South Carolina Takes Off in Aerospace Manufacturing

The South has become an increasingly attractive destination for some of the giants in aviation. The region’s low costs, right-to-work laws and generous incentive packages motivate manufacturers to call the area home.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, four Southern states are among the top 10 states in aerospace job growth between 2007 and 2012. Aerospace jobs in South Carolina jumped from 865 workers to 5,685 workers in that time. That’s more than 600 percent! (See actual numbers below.)

boeing-SCSouth Carolina is far ahead of the others thanks to Boeing Co.

In 2009, Boeing selected North Charleston, S.C. to make and assemble its 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft. The company chose the Palmetto State in large part because of the $900 million in tax breaks it stood to receive and other incentives the state would offer over 30 years.

Besides the tax breaks and incentives the state is expected to provide Boeing, it is also spending $33 million for worker training. Several high schools near the Boeing facility now offer aerospace classes.

Top 10 states in aerospace job growth:

• S. Carolina: 613%

• N. Carolina: 34%

• Pennsylvania 33%

• Michigan: 25%

• Washington: 18%

• Oklahoma: 17%

• Georgia: 16%

• Oregon: 12%

• Maryland: 11%

• Illinois: 9%

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