S.C. Dept. of Commerce and S.C. State Ports Authority Team Up to Advance State Industry Recruitment

July 17, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – July 16, 2008 – The South Carolina Department of Commerce and the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) are partnering to advance the State’s industry recruitment efforts with a newly created senior project manager position.  John D. Scarborough, the former economic development director for Berkeley County, will serve as a Senior Project Manager for the State Department of Commerce.  He will work from the SCSPA offices in Charleston.  His mission will be to not only work to recruit industrial investment to South Carolina, but Scarborough will also work in coordination with the SCSPA to capitalize on the recruitment of distribution and logistics centers throughout the State.  

Scarborough has previously served for 17 years as the economic development director for Berkeley County. During that time, he aided the county in attracting more than $10 billion in direct investment from businesses which led to the creation of more than 30,000 jobs. 

“This position is a natural and necessary element of establishing an economic development team effort in our state.  The Port of Charleston is a major benefit to Commerce’s recruitment efforts.  Having a project manager at the SCSPA will enhance the work that is already being done to recruit industrial development and distribution operations by companies that also utilize the Port,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce. “John has extensive experience in economic development and a wealth of knowledge about both the Lowcountry and the State.  We are excited to have him on our team and confident his efforts will positively impact South Carolina.”

Over the past several years, distribution and logistics operations have grown both as a result of State recruitment efforts and private investors.  A host of private investors like Hillwood, Childress-Klein, Johnson Development, Lauth and Jafza, among others have made or plan to make significant investments to construct distribution and logistics developments throughout South Carolina.  Distribution and logistics operations have presented great opportunity because of South Carolina’s proximity to markets, quality infrastructure and most importantly the Port of Charleston.

“John Scarborough is a well-respected economic development professional, and we’re very pleased to have him on South Carolina’s team,” said Bernard S. Groseclose Jr., president and CEO of the SCSPA. 

“Over his career, John has worked many projects resulting in tremendous investment and jobs for our area, so he certainly brings a lot to the table for South Carolina.  He was also very involved with the major national developers that are building significant distribution center space in our area.”

Today, there are approximately 260 domestic and international distribution and logistics operations in South Carolina. 

Annually, approximately 2,000 ships and barges representing 40 different shipping lines use the services of the SCSPA.  Nearly $61 billion in cargo passed through the Port of Charleston in 2007.  Major companies with offices in South Carolina, such as BMW and Starbucks, use the port to ship products across the globe.  In all, about 700 firms in the state ship products through the port.

Prior to his time with the Berkeley County Economic Development Office, Scarborough worked in the banking industry and was a registered stock broker. Scarborough earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Charleston Southern University in 1971.  He grew up in Berkeley County and is a life-long South Carolina resident.

For more information about the Department of Commerce visit www.sccommerce.com.  

For more information about the SCSPA visit www.scspa.com.