South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance president and CEO uses the comic example of the Looney Tunes characters— dogs that barked at each other all day, then when the factory whistle blew, they gathered their lunch boxes, asked each other how their day went and walked home together.
Gossett says some sectors both compete and yet must combine their resources to improve their future in the state.
To create a better environment for the automotive industry to flourish the SCMA, the Upstate Alliance and Clemson University’s ICAR research campus formed the SC Automotive Council which now holds a yearly, three-day summit to allow for networking, identifying industry and statewide issues, and educating all of the industry stakeholders.
They have similar concerns about taxes, about labor, about environmental issues and this is a forum where they can come together,” he says.
Gossett says having a shared research component like ICAR is critical to the establishment of the automotive cluster as a “real strength in the state’s economy.”
A big topic at the this year’s forum in Greenville is workforce development.
“The workforce in our country and in our state in particular, is aging. And as it ages, we’ve got to replace it. The work is getting to be more sophisticated, the products are more sophisticated, the machinery is more sophisticated. The kids that are coming out of high school and going into our technical college system and into our higher ed system need to be more sophisticated in terms of their approaches to science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Gossett says.
AUDIO: Gossett discusses the meeting, the auto sector and how it bolsters other maufacturing (4:36)
The summit lasts through Thursday.