Skilled workers needed by boat manufacturers in S.C.
Four of the world’s premier boat builders met Monday with South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette and officials from the S.C. Department of Commerce to discuss a common challenge they as industry competitors have — the need for more skilled workers.
The Lowcountry Boat Builder’s Roundtable, sponsored by the South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance (SCBFA), was held at Scout Boats’ manufacturing facility in Summerville. Participants included Scout, Key West Boats, Pioneer Boats, and Sportsman Boats.
Among the four manufacturers, an estimated 200 high-paying jobs are currently vacant.
“Creating high-paying jobs is Governor McMaster’s top priority and there are great career opportunities in boat building in our state,” Evette said. “Our boat building industry has some of the most iconic brands in the country, but they need more skilled workers to keep up with demand. It’s our job at the state level to help them find those workers and we’re dedicated to doing that.”
Boating, fishing industries support 23,000 jobs in S.C.
“Boat building is not a generic trade,” said Dr. Lisa Waller, Chair of the SCBFA Workforce Development Committee and Director of Marketing at Falcon Boats. “Having state leaders see the level of hands-on creativity that goes into designing and building today’s boats emphasizes the need for a comprehensive workforce strategy for our state.”
Boat and fishing tackle manufacturing is a $5 billion industry in South Carolina that supports nearly 650 related businesses and 23,000 jobs.
“Boating and fishing are by far our state’s most popular recreational activities. Over the years, that popularity has spawned a powerful economic cluster of boat and fishing tackle manufacturers within our state that are known throughout the world,” said SCBFA CEO Gettys Brannon. “For the first time, our industry is partnering with the executive and legislative branches of government to tell our story and create educational pathways that will lead to career readiness which is vital to our industry and our state.”
About the South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance
The South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance (SCBFA) is a nonprofit organization representing the state’s boat and fishing tackle manufacturers, who have a $5 billion a year economic impact in the state and support 23,000 jobs. Industry members, along with dealers, retailers, boaters and anglers, are working together to protect and grow this important economic sector while engaging in public policy issues to conserve the state’s important waterways. The SCBFA was officially launched in February 2021. Chris Butler of Butler Marine chairs the SCBFA.
For more information, visit www.SCBFA.com.
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