Haley Outlines Business-Friendly Plan to Dorchester Chamber

Summerville, South Carolina

October 4, 2011 -  Gov. Nikki Haley defended her phone-greeting mandate with a smile Friday at the Chamber's industry appreciation luncheon.

"The future is bright in South Carolina. It is a great day in South Carolina," she said.

Her sentiment that South Carolinians need to get past their habit of negativity and project pride in the state drew murmurs of agreement.

"It's a small thing that will make a big difference."

The room of 250 local business people and elected officials awarded Haley with strong applause when she talked about her fight with the National Labor Relations Board, which is suing Boeing for moving Dreamliner production to the Charleston area.

Boeing's expansion adds 2,000 jobs in South Carolina, but it also adds 1,000 jobs in Washington, she said. No jobs were lost because of the move, Haley said.

"It's the most un-American thing I've ever seen happen and we're going to fight it every step of the way."

She's talked to officials at Boeing and asked them to fight the case and not settle. She believes fighting will lead to a win for business, but settling will open the door for future lawsuits.

The bonus for South Carolina is that every time she appears on television talking about the case, more companies call South Carolina interested in moving here, she said.

Haley also spoke of how she's working to change the business landscape.

She replaced the entire board of the Department of Health and Environmental Control, and the new chairman is a construction company president.

The state must also focus on training its workforce to match job openings, and there will be an aggressive push starting in January, she said.

South Carolina is attracting jobs with 13,000 new jobs announced since January. She's also focusing on bringing jobs to more rural areas like Denmark and Marlboro County.

County Council Chairman Larry Hargett commended Haley as an effective leader who's leading the way in economic development.

He outlined Dorchester's recent successes and said in 2010 the county announced 651 jobs and $200 million in investment and so far in 2011 a total of 146 jobs and $287 in investment.

The Dorchester County Economic Development Board has also begun developing a strategic plan to guide the county's efforts for the next five years, he said.

The Chamber also singled out representatives from Bosch, which recently received the 2011 Silver Crescent Award for large manufacturers.