South Carolina is experiencing a remarkable period of economic growth. A surge of investments has been fueled, in part, by new federal laws which are providing billions of dollars for rebuilding the country’s infrastructure and supporting the growth of next-generation clean manufacturing here in the United States. Crucially, these investments are creating good-paying jobs for people nationwide, particularly in South Carolina. In this article, we’ll examine how the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are driving huge new economic activity in the Palmetto State.
To date, $2.3 billion of funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law is heading to South Carolina. Much of this money will be used for roads, bridges, public transit, ports, and airports, and almost $90 million for clean water. Today, almost 300,000 households across the state are receiving affordable internet thanks to the law. By reaching communities all across South Carolina – including rural communities and historically underserved populations – the law makes critical investments that could greatly improve the lives of South Carolinians and position the state for further success.
At the same time, funding in the Inflation Reduction Act is helping South Carolina cement its position as a leader in clean manufacturing, including as a top producer of electric vehicles (EVs). Last month, Volkwagen-backed Scout Motors, a new EV manufacturer, chose South Carolina to build its $1.3 billion U.S. plant. This site will ultimately employ 4,000 people, and the company’s CEO cited tax incentives in the IRA as a factor in their decision to build in America.
Similarly, BMW is investing $1 billion to further develop its sprawling factory near Spartanburg, South Carolina, to begin building electric vehicles. The German automaker is also investing an additional $700 million to build a new electric-battery plant nearby. Separately, another new factory in South Carolina will make up to 10,000 EV chargers a year, and Albemarle is investing $1.3 billion in a South Carolina lithium processing facility, which will be used in EV batteries.
Spotting this opportunity for his state, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed an executive order in October 2022 that signaled his goal of making South Carolina an EV epicenter by prioritizing building EV infrastructure, preparing the state workforce for advanced manufacturing jobs, and organizing EV planning under a centralized state working group.
The IRA will also expand the number of other clean energy jobs. It is expected to bring an estimated $15 billion of investment in large-scale renewable power generation and storage to South Carolina by 2030. It will achieve this by providing a historic set of tax credits that are expected to create jobs across solar, wind, storage, and other renewable energy sectors. These credits incentivize businesses that pay a prevailing wage, which is expected to support above-average wages for South Carolina workers.
South Carolina’s economic growth is a testament to the power of strategic investments, forward-thinking policies, and the determination of its residents. The bipartisan infrastructure law, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, and the state’s focus on clean energy and the electric vehicle industry have created a thriving environment for businesses and job seekers alike.