Charleston City Council voted Tuesday to change downtown's architectural guidelines, including height limits, in one of the most drastic rewrites since the city first took on the task in the 1930s. The most significant change in the new Board of Architectural Review ordinance is the way the height of proposed new buildings will be measured: not by feet but by the number of stories. The ordinance, which sets the maximum height for buildings across the peninsula, passed with a unanimous vote. It still faces one more vote, which is expected to be taken in August. "We have to go ahead and put this into motion," said Councilman Robert Mitchell. “We need to start moving forward sometime.”
BMW’s first full manufacturing plant built outside of its native Germany was never supposed to come to Spartanburg County. In fact, the German automaker was looking at four other sites: Phoenix, Arizona; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Omaha, Nebraska; and Anderson. BMW officials held conversations about the future of the plant site behind closed doors. But those conversations eventually would lead to one of the most significant industrial investments and economic changes in South Carolina’s history.
A lot of big numbers get thrown around in describing the “skills gap” that faces American industry. On Thursday, Siemens Corp. and the University of South Carolina decided to throw around a big number of their own. The U.S. subsidiary of German conglomerate Siemens AG announced an in-kind donation worth $628 million in hardware and software to USC, for use at the school’s College of Engineering and Computing, as well as its McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research. The hardware and software is expected to give students more hands-on experience in an environment similar to that of today’s industry. “They’re going to work with all the same design and automation technology,” Raj Batra, president of Siemens’ U.S. digital factory division, said at a McNair Center event announcing the donation. The idea is to produce students that walk off the stage at graduation already adept in the product lifecycle management software and automation and controls hardware currently used by factories and R&D facilities. Batra said those skills are important in a business environment that has a need for speed.
Bigger airplanes, more passengers and increased concession sales will land nearly 17 percent more revenue in the coffers of Charleston International Airport's oversight agency over the next 12 months. The Charleston County Aviation Authority signed off Thursday on a $54.7 million spending plan for the next budget year starting July 1. That's about $8 million more than the previous 12 months.
S.C. students should brace themselves to pay roughly $400 more in tuition to attend the University of South Carolina this coming school year, according to two sources close to the school. USC’s trustees are expected to consider a tuition hike Friday in the neighborhood of 3.4 percent, the sources said. If approved, the tuition hike would cost in-state students about $400 more and out-of-state students about $1,000 more, starting this fall. USC did not announce the size of the proposed increase before Friday’s trustees meeting. However, a 3.4 percent hike would be the largest in six years.
With technology driving the everyday lives of most Americans, a new kind of hybrid job blending technology with marketing is gaining in the market. Specifically, these are occupations requiring a combination of programming skills and skills commonly found in design, data analysis, and marketing. In a 12-month period (April 2014-March 2015), more than a quarter million advertised job postings sought hybrid talent in positions such as User Experience Designer, Data Scientist, and Product Manager.
Earlier today, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO), “Expanding Apprenticeships in America,” and announced a new initiative to expand apprenticeship in the U.S. The proposal would provide industry associations, unions, and other stakeholders the flexibility to develop standards for "industry-recognized apprenticeships" (that would complement the existing registered apprenticeship system). The EO directs the Secretary of Labor, in cooperation with the Secretaries of Commerce and Education, to consider proposing new regulations to support the expansion of industry-recognized apprenticeships through the use of third-party certifying entities. Among other things, the regulations must reflect an assessment of whether to: determine how qualified third parties may provide recognition to industry-recognized apprenticeship programs establish guidelines or requirements that qualified third parties should or must follow to ensure that apprenticeship programs they recognize meet quality standards whether to retain the current Registered Apprenticeship system for current employers; and Establishing review process for industry-certified apprenticeships, including processes for terminating a program.
A German company that makes seats for trucks and vans plans to open a manufacturing plant in North Charleston as part of a supplier network providing "just-in-time" parts to the expanding Mercedes-Benz Vans campus. Isringhausen — part of the Aunde Group — will set up operations in the Crosspoint section of Palmetto Commerce Park, according to a document filed with Charleston County's register of deeds.
Sitting in the Michigan Union, doing some studying before heading off to her retail job in downtown Ann Arbor, Kate Meyers was unaware that her financial plans for the next several years had just changed. Meyer, 20, of Grand Rapids, is about to get her University of Michigan tuition paid for. She is one of thousands of current students and a lot more future students who won't have to pay tuition to attend the Ann Arbor school, thanks to the new Go Blue Guarantee unveiled by the school Thursday and approved by the board.
Each day at Zimmer Biomet headquarters, machinists on one robot-assisted factory floor churn out about 3,000 metallic knee parts. They are facing pressure to crank up the pace as the population ages and demand soars. But the artificial-bone giant is grappling with a steep downside of the nation’s low unemployment rate: It is struggling to find enough workers, despite offering some of the region’s best pay and benefits. Forty positions sit open. Other manufacturers in Kosciusko County, home to roughly one-third of global orthopedic device production, are running into the same problem. The lack of laborers not only threatens to stunt the growth of these companies, experts warn, but it could also force them to decamp their home town in search of workers.
With Amazon buying the high-end grocery chain Whole Foods, something retail analysts have known for years is now apparent to everyone: The online retailer is on a collision course with Walmart to try to be the predominant seller of pretty much everything you buy. Each one is trying to become more like the other — Walmart by investing heavily in its technology, Amazon by opening physical bookstores and now buying physical supermarkets. But this is more than a battle between two business titans. Their rivalry sheds light on the shifting economics of nearly every major industry, replete with winner-take-all effects and huge advantages that accrue to the biggest and best-run organizations, to the detriment of upstarts and second-fiddle players. That in turn has been a boon for consumers but also has more worrying implications for jobs, wages and inequality.
Thirteen years ago, two prominent U.S. economists wrote that driverless cars couldn’t execute a left turn against oncoming traffic because too many factors were involved. Six years later, Google proved it could make fully autonomous cars, threatening the livelihoods of millions of truck and taxi drivers. Throughout much of the developed world, gainful employment is seen as almost a fundamental right. But what if, in the not-too-distant future, there won’t be enough jobs to go around? That’s what some economists think will happen as robots and artificial intelligence increasingly become capable of performing human tasks. Of course, past technological upheavals created more jobs than they destroyed. But some labor experts argue that this time could be different: Technology is replacing human brains as well as brawn.
The summer job is considered a rite of passage for the American Teenager. It is a time when tossing newspaper bundles and bussing restaurant tables acts as a rehearsal for weightier adult responsibilities, like bundling investments and bussing dinner-party plates. But in the last few decades, the summer job has been disappearing. In the summer of 1978, 60 percent of teens were working or looking for work. Last summer, just 35 percent were. Why did American teens stop trying to get summer jobs? One typical answer is: They’re just kids, and kids are getting lazier. One can rule out that hypothesis pretty quickly. The number of teens in the workforce has collapsed since 2000, as the graph below shows. But the share of NEETs—young people who are “Neither in Education, Employment, or Training”—has been extraordinarily steady. In fact, it has not budged more than 0.1 percentage point since the late 1990s.
Americans for the Arts, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that provides support to arts groups across the country, just published its latest economic impact report, “Arts and Economic Prosperity 5.” The report presents 2015 data collected from 341 cities, counties and regions, including Charleston, Columbia and Spartanburg areas as well as York County in South Carolina. “Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity during 2015: $63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences,” states Americans for the Arts. “This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments (a yield well beyond their collective $5 billion in arts allocations).”
The nation's largest solar installer is pulling the plug on its South Carolina expansion. SolarCity, the clean-energy subsidiary of Tesla Inc., confirmed Friday that it's closing its office in the Lowcountry less than a year after it opened, ending its first foray into the Palmetto State and one of its first pushes into the Southeast. The unexpected move comes at a moment when the solar industry is gaining traction in South Carolina, driven by giant industrial-scale installations but complemented by an expanding market for residential solar power. California-based SolarCity's departure from the state may owe to the shakeout from its acquisition by Tesla, the electric car manufacturer run by Elon Musk, who was an early investor in SolarCity. A few months after that deal closed in November, Tesla said it was scrapping SolarCity's door-to-door sales force.
Samsung Electronics Co. is in late-stage discussions to invest about $300 million to expand its U.S. production facilities at a factory soon to be vacated by Caterpillar Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, with an announcement expected as early as next week. The facility eyed by Samsung is in Newberry, S.C., a town located about 150 miles northwest of the port of Charleston, the people said, with plans to shift over some production of oven ranges made currently in Mexico. The investment could generate around 500 jobs, and though the start date is unclear, production would likely begin next year, the people said.
The CEO of Charleston International Airport in South Carolina will stay at his post for two more years. The Post and Courier reports the Charleston County Aviation Authority voted unanimously Thursday to keep CEO Paul Campbell in charge of Charleston International and its two other airports. This means the 70-year-old is postponing his previously announced retirement plans. Campbell, who's also a state senator from Goose Creek, currently earns $225,000 annually. Aviation Authority chairman Billy Swails says a new contract will be written where Campbell may make more.
Legendary Management Inc. plans to boost its event-promotions work in South Carolina with an expansion project in Charleston. “The company has grown tremendously in the last year and we see the great opportunity to build our market presence in both Charleston and Myrtle Beach,” Nate Kelly, the company's director of operations, said. “We couldn’t be in a better situation right now to have two great markets in South Carolina where the ability to grow is endless.” Legendary Management's office is in Surfside Beach, just south of Myrtle Beach. In the next several months it will expand with another location in Charleston. Kelly will be in charge of both locations.
Five months ago at a Boeing factory in South Carolina, President Donald Trump proclaimed, "We are going to fight for every last American job." On Thursday, workers at the North Charleston plant learned they'd soon face layoffs. The airplane manufacturer announced it would be cutting "fewer than 200 people" at the 787 Dreamliner campus and other facilities in the city. "Our competition is relentless, and that has made clear our need as a company to reduce cost to be more competitive," Boeing said in a statement. "We are offering resources to those affected by layoffs to help them in finding other employment and ease their transition as much as possible."
On the final business day of the Paris Air Show, Boeing emerged the clear winner over rival Airbus, thanks largely to sales of the 737 MAX. The 737 MAX 10 successfully launched in Paris was “clearly the star of the show,” said Boeing vice president for marketing Randy Tinseth in a phone interview Thursday from Paris, but he added that additional Boeing widebody jet sales could also help buoy production rates in Everett. Counting new firm orders and commitments, Boeing won 571 sales in Paris. Airbus claimed 336. At list prices, the Boeing sales haul in Paris added up to $75 billion. According to market-pricing data from aircraft-valuation firm Avitas, the real value after standard industry discounts would be about $35 billion.
Boeing Co. on Thursday announced layoffs affecting fewer than 200 workers at its 787 Dreamliner campus and other operations in North Charleston, the first involuntary separations at the facilities since the aerospace giant moved to South Carolina in 2009. The job cuts are part of a company-wide effort to reduce costs in Boeing's commercial airplane division to better compete with France-based rival Airbus. While thousands of Boeing workers in Washington state have lost their jobs since the cost-cutting program was announced in December, the layoffs had not impacted North Charleston employees until now.
The battle for market share on the trans-Pacific can be clearly seen in the freight rate levels that have slumped to a 10-month low even as volumes grow strongly on the trade and the peak season approaches. Spot rates from Shanghai to North America have dropped to $1,146 per FEU to the West Coast and $2,081 per FEU to the East Coast, erasing all gains made since September 2016 when Hanjin Shipping’s sudden departure resulted in a surge in spot freight rates, according to maritime analyst Alphaliner. Data from PIERS, a sister product of JOC.com within IHS Markit, show eastbound trans-Pacific volume increasing by 5.3 percent in the first five months of the year. Alphaliner said the May liftings numbers reveals that all the main carriers (apart from Hapag-Lloyd and UASC) have capitalized on Hanjin’s departure from the trans-Pacific trade with notable volume gains by new entrant SM Line, PIL (up 108 percent), HMM (up 60 percent), and OOCL (up 56 percent).
Charleston's International African American Museum is still expected to open by the end of 2019 in time to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans' arrival in America. Museum President Michael Moore said he's not worried about the project's schedule, even after the S.C. Legislature passed the new state budget this month without the $5 million the museum expected from the state this year. "We’re going to get this done, there’s no question about that," Moore said.
AEROSPACE Subscribe to Our Digital Newsletters Enter Your E-Mail SUBMIT Machinists union closes North Charleston office Liz SegristBy Liz Segrist @lizsegrist firstname.lastname@example.org PRINT STORY JUN 21, 2017 SHARE Three years after opening a small campaigning office in North Charleston, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers has shuttered its S.C. operations, union spokesman Jonathan Battaglia confirmed in an email. The union has no plans to reopen the office at this time, Battaglia said.
Boeing soared into the 2017 Paris Air Show with two commercial airliners so new, they had barely been seen by the public before. Both the 787-10 and the 737 Max 9 only made their first flights this year, and Boeing was eager to show off its new prizes to airline customers and the press, not to mention fierce rival Airbus. Throw in a few aviation geeks who show up just to gawk and you end up with quite the event.
FIFI -- one of the only two operational Boeing B-29 Superfortresses left in the world landed at Charleston International Airport Monday, June 19, 2017. The plane will be on display at Atlantic Aviation from Wednesday June 21- Sunday June 25.
Office Evolution, a rapidly-growing B2B franchise offering co-working space, private office space, virtual offices and business services, has partnered with Charleston business leader, Andy Fry, to open a new business center in the downtown Charleston historic district. The new 7,000 square foot business center, located at 460 King St., Suite 200, offers small businesses and entrepreneurs professional, on-demand office space – from co-working space and 21 private furnished offices to several conference rooms, business mailing and telephone answering services and administrative support.
Hustling for new customers at the Paris Air Show, Boeing Co on Monday announced plans to build the 737 Max 10, its biggest single-aisle airliner yet. The aircraft will seat up to 230 passengers and be 5.5 feet longer than the company’s 737 Max 9, which seats 178 passengers. The move is aimed at helping Boeing compete with Europe’s Airbus SE.
Southern U.S. ports are experiencing a record foreign trade boom thanks in part to an expanded Panama Canal that permits Asian cargo ships to reach them more easily. Georgia Ports Authority and the Port of Virginia, which include the nation's fourth and fifth largest ranked by volume, respectively, each moved the most cargo they have ever handled in May. The two ports posted more than 10 percent year-over-year volume growth for the month. They aren't alone. South Carolina State Ports Authority, which includes the Port of Charleston, had its best ever month in March, April and May and overall volume from last July through May is up 9.4 percent compared to a year earlier.