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Aerospace

With Boeing's recent location to the Charleston area, Dorchester County and the Lowcountry are in a prime position to accommodate future growth anticipated among the aerospace industry. In addition to Dorchester County's close proximity to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Final Assembly Facility, the County is also strategically located within a growing southeastern aerospace market near global giants like Gulfstream (Georgia); Embraer ((Florida); and HondaJet (North Carolina). With so many international aviation facilities nearby, the Charleston Region is quickly becoming known worldwide as a key aerospace destination. Also providing a competitive advantage is the fact that this location is one of only three places in the world assembling and delivering wide-body commercial aircraft. With statistics like this, it is no wonder that the Lowcountry is getting more than a second glance from the aviation industry.

County Spotlight: Lighthouse for the Blind

In May of 2016, Lighthouse for the Blind opened its Dorchester County facility.  In their first year of operation they hired 32 workers and supplied Boeing with more then 326,000 specialized components.

Attractive Assets

  • Close proximity to Boeing and the Charleston market
  • Significant opportunity to grow and develop an aerospace cluster to support the Boeing facility
  • A well-developed transportation network, including air, rail, interstates, and the Port of Charleston
  • A growing, highly productive workforce in a right-to-work state
  • Low operating costs to increase profitability
  • Access to military and defense talent in the region
  • Proximity to the Charleston International Airport

Training Opportunities & Education

Aerospace companies can develop a trained workforce at little or no cost through readySC, South Carolina's internationally-recognized pre-employment training program. The readySC program, offered through the South Carolina Technical College System, has trained more than a quarter million workers since its inception.

An Aeronautical Studies Division is offered by Trident Technical College (TTC) to prepare students for two different career tracts within the aviation industry: Aircraft Maintenance and Aircraft Manufacturing. The various aviation programs that TTC offers in these fields include the following:

  • Aircraft Maintenance Technology
  • Aircraft Assembly Technology
  • Avionics Maintenance Technology
  • Basic Industrial Work Skills

In addition to these areas of study, TTC also partners with local industries to develop company-specific programs to meet job-training requirements.

Other Resources

Fast Facts

  • As of 2009, the Greater Charleston MSA is the fastest growing mid-size metro for aircraft manufacturing in the U.S. (80% job growth).
  • The Greater Charleston MSA is one of the nation's Top 10 mid-size metros for workforce growth in occupations such as aircraft mechanics, computer hardware engineers, and electrical engineers.
  • Aerospace industry revenue is expected to grow at a rate of 2.5% per year over the next five years, with fuel-efficiency and new technology being the key drivers.
  • The Charleston Region has an available resource of 10,000+ ex-military and government employees with knowledge and experience that have direct applications in the aviation/aerospace industry.

Who's Already Doing Business Here