Townes named chairman of aerospace cluster, SC ranks 11th in 4K access and 40th in funding, TransformSC School featured on Palmetto Scene, other news and events
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President & CEO of Ranger Aerospace Named Chairman of Aerospace Cluster Group

Steve Townes has been named chairman of SCAerospace, a private-sector leadership group organized by the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness and the South Carolina Department of Commerce. He will serve a two-year term as chairman.

“Businesses serving a common industry naturally cluster in a geographic location, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with aerospace in South Carolina,” said Ann Marie Stieritz, president and CEO of the SC Council on Competitiveness. “Proactive leadership is crucial to promoting the industry cluster, accelerating innovation and growing markets. Steve’s energy and expertise will do just that for aerospace in South Carolina.”

Townes says other industry leaders are being invited to participate and will be announced at a later date. SCAerospace will convene for the first time this summer to establish branding and action items for the coming year.


Life Sciences Industry Cluster Announces Plan for 
Innovation Campus

Sam Konduros, the executive director of the new Greenville Health System's new Research and Development Corporation
(RDC) announced plans last week for an innovation campus in the Greenville area modeled after the Texas Medical Center.  Innovations in Medical Economic Development (IMED) is a "public-private initiative created to support and accelerate the development of a growing life sciences and healthcare industry cluster in South Carolina."
“While still in the early stages, we believe IMED will lead to the creation of a unique life sciences innovation corridor that has potential to become a powerful economic development magnet and stimulus for the entire Southeast. In time, it will be a growth catalyst comparable to the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), or even the Research Triangle Park in N.C.,” said Konduras.


Aerospace Industry Cluster Activities

The following activities are a part of the SC Council on Competitiveness' plan and ongoing partnership with the South Carolina Department of Commerce to build the aerospace industry cluster.

SC Council on Competitiveness Convenes Aerospace Firms at SCRA’s New Facility

The SC Council on Competitiveness brought together a wide range of aerospace firms at the South Carolina Research Authority in Summerville.  The networking luncheon was kicked off by the new chairman of SCAerospace, Steve Townes. The group enjoyed presentations on industry related issues from RBC Bearings and Trident Technical College. The quarterly networking events will be held throughout the state with the next one scheduled to take place in Greenville in the fall.  Read more>>

SC Council on Competitiveness Convenes Aerospace Support Chain at McNAIR Center

The SC Council on Competitiveness recently gathered members of South Carolina’s aerospace industry support chain at the USC Ronald E. McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation & Research to tour the new facility and to discuss industry needs and opportunities for collaboration.  Inspired by NASA astronaut Ronald E. McNair, the McNAIR Center looks to promote STEM careers and to advance South Carolina on the national aerospace stage.  The McNair Center was made possible through the generous support and collective efforts of Darla Moore, Anita Zucker and Marva Smalls. 
Read more>>

Connecting South Carolina's Aerospace Cluster

An update written from the SC Aerospace team to the SC Aerospace cluster

As the Council's aerospace staff works to expand the industry in South Carolina, they report an increase of AS9100 certifications in the state. This critical link in the supply chain is expected to strengthen throughout the year.  South Carolina’s aerospace cluster is poised to expand to include100 firms holding the AS9100 certification by the end of 2015.  
Read more>>

Report Ranks SC 11th in Access to 4K Programs and 40th in State Funding

Rankings do not include most recent expansion of full-day 4K


An annual report by the nonpartisan National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University (NIEER) ranks South Carolina 11th in access to and 40th in state funding for 4K programs.  The State of Preschool 2014 is based on data from the 2013-2014 school year and includes the $26 million funding expansion enacted by the state legislature in 2013.  

The report does not include a second expansion of 4K enacted by the state legislature for the current school year (2014-2015).  Recent expansions of 4K in South Carolina have resulted in 26 additional school districts becoming eligible to offer full-day 4K since 2012.

TransformSC School Featured on ETV's Palmetto Scene


One of 37 schools in the TransformSC network was recently featured on ETV's Palmetto Scene.  Cougar New Tech Entrepreneurial Academy is a school of choice housed within Colleton County High School.  The New Tech model is a nationally recognized approach that uses cross-disciplinary project-based learning to connect classwork to real-world applications.

Cougar New Tech has seen the following results in their first year:
  • 90% decrease in discipline referrals;
  • Increased average reading level by 2 years in just 9 months' time
  • 12% increased performance on Algebra 1 end-of-course exam
  • 74% fewer failures due to absences
Click the image to watch the video.

Seven More SC Counties Certified as Work Ready

South Carolina on track to become first Work Ready State

Barnwell, Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Lee, Lexington, and Marion counties have joined the roster of Work Ready Communities in South Carolina.  With over half of the state’s counties now certified and the implementation of WorkKeys for all 11th graders, South Carolina is on track to become the first in the nation to be a certified Work Ready State.

Executive Committee Member Named Economic Ambassador for Lexington County

South Carolina Council on Competitiveness Executive Committee Member, Joe Blanchard was recently honored as part of Industry Appreciation Week. The South Carolina Department of Commerce announced the 2015 Ambassadors for Economic Development and named Joe Blanchard as Economic Ambassador for Lexington County. Mr. Blanchard was recognized for his exceptional work in the community and economic development efforts in South Carolina in a ceremony held at the Governor’s Mansion Complex.  Read more>>

TransformSC Co-Chair Receives Woman of Distinction Honor

TransformSC Co-Chair, Pamela Lackey was part of an elite group of women to recently receive The Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands Woman of Distinction Honor. Mrs. Lackey was recognized for her outstanding excellence in service, leadership, community visibility, and professionalism at the April 21 ceremony. The 22nd annual awards dinner took place at the Medallion Conference Center in Columbia and paid tribute to six Midlands-area women.  Read more>>

SC Automotive Council Quarterly Meeting:

Mexico:  Opportunity or Threat?


Draexlmaier Automotive of America
Duncan, SC

With increased pressure for higher quality, cost competitive components and trade agreement advantages, the OEM’s and Tier 1’s are manufacturing in Mexico today.   Click here for the tentative Agenda.
If you are not a manufacturer or SCAC Affiliate Member and you would like to attend this meeting, please click here for sponsor opportunities or contact Catherine Hayes, Executive Director of the SC Automotive Council, for more details: 864.353.6151 or

Its|SC Executive Speaker Series:

Whether Established Company with new IPO or Incubator startup: Addressing the Challenges Insurance-Tech companies face today


Columbia, SC
  • Ed Ossie - Chief Operating Officer, Majesco
  • Denise Garth - Senior Vice President – Strategic Marketing, Industry Relations and Innovation, Majesco
  • Chad Hardaway - Associate Director, USC/Columbia Technology Incubator
  • Sam McGuckin - President & CEO, TCube Solutions
This event is free and open to the public. Invite a colleague, friend, student or mentee to attend! Click here to register.

Aerospace Industry Day & Expo

AUGUST 26-27

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
Columbia, SC

The second annual aerospace conference and expo will be held over two days and will include an Exhibit Hall with a booth capacity of 100 booths. Conference topics will be focused on two major topical tracks:

1) Economic Development; and
2) Technical content.

The event is organized by the SC Council on Competitiveness, USC's McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research, the SC Department of Commerce, SC Aeronautics Commission, and the SC Aviation Association.  

For individual registration, click here.

For exhibitor registration, click here.              

SC Life Sciences Industry Cluster Annual Conference


Marriott Hotel
Charleston, SC

SCBIO Annual Conference...

Where entrepreneurs find resource partners

Where manufacturers support best practices

Where life science enterprises thrive

Click here to register.
The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness is a nonpartisan, business-led non-profit organization committed to advancing the long-term economic competitiveness of our state, industries, and citizens.  Our work is accomplished through:  actionable research on opportunities and threats to South Carolina’s competitiveness; support of industry clusters that provide South Carolina a competitive advantage; and education and workforce development initiatives that ensure all South Carolina’s citizens are equipped to compete in a global economy.  We execute our work through partnerships recognizing that our state’s economic success is secured through sustained collaboration among the private, public, academic and non-profit sectors.  
Copyright © 2015 SC Council on Competitiveness, All rights reserved.

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