The aerospace industry is truly soaring in the Palmetto State. In 2016, the University of South Carolina (USC) Darla Moore School of Business released a study showing that the industry has a $19 billion annual economic impact on South Carolina. Furthermore, approximately 53,000 are employed either by an aerospace firm or an aviation-related military installation in the state. So, it is easy to see the importance of cultivating continued growth in this high-flying sector.
On October 9-10, industry leaders from around the country will gather in Columbia to discuss ways to do just that at the fifth annual South Carolina Aerospace Conference & Expo. The focus of this year’s conference is not just to allow businesses and individuals to learn, grow and connect with each other, but also to spark an interest in aerospace with our state’s youth by bringing middle and high school students to tour the expo hall in the first statewide Aerospace Career Days. As the industry continues to grow, we want to ensure we are fostering a pipeline of employees to support it.
On the first day of the conference, USC Darla Moore School of Business Economist Joey Von Nessen will provide an update to the 2016 study. Other highlights of the three-day agenda include keynote addresses from Wendy Sowers, director of Market Analysis for Boeing Commercial Airplanes; Mike Fox, general manager and site director of Lockheed Martin’s Greenville County operations; and Major General Charles Bolden, former administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
As the final preparations are made for this year's conference, it's clear that the excitement surrounding aviation in South Carolina will only continue. As it does -- and, as our state further enhances its role as a major player in the global aerospace industry -- South Carolina's economy will continue to soar, bringing opportunities and prosperity to every corner of this state.