South Carolina welcomes aerospace with open arms

For the past two decades, the aerospace industry has called South Carolina home. It began with BMW giving the state a boost in the automotive industry. Now Boeing is bringing the Palmetto State aviation and aerospace jobs.

Boeing’s selection of South Carolina for its final assembly and delivery facility in 2009, and subsequent expansions cement the state as a top destination for the aerospace and aviation industry. Boeing alone utilizes 350 of South Carolina’s businesses as suppliers and has purchased more than $700 million in products from those companies. The South Carolina aerospace network is now comprised of more than 200 manufacturing and defense businesses across the state, including aerospace engineering companies, manufacturers and design firms, proving the state as one of the nation’s leaders in advanced manufacturing.

South Carolina has more than 180 aerospace manufacturing companies and suppliers, employing more than 20,000 people. These companies are widely distributed throughout the state and include industry leaders such as Boeing, Champion Aerospace, Eaton, GE, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Michelin Aircraft Tire and SKF. The state continues to prove SC is on the cutting edge of an ever-growing industry, according to Aerospace Task Force Director Charlie Farrell.

South Carolina has a rich manufacturing tradition establishing the state as a leader in materials and engineering. The manufacturing industry and synergy with the South Carolina automotive industry support a network for aerospace and defense companies, which has brought billions of dollars of investments and 23,000 jobs to the state.

South Carolina’s network of more than 250 automotive manufacturing plants and ground-transportation-related companies and suppliers represents a major sector of the state’s economy. From Original Equipment Manufacturers to Tier One and Tier Two suppliers that provide systems, sub-systems, components and materials, the South Carolina automotive industry is thriving.

More than 33,000 people work in ground transportation-related manufacturing and automotive plants in South Carolina, and more work in distribution and logistics. A recent study by the University of South Carolina found that the state’s automotive and ground transportation industry represents at least 85,000 full-time equivalent jobs, more than 5 percent of the state’s employment base. In addition, jobs in other industries—from electronics to plastics to textiles—support automotive manufacturers in South Carolina.

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