I have written many times about the manufacturing industry here in South Carolina—and the success stories continue to ring across the state, so much so that on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, Governor Henry McMaster even issued a proclamation recognizing National Manufacturing Day and October as the official Manufacturing Month in South Carolina.
What types of progress are we making here in South Carolina? Today, the manufacturing industry has a presence across all 46 counties with an annual economic impact of $206 billion, accounting for tens of thousands of jobs statewide, according to the Economic Impact of Manufacturing in South Carolina, developed by the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. We also see for every 10 jobs created in manufacturing, 14 jobs are created elsewhere in South Carolina.
To really understand the magnitude of the mission, let’s look deeper at one of the efforts already underway. Biotechnology and materials company MycoWorks Inc., announced its $107 million investment in Union County in January 2022, with plans to establish operations that would raise the bar for global, sustainable material production and creative fashion solutions. This is a really awesome story for many reasons.
Following up on this announcement, on Sept. 20, 2023, MycoWorks officially opened its Union County operation. In less than two years, MycoWorks has brought online a production facility, using state-of-the-art tools including robotics, digital analytics, and AI (artificial intelligence) to meet the company’s growing, global demand. You know I love that.
In another example,
This is the conversation I have been having with Pamela Evette, lieutenant governor of South Carolina, about the future of work and what she calls the “Workforce of Tomorrow” on The Peggy Smedley Show. On the show we have already explored who the future worker is going to be and how we inspire the younger generation.
On another episode, we have also talked about training this worker of tomorrow, including the importance of looking at what each individual employee wants and needs, if we need to leverage technology, and the impact all of this is having on mentoring and the workforce of tomorrow.
“STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), these are things that weren’t around when I was in school,” Evette explains to me on the podcast. “They weren’t even really talked about when my oldest who is … 27-years-old now was in school. You didn’t hear a lot of that. So now we know we have to get our kids more engaged in technology.”
This week, she will return to The Peggy Smedley Show to continue the discussion around the future of work and what businesses are calling for: soft skills. Make sure to tune in to this week’s episode to learn more about the importance of collaboration and how we can all go about encouraging STEM and STEAM in our own states.
As we move forward in this new era of work, the workforce will be a key component to all of this. How will you continue to inspire and equip the worker of tomorrow to manufacture a better tomorrow? This is the question we should all be asking.
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