Four boatbuilders met this week with South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette and officials from the state Department of Commerce to discuss the need for more skilled workers.
The Lowcountry Boat Builder’s Roundtable, sponsored by the South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance, was held at the manufacturing plant of Scout Boats in Summerville, S.C., and included Key West Boats, Pioneer Boats and Sportsman Boats. SCBFA estimates that 200 boatbuilding jobs are vacant among the companies.
“Creating high-paying jobs is Gov. McMaster’s top priority, and there are great career opportunities in boatbuilding in our state,” Evette said in a statement. “Our boatbuilding industry has some of the most iconic brands in the country, but they need more skilled workers to keep up with demand. It’s our job at the state level to help them find those workers.”
SCBFA said boatbuilding and fishing-tackle manufacturing is a $5 billion industry in South Carolina that supports nearly 650 businesses and 23,000 jobs.
“Boatbuilding is not a generic trade,” said Lisa Waller, chair of the SCBFA workforce development committee and director of marketing at Falcon Boats. “Having state leaders see the level of hands-on creativity that goes into designing and building today’s boats emphasizes the need for a comprehensive workforce strategy for our state.”