a successful work process. Educators will also participate in real-world workplace (hands-on) learning opportunities and lesson writing activities that reinforce why math, science and soft skills are so important for the region’s workforce and economic growth.

EDUCATOR REGISTRATION

FOR BUSINESSES

BECOME AN INDUSTRY PARTNER

Industry partnerships are the driving force behind Tri-County STEMersion. Local companies looking to make a direct investment in our region’s talent pipeline can support STEMersion in the following ways:

  • Host a site visit for educators and counselors
  • Become a STEMersion corporate sponsor
  • Provide a lunch for educators and counselors
BECOME AN INDUSTRY PARTNER

STEMersion Celebrates 5 Years

Tri-County STEMersion 2022 will celebrate five years of empowering educators to prepare our region’s future workforce during this summer’s professional development institute, to be held June 20-30.

STEMersion gives middle and high school instructors and counselors a firsthand look at emerging industry technology. Through hands-on activities and panel discussions with industry leaders, educators form connections between STEM education concepts and workforce preparation. Local STEM-focused companies including Bosch, Boeing and NIWC Atlantic shared insights and trends in workforce development with the 2021 cohort. Participants then applied these insights to develop industry-inspired lessons for use in the classroom. “STEMersion put the ‘why’ in what we teach students. We want our students to be great producers, and with this gained knowledge we can put ideas in our students’ minds,” said 2021 participant Angela LeVan-Woosley, a business education and computer science teacher at Westview Middle School.

Quotes
“An eye-opening experience, Tri-County STEMersion connects the classroom to key competencies and technologies required in today’s work world. The institute builds career awareness, allows local educators to ‘touch’ their curriculum at a local industry site and catapults them to create standards-based, industry-inspired projects for their students to ‘solve by design!'” – S.C. Department of Commerce Regional Workforce Advisor Dr. Patricia Ferguson

In addition to STEM-related topics, STEMersion sessions highlight writing and soft skills as a means of strengthening the region’s talent pipeline. Numerous presenters expressed the importance of investing in human capital to drive innovation and problem-solving capacity within the workforce. Using feedback from these industry leaders, participants explored ways to cultivate students’ ability to communicate, and to think innovatively, to ensure workforce readiness.

Applications for the 2022 cohort are now available at tricountystemersion.com. Twenty-two educators and counselors from Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties took part in the fourth annual session, which concluded June 30, 2021. The experience culminated in a capstone project competition, in which participants were divided into groups to apply STEM concepts such as proof of concept, prototypes, and design review into their final product. The winning project, created by four Berkeley County educators, applied the design and manufacturing processes to address the issue of bullying in schools. The project was then featured as a Day of Caring STEM design challenge in local schools in the region in November 2021.

Despite shifting to a virtual platform, STEMersion’s planning committee piloted several additions in 2021. School counselors joined this year’s cohort for the first time in the program’s history. The newly-launched STEMersion app served as a complement to the virtual sessions. Also, previous STEMersion participants were invited back to the institute as ambassadors. “I was so excited to serve as an Ambassador for STEMersion this year and look forward to being able to be back on-site next year. STEMersion helps teachers make connections between curriculum and careers. This helps teachers truly help students connect skills learned in the classrooms to skills used in the workforce and potential careers,” said Deborah (D.D.) Otap, a makerspace teacher and facilitator at the West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies.

STEMersion is hosted by the S.C. Department of Commerce and Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester County’s economic development offices. For more information, or to apply, visit tricountystemersion.com.

Goose Creek-based W International, which fabricates large-scale metal parts for the U.S. Navy’s next-generation nuclear submarine, is marking the opening of its Center of Excellence to provide training in welding, fitting, forklift and lifting and handling operations.

The training center is at the defense contractor’s manufacturing headquarters at the Charleston International Manufacturing Center in the Bushy Park area of Berkeley County. An opening ceremony is scheduled for Nov 30.

The company plans to offer Navy-accredited welding programs for people who are unemployed or underemployed, with no prior experience necessary. Those enrolled in the program are paid to undergo 240 training hours over an eight-week period. Graduates will receive guaranteed employment with W International. 

The new center will also be open to current W International employees who want to enhance their skills for career advancement.

The welding program’s inaugural class has 47 students who will graduate in December. The program has a waiting list of more than 200.

The new facility is in addition to W International’s welding programs offered to students and adults at the county’s Timberland and Cross high schools.

The training center is part of an expansion at the W International campus that also includes cafeterias, where the company’s growing workforce can take a break and grab a snack in an industrial area with few existing dining options. It also includes a new office for supervisors at the 451,000-square-foot, cube-shaped building that’s the centerpiece of W International’s site. The 225-foot-tall building adjacent to the Cooper River is where the biggest military parts are fabricated and then placed on barges to be transported to customers.

W International counts General Dynamics Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding, the main contractors for the Columbia-class submarine, as its top customers.

Community Leaders Celebrate W International’s new Welding Training Program

New Center of Excellence will offer paid welding training to would-be welders.

Read more here: SC defense contractor’s training center giving would-be welders a chance for new career

DHI Corp (Design House), a home goods provider, today announced plans to establish operations in Berkeley County. The $627,000 investment will create 40 new jobs.

Founded in 1872, Design House offers a variety of home good products for any room. The company’s products include home furniture, lighting, ceiling fans, bath furniture and accessories, kitchen cabinets and much more.

Located at 300 Trade Zone Blvd. in Summerville, Design House’s new facility will increase the company’s capacity to meet growing demand and serve as a distribution center.

The facility is fully operational. Individuals interested in joining the Design House team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $100,000 Set-Aside grant to Berkeley County to assist with costs related to the project.

QUOTES

“As DHI Corp looked to expand our distribution footprint to the eastern United States, we believe we made a great choice in moving to Summerville, S.C. It has the perfect combination of proximity to many U.S. online consumers, a new facility and an expanded port – as well as very supportive local and state teams.” -DHI Corp Vice President of Global Operations Mike Oberlander

“When companies like Design House choose to establish operations in South Carolina, it’s a win for the people, the local community and the entire state. This company’s investment and creation of 40 new jobs are good news for Berkeley County, and we look forward to seeing what’s in store for the future.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“Our state continues to be an ideal destination for companies looking to expand their footprint and grow their distribution operations. We welcome Design House to the South Carolina business community, and know they’ll continue to accomplish great things.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“We are pleased that Design House has chosen Berkeley County for their new East Coast distribution center. By adding dozens of new jobs to our workforce, this expansion will yield a positive impact on our local economy and enhance our citizens’ overall quality of life.” -Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • DHI Corp (Design House) is establishing operations in Berkeley County.
  • The $627,000 investment will create 40 new jobs.
  • Design House is a home goods provider.
  • Located at 300 Trade Zone Blvd. in Summerville, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the Design House team should visit the company’s careers webpage

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCSC) – An energy company hosted a ribbon cutting Tuesday morning for a new plant in Charleston designed to support the U.S. offshore wind market.

The subsea cable facility, Nexans, will bring hundreds of jobs to Goose Creek, according to officials. But what they make at the facility will bring billions of watts of electricity from offshore wind farms to the US.

Nexans’ new 475,000-square-foot plant will manufacture high-voltage subsea power cables. Those cables serve as the link that brings energy created at offshore wind farms to land. It will be the only facility in North American with this capability, Nexans said.

It’s the only one of its kind in the United States, and officials at the ribbon-cutting said there’s a reason why.

“You have Paris, London, New York and Goose Creek,” Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib said. “We’re on the same world playing field with manufacturing for the next generation of energy. That’s what Goose Creek is, that’s where we are and those are the opportunities that folks in and around our city have to work in this kind of an organization.”

Nexans CEO Christopher Guérin said the facility will not just help support the Goose Creek community but U.S. clean energy goals.

The International Energy Agency said that by 2030, the offshore wind market could grow by 13% annually, which means it would generate up to $70 billion of capital investment and add 20 gigawatts of power per year.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, and South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette were all expected to attend the event.: Read more.