Over the past few years in South Carolina, we have seen phenomenal growth in industry and jobs. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Berkeley County unemployment rate had steadily declined over the last 7 years. As of November, 2019, according to SC Dept. of Employment and Workforce, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Berkeley County was 1.9%, lower than the State average of 2.4%. This solid foundation will allow a quick economic recovery for Berkeley County.
One of the fastest growing employment opportunities will come from the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services Industry. This is also one of the highest paid industries. This "Tech Economy" in Charleston is growing faster than the national average. I believe the professional, scientific, and technical services industry will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Our workforce needs to be ready for this growth.
The key to ensuring we can meet this demand is three-fold: an educated workforce, transportation options, and associated infrastructure. I am confident that by bringing the right people and organizations together we can address this important and pressing issue.
Additionally, we must continue to support our small businesses which are the lifeblood of our communities. I will work to implement growth in small business incentives and a decline in restrictive small business regulations. We should make it easy to start a small business and stay in business.
South Carolina has the right business climate to not only get our economy back on track, but to grow by seizing opportunities to bring manufacturing currently in China back into the United States, and bring it right here to South Carolina. We not only have a welcoming manufacturing environment, but we also have the necessary technology know-how to provide high quality, low-cost products. South Carolina is a job creator, and this situation will be no different.
I am proud to have been designated a "Business Champion" by the SC Chamber of Commerce.