From S.C., Concerns about Health Care, Cap-and-Trade, Skills

Otis Rawl, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, chats with Jay Timmons, executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, in his CEO Corner video interviews.

Health care is the topic of the first video. Timmons:

All across the country, and I’m sure in South Carolina it’s exactly the same: Health care costs are skyrocketing. It’s a problem for business, it’s a problem for employers. Ninety-seven perfect of the members of the National Association of Manufacturers provide good quality health-care benefits for the employees, and we don’t want to risk that, we don’t want to lose that, and we don’t want to see our manufacturers who are providing those benefits have to pay more in taxes. That doesn’t make sense. 

Cap-and-trade is the subject of the second video.

South Carolina received big manufacturing-related news late last month when Boeing announced it had chosen its North Charleston, S.C., facility for a second final assembly site for the 787 Dreamliner program. (Boeing news release.) Interesting to see Rawl’s reaction in this column in The Item newspaper on the implications for the state: Business is concerned about education and training.

Otis Rawl, head of the state Chamber of Commerce, said a big-picture view had to focus on Boeing’s suppliers, many of whom likely would move to the state to be able to be near to the plant.

Those jobs generally will locate within a 100-mile radius of the North Charleston plant, which means some job help for rural areas, he said. “This announcement sends the message that South Carolina has gotten back in the game of economic development,” Rawl said. “It gives us all a little sense of things getting better.” Perhaps one thing that the Boeing announcement will force, Rawl added, is a refocused political debate on how to reshape a huge driver of all economic development – how the state educates its residents.

“We’re going to have to take a look at some type of statewide funding for public education,” he said.

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