Charleston Regional Development Alliance

Berkeley, Charleston & Dorchester Counties

Printed from www.crda.org

A Solid Business Climate

Greater Charleston has experienced unprecedented business growth over the past several years, with both multinational corporations and fast-growing startups taking advantage of our globally competitive business environment.

Charleston's success in attracting corporate investment - by both new and existing companies - is due to a number of factors including a pro-business tax and incentive structure, a highly skilled workforce, world-class infrastructure and an attractive coastal location.
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Public & Private SectorInternationalManufacturingDistributionHeadquartersBusiness Statistics

Largest Public Sector Employers, Charleston S.C. MSA

Company  Product or Service  Employees 
Joint Base Charleston Area U.S. military commands 22,000
Medical University Of South Carolina (MUSC) Hospital, post-secondary education, research 13,000
Charleston County School District Education/public schools 5,300
Berkeley County School District Education/public schools 3,700
Dorchester County School District II Education/public schools 3,100
Charleston County Local government 2,100
College Of Charleston Post secondary education 2,000
City of Charleston Local government 1,600
Santee Cooper Electric and water utility 1,200
U.S. Postal Service Postal service 1,100
Berkeley County Local government 1,000
City of North Charleston Local government 1,000
Source: Center for Business Research, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2/2013


Largest Private Sector Employers, Charleston S.C. MSA

Company  Product or Service  Employees 
Boeing South Carolina Aircraft manufacturing 6,000
Roper St. Francis Healthcare Roper and Bon Secours St Francis Hospitals 5,100
JEM Restaurant Group Inc. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut Franchises in the MSA 3,000
Trident Health System Hospital system 2,500
Walmart Inc. Retail merchandise 2,300
Robert Bosch LLC Antilock brake systems, fuel injectors, common rail & unit injectors 2,200
Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co Inc. Grocery wholesaler/retailer headquarters, distribution center 1,800
SAIC System engineering and integration services 1,800
Nucor Steel Manufacturing - steel roll & steel beam 1,500
Kiawah Island Golf Resort/The Sanctuary at Kiawah Resort 1,500
Blackbaud, Inc. Specialty computer software development & design 1,300
Publix Supermarkets Charleston area retail grocery stores 1,200
Verizon Wireless Inbound/outbound call center for communications company 1,200
Source: Center for Business Research, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2/2013


For a list of leading employers by county, visit:

Largest International Employers, Charleston S.C. MSA

Nationality  Company  Employees 
Belgian Agfa Materials Corp. USA 110
Wabco Compressor Mfg. Co. 95
British BAE Systems EI&S 450
Charleston Place 325
VT Milcom 275
BP 225
Canadian Gildan Activewear 230
Streit USA Armoring 50
Welded Tube - Berkeley 50
Colombian Cementos Argos S.A. 80
Finnish Kemira Chemicals, Inc. 50
French Hagemeyer North America 150
Rhodia 115
Zodiac of North America 100
German Robert Bosch LLC 2,200
Behr Heat Transfer Systems, Inc. 375
Getrag Precision Gear 235
IFA Rotorion North America LLC 210
Daimler Vans Manufacturing, LLC 120
Linde Material Handling NA 115
Berchtold Corp. 95
Syn Strand Inc. 90
LANXESS Corp. 85
Greek Thrace-LINQ, Inc. 70
Italian Strand-Tech Martin, Inc. 40
Japanese Showa Denko Carbon, Inc. 300
Asahi Kasei Spandex America, Inc. 170
Sun Chemical 150
TBC Corp East Coast Distribution Center 100
Mexican DAK Americas 180
Russian Delfin USA 170
South African Pegasus Steel 75
Spanish Giant Cement Holding Inc. 130
Swedish SKF Aero Bearing 50
Venture Aerobearings LLC 45
Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Co. (USA) 290
ADT Security Services 110
Source: Center for Business Research, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 4/2013.


Charleston S.C. MSA Largest Manufacturing Employers

Company  Product  Employees 
Boeing South Carolina Aircraft manufacturing 6,000
Robert Bosch LLC Antilock brake systems, fuel injection 2,200
Nucor Steel Manufacturing - steel roll & steel beam 1,500
KapStone Charleston Kraft LLC Paper, packaging, forest products 1,030
Detyens Shipyards, Inc. (DSI) Shipyard; general ship repairs & modifications 800
Cummins Turbo Technologies Manufacture turbochargers & air compressors 680
General Dynamics Land Systems - Force Protection Mine-protected vehicles, military class vehicles 600
Alcoa Mt. Holly Primary aluminum ingot; aluminum smelting 600
BAE Systems EI&S North Charleston Electronic security and communications systems design, manufacturing and integration 450
Behr Heat Transfer Systems, Inc. Manufacturer of engine cooling systems 375
MWV (MeadWestvaco Corporation) Specialty Chemicals Diverse portfolio of specialty chemical products, community development, forest management 350
Showa Denko Carbon, Inc. Manufacture graphite electrodes for steel-making industry 300
TIGHitco Design and fabrication of engineered components for aerospace and industrial applications 300
VT Milcom Engineering, IT and technical services, fabrication and assembly 275
DAK Americas PET resin 250
AAI Corporation Software/hardware design and production; flight simulators 250
Hill-Rom Inc. Specialty medical equipment 250
Albany International Paper machine press fabrics (felts) 240
Source: Center for Business Research, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 1/2014.


Charleston S.C. MSA Largest Distribution Employers

Company  Product  Employees 
Gildan Activewear Import and distribution of apparel to retailers; retail division administration operations 250
DiMare Johns Island Inc Wholesale agricultural products distribution 250
Quoizel, Inc. Distribution of decorative lighting products 225
Pearlstine Distributors Beer distributor 215
Piggly Wiggly Distribution Center Grocery products distribution center 200
Berchtold Corp. Manufacture & distribute surgical equipment; corporate headquarters 180
Fruit of the Loom Palmetto Distribution Center Undergarments 160
Hagemeyer North America Electrical/industrial equipment & tools distribution 150
Kinder Morgan Distribution terminals for bulk materials including chemicals and petroleum products; Southeast Regional Office 145
Moulton Logistics Management Direct response order fulfillment 125
Linde Material Handling NA Distribution of industrial & commercial machinery 115
TBC Corporation East Coast Distribution Center Distribution center serving East Coast automotive replacement tire market 100
Source: Center for Business Research, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2/2013


Headquarters Facilities, Charleston S.C. MSA

Company  Product  Type   Local employees 
Blackbaud, Inc. Specialty computer software development & design Corporate 1300
Benefitfocus Custom benefits software Corporate 600
Evening Post Industries Inc. Media, real estate and forestry Corporate 450
Ware On Earth Communications Inc. Information assurance, system integration, network engineering, and enterprise architecture and infrastructure Corporate 400
GEL Group Environmental lab and engineering services Corporate 350
MWV - Specialty Chemicals Division Specialty chemicals World 350
Cullum Mechanical Construction Inc. Mechanical contracting Corporate 300
Mediterranean Shipping Co. (USA) Inc. Shipping container manufacturing and steamship line U.S. 300
Hill-Rom Inc. Specialty medical equipment Division 250
Quoizel, Inc. Distribution of decorative lighting products Corporate 225
Knight's Companies Concrete and other construction related products and services Corporate 220
Berchtold Corp. Surgical equipment Corporate 180
Hagemeyer North America Electrical/industrial equipment, tools distribution Corporate 150
JW Aluminum Flat-rolled aluminum products Corporate 130
Life Cycle Engineering Inc. Engineering and applied technology solutions U.S. 130
SPARC, LLC Full software development life-cycle support and software product development services for commercial, federal and defense contractor sectors Corporate 130
PeopleMatter Human resources software developer World 100
Z Marine of North America Inc. Rigid-hull inflatable boats (RIBs) Division 100
Bunch Transport Inc. Truckload services, volume LTL services, brokerage & logistics Corporate 100
Sawgrass Technologies Specialty ink systems World 85
Pegasus Steel Heavy steel fabrication North American 75
AstenJohnson, Inc. Paper machine felt manufacturing Corporate 75
Rogers & Brown Custom Brokers & International Freight Forwarders Import-Export brokers; 3PL or 4PL logistics World 75
ArborGen LLC Commercialization of tree genetics Corporate 70
Thrace-LINQ, Inc. Heavy-duty, petroleum-based textiles U.S. 70
TWL Precision Manufacture precision automotive components North American 60
Giant Cement Holding Inc. Cement plant operations U.S. 60
Call Experts Customized call center services with 24/7 operations Corporate 60
Belimed, Inc. Infection control technology U.S. 50
The Urban Electric Co. Design and production of high-end lighting products Corporate 45
Modulant Software developer; systems integration World 40
TRUMPF Medical Systems, Inc. Surgical equipment North American 35
Le Creuset of America Marketing headquarters for cookware manufacturer and marketer Division 25
The Intertech Group Inc. Holding company and operator of 100+ firms worldwide with an emphasis on technology-driven manufacturing firms World 25
Source: Center for Business Research, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 6/2013. List above shows selected headquarters facilities and is not meant to be comprehensive.


2011 Charleston S.C. Metro Area Business Patterns

  Total Establishments by Number of Employees
Industry Code Description Number of Employees Total Establishments 1-4 5-9 10-19 20-49 50-99 100-249 250-499 500-999 1000 or more
Total 235,543 16,376 8,576 3,288 2,196 1,544 453 237 54 17 11
Agriculture, forestry, fishing & hunting 279 40 28 6 4 1 1 0 0 0 0
Mining, quarrying, & oil & gas extraction 52 10 6 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
Utilities 500-999* 36 10 2 12 8 2 2 0 0 0
Construction 11,509 1,478 944 249 165 91 21 6 2 0 0
Manufacturing 20,338 470 203 74 60 69 26 24 9 2 3
Wholesale trade 8,655 757 390 158 117 64 15 12 1 0 0
Retail trade 35,481 2,621 1,121 691 442 231 83 45 8 0 0
Transportation & warehousing 8,874 571 295 98 73 74 17 11 2 1 0
Information 7,591 248 134 34 36 24 10 4 3 1 2
Finance & insurance 8,105 1,066 633 250 116 47 10 8 2 0 0
Real estate & rental & leasing 4,203 884 664 139 50 21 6 3 1 0 0
Professional, scientific, & technical services 17,659 1,962 1,354 298 154 104 26 19 3 4 0
Management of companies & enterprises 2,715 82 33 18 13 8 7 0 2 1 0
Administrative & support & waste management & remediation services 21,770 949 539 148 102 70 41 32 12 4 1
Educational services 4,620 193 85 34 26 29 9 9 0 1 0
Health care & social assistance 34,358 1,649 706 445 244 174 42 26 6 1 5
Arts, entertainment, & recreation 4,721 250 123 39 32 39 11 5 0 1 0
Accommodation & food services 32,103 1,529 402 219 378 396 104 26 3 1 0
Other services (except public administration) 11,535 1,557 883 384 169 94 22 5 0 0 0
Industries not classified 37 24 23 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2000 Charleston S.C. Metro Area Business Patterns

Major Industry Total Establishments by Number of Employees
Industry Code Description Number of Employees Total Establishments 1-4 5-9 10-19 20-49 50-99 100-249 250-499 500-999 1000 or more
Total 219,499 14,070 7,129 2,898 1,983 1,341 394 236 53 26 10
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting 500-999* 56 38 9 6 2 0 0 1 0 0
Mining, quarrying, & oil & gas extraction 100-249* 9 3 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0
Utilities 500-999* 33 6 4 11 7 4 1 0 0 0
Construction 16,670 1,650 915 329 223 137 28 14 2 2 0
Manufacturing 21,307 437 144 80 66 66 31 29 15 4 2
Wholesale trade 8,013 624 275 137 118 69 17 6 1 1 0
Retail trade 32,356 2,498 1,106 648 428 183 70 59 4 0 0
Transportation & warehousing 8,838 514 256 87 67 73 18 9 1 3 0
Information 5,000-9,999* 183 84 36 25 20 8 4 4 2 0
Finance & insurance 6,330 820 456 209 101 39 9 6 0 0 0
Real estate & rental & leasing 4,261 626 428 120 45 22 6 4 0 1 0
Professional, scientific & technical services 11,976 1,353 899 221 123 78 16 12 3 1 0
Management of companies & enterprises 2,500-4,999* 71 27 13 14 7 1 5 2 1 1
Administrative & support & waste management & remediation services 10,000-24,999* 741 389 119 91 73 34 20 8 4 3
Educational services 2,509 121 57 17 17 18 6 5 1 0 0
Health care & social assistance 30,220 1,251 566 310 224 98 21 21 4 3 4
Arts, entertainment & recreation 3,129 227 103 41 37 32 12 2 0 0 0
Accommodation & food services 28,179 1,156 321 168 220 320 90 30 4 3 0
Other services (except public administration) 11,377 1,482 867 334 162 91 19 7 2 0 0
Industries not classified 251 201 185 13 2 1 0 0 0 0 0


Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns '00 & '11 editions, the latest available, 7/2013. Does not include self-employed workers.
*Where exact number of employees was not available, a range was provided by the Census Bureau for perspective.