Doing Business Here

Carolinas #1 Workforce

With more than 100 people moving to the area every day, the South Carolina I-77 region, spanning from Charlotte to Columbia, has one of the largest and fastest growing workforces in the Carolinas and the Southeast.


Invest Here. Interested in learning more about the I-77 region? Contact Chris Finn.

Daily Commutes Into I-77 Region

Every day, over 110,000 people commute into the I-77 Region. With a combined 3.4 million people in two metropolitan areas, our location and labor availability is one of our most attractive assets for new and expanding companies.

Commutes by County


Commutes into Chester County per day


Commutes into Fairfield County per day

Lancaster County

Commutes into Lancaster County per day


Commutes into Richland County per day


Commutes into York County per day

Labor Costs

Regional Workforce Study

South Carolina I-77 Alliance partnered with TIP Strategies to assess and profile the region’s workforce and examine the alignment of the region’s workforce with the I-77 Alliance’s target industries.

Customized Workforce Training Programs

South Carolina Department of Commerce (SCDOC)

Regional Workforce Advisors

SCDOC’s Regional Workforce Advisors (RWAs) serve as a connection for the business and education communities to collaborate on how to best prepare the workforce to meet industry demands. The RWAs help bridge gaps at the local level between the education community and businesses, to ultimately help businesses find qualified and skilled workers for job openings.

South Carolina Technical College System – Division of Economic Development


A state-funded program, readySC is provided at little or no cost to new and expanding businesses in South Carolina. The offer customized workforce recruitment, assessment, training development, management and implementation services to qualifying companies, from one of the oldest and most experienced workforce training programs in the United States.

Apprenticeship Carolina™

Apprenticeship Carolina ensures all S.C. employers have access to the information and technical assistance they need to create demand-driven registered apprenticeship programs – an “earn while you learn” training model combining structured on the job training, job-related education, and a scalable wage progression.

EZone Retraining Program

EZone reimbursements support industry competitiveness and innovation in South Carolina.

When your manufacturing facility is ready to install new equipment, implement new processes, or upgrade technology, EZone can refund 67% of your training dollars spent on full-time production or technology first line employees or immediate supervisors with 2+ years on company payroll.

Contact info:

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Workforce Training Resources

I-77 Region Resources

  • State-of-the-Art training facility with 13 labs for hands-on learning, a computer lab, five traditional classrooms and student atrium
  • Students courses include Manufacturing Technician, Industrial Mechanics, Industrial Electricity, Industrial Maintenance, Mechatronics and Building Construction Technology
  • Strives to better train a sustainable pipeline of technical talent to meet local industry’s skilled workforce needs
  • Established to improve America's capacity for international understanding and economic enterprise by providing international education, research and training activities that help U.S. businesses prosper in an international economy
  • Enables USC to marshal their internationally oriented educational, research and outreach resources in a manner that directly serves to strengthen the international competitiveness of the U.S.
  • Unique resource for innovative education, research and outreach to serve a growing constituency with new multi-disciplinary approaches to meet the challenges of a dynamic international environment
  • Ranked as the #1 international MBA program in the United States by U.S. News & World Report
  • Program includes an extensive international immersion and second language development
  • Integrated coursework with real-world consulting projects to help students become “business ready” on a global scale
  • Expanded leadership development curriculum prepares students with long-term leadership skills, giving them the agility they need to succeed in any marketplace
  • Seeks to provide USC students with intensive exposure to entrepreneurial concepts, small business management training, and interaction with a network of successful entrepreneurs in South Carolina
  • Partners with Ernst & Young and the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of North Carolina in hosting the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Carolinas Region
  • Facilitates and supervises the conduct of in-depth consulting projects by students in The Darla Moore School of Business who work with entrepreneurial companies throughout South Carolina
  • Consulting teams work with a small business on a specific problem or project. The projects are driven by the clients’ needs, with the goal of providing a real service in return for the opportunity for students to gain practical experience in researching and solving a business problem
USC College of Engineering & Computing
  • $4.5 million Advanced Composite Materials Research Center
  • South Carolina’s only master’s degree in aerospace engineering and engineering management, offering an undergraduate minor in aerospace engineering
  • Provides Total Workforce Development, conducting objective, verifiable and comprehensive analysis based on industry workforce requirements
  • Partners with organizations to promote STEM programs, curriculums, camps and activities
  • Focuses on developing new lightweight composite structures and advanced robotic technology for aircraft components
  • Only university center in the US with a production-level fiber placement machine
  • Conducts research targeting industry needs such as engineered materials, stir friction welding and processing, durability, fatigue analysis and health monitoring

Statewide Resources

  • State-of-the-art, 111,000 square foot research laboratory facility that houses internationally recognized research programs in optoelectronics, chemistry and materials science
  • Internationally recognized for its work in advanced fibers, films, ceramics, plastics, optics, composites and nanomaterials
  • The National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense and NASA have all recognized the laboratory’s work and have offered funding to fuel future innovation
SmartState Center of Economic Excellence
  • Scholars and entrepreneurs with expertise in natural and synthetic polymer-based advanced fibrous materials, with applications in the automotive, space, athletic equipment and medical markets
  • Develops advanced synthetic polymers and enhances natural fibrous materials, including wool, cotton and silk
SmartState Center of Economic Excellence
  • Research unit of the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University which is uniquely positioned to support the research, workforce development and outreach needs of the industry
  • Conducts applied research in wide-ranging areas including organic LEDs, specialty optical fiber, light-emitting plastics, glasses and crystals
  • Focuses on application-specific synthesis, characterization and integration of optical materials and optoelectronic structures
  • Comprehensive computational center dedicated to solving problems in the automotive, aerospace, and energy industries
  • Features world-class, massive high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure, creative modeling techniques and experienced PhD & MS engineers,
  • Offers engineering simulation capabilities to assist aerospace companies with product development
Clemson iLEad!
  • Multiyear certification initiative designed to provide participating students with a structured, yet flexible, approach to learning about leadership
  • Students develop leadership potential through the completion of 20 elements comprised of knowledge acquisition, applications of skills and experiences centered around the leadership development of the student
  • Students evolve in the program, initially learning about leadership through seminars and workshops, to ultimately demonstrating leadership experiences prior to graduation
SmartState Center of Economic Excellence
  • Partners with government, business and industry to address the issues related to moving raw materials, goods and services from manufacturing to consumers
  • Research focuses on supply chain modeling, material handling, logistics, planning systems and distribution
  • Fluor Corporation is a full non-state partner for this Center, which has major ongoing projects with Michelin and Milliken
  • Located along Interstate-85’s booming industrial corridor, allowing CISCOL to provide essential support to companies and manufacturers in South Carolina
  • Premier 250-acre automotive research, innovation and educational technology campus with $250 million in total investments and 770 on-site jobs created
  • Focuses research on Advanced Powertrain Systems, Automotive Systems Integration, Human Factors/HMI, Manufacturing and Materials, Vehicle Performance, Vehicle to Vehicle Connectivity, Vehicle Infrastructure Integration and Vehicular Electronics
  • Highly regarded for its innovative, applied approach to advanced business topics
  • Students collaborate with prestigious domestic and international companies on real-world projects as well as network with executives, entrepreneurs and HR professionals at more than 20 program-sponsored events scheduled throughout the year
  • Students have access to personalized, individual career counseling and job placement assistance including an annual employer networking forum
  • Created to capitalize on the synergies that exist between the graphic communications and the packaging science departments
  • Only university program in the country with this multidisciplinary approach to packaging as a core competency
  • Houses the only research and development center of its kind in the nation

Dig Deeper into the Numbers. Visit the Economic Data Center