Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Midlands Tech Program to Help Cluster




By C. Grant Jackson
Midlands Technical College‘s announcement last month of a $5 million training grant from the U.S. Department of Labor was a win for Columbia’s insurance technology and services cluster.
The insurance technology and services cluster is a huge economic engine for the region. A study released last week by iTs|SC, the regional cluster organization, found that insurance technology and services has a $6.7 billion total annual economic impact in South Carolina. That represents 2.5% of the Gross State Product.
Most of that industry’s workers, about 15,000, are employed at firms in the Columbia cluster at an average salary of $62,000. The cluster’s total annual sales are $4.9 billion.
The study was conducted through Business in Motion, a joint project of the Navigating from Good to Great Foundation and the City of Columbia. The results were reviewed and estimates and data were validated by Joseph Von Nessen, research economist at USC’s Darla Moore School of Business.
The study, the first attempt to quantify the regional industry, delivered findings that bode well for continued growth of the industry. Of the companies surveyed:
§  70% plan to expand locally in the next 12-18 months
§  100% are expecting sales to grow over the next 12 months
§  55% said they expect to increase their workforce in the next 18 months and 45% said they would at least maintain current levels....
Continue reading at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.  

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