Charleston, South Carolina Among Top 10 Fastest Growing Mid-Sized Metro Economies in the Nation

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Recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show which mid-sized metros have the fastest growing economies for 2017. Growth is measured by the percentage change in employment between the annual average of 2016 and 2017. Headlight Data ranks employment growth for 55 mid-sized metros (500,000 up to 1 million people) in the U.S.

In 2017, U.S. employment grew 1.4%. Among mid-sized metros, the highest growth is found in Provo (4.8%), Boise City (3.7%), and Stockton (3.7%. Ogden, Palm Bay, and Colorado Springs follow.

Coming in at #9 is Charleston, South Carolina with a growth rate 2.34%, almost 1% ahead of the United States growth rate.

The lowest employment growth is found in Youngstown (-1.7%), Bridgeport (-0.9%), and Wichita (-0.8%). Toledo, Baton Rouge, and Syracuse follow.

Complete report and analysis

Data Provided by


Princeton Mortgage Launches National Call Center in Charleston, SC

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CHARLESTON, S.C., July 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ —?35-year-old New Jersey based residential mortgage banker, Princeton Mortgage, has launched a national call center in Charleston, SC.

This latest development comes only months after Princeton Mortgage launched their wholesale division in Pittsburgh, PA in October 2017. With the wholesale division already ahead of projected volume, cornering the consumer direct market was the next logical step.

CEO, Rich Weidel, appointed Mark Gordon to lead the new consumer direct division, in addition to retail sales, as Director of Sales. Gordon has been in the mortgage industry since 2005 and has built several call centers in the consumer direct space. His passion for the job comes from his desire to hire the absolute best people and coach them to their full potential. He believes that hiring exceptional people, fostering an environment where people can thrive, and investing in employee growth results in each client receiving the best possible customer experience.

Princeton Mortgage’s Consumer Direct Division was licensed in June 2018 and has already begun originating loans in a handful of states. Additionally, the company has immediate and aggressive growth plans to obtain national licensing over the next few years.

With cutting-edge technology and a progressive approach to office culture, Princeton’s recruiting team has already hit the ground running. Princeton Mortgage has a training class of Mortgage Loan Originators starting July 9th, 2018 with plans to employ more than 100 people within the next 36 months. Princeton Mortgage hopes to positively contribute to the growing Charleston economy.

Charleston is known for its coastline of marsh and barrier islands, incredible culinary perfection, electrifying social atmosphere, and the charming, historic downtown. South Carolina, overall, is gaining residents quicker than most states. According to the census estimates, the influx peaked in 2014-2015, when the state gained nearly 68,000 people.

“As a destination city with an educated workforce and affordable housing.? Charleston represented a unique opportunity for us,” says Gordon of the division’s new location. “There is a workforce and talent pool here that allows companies to succeed. The population has increased year over year for the past 10 years. More than 34 people per day are still moving into the Charleston area,” says Gordon.

“Our recent strategic partnerships with a leading consumer facing technology platform and a proprietary CRM and marketing platform, are an important step in the technology growth we need to be a big player in the consumer direct space. I’m thrilled to help launch this Consumer Direct Division and I’m so fortunate to work with a motivated and thriving team!” says Sales Enablement Manager, Nicole Gordon, of the recent Charleston, SC office.

Princeton Mortgage was founded in 1983 as a licensed mortgage banker and is backed by a 100+ year old multi-faceted real estate brokerage, investment, and insurance company. They are positioned as a well-capitalized banker that is debt free and is creating dynamic new opportunities within our industry. They are stewards of a legacy that took over 100 years to build and they are excited to expand into the Charleston, SC market.


Nicole M Gordon

Sales Enablement Manager

1240 Winnowing Way, Suite 100

Mount Pleasant, SC 29466

M- 973-975-2182

SOURCE Princeton Mortgage

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The Trident Workforce Development Board Announces Launch of Additional Career Readiness Assessment

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (JULY 2, 2018) — The Trident Workforce Development Board of SC Works Trident launches an additional career readiness assessment offered through SC Works and its affiliate partner agencies.

The Trident workforce development area will offer WIN Learning’s Ready to Work Assessments as the new, state-sponsored career readiness assessment. The Ready to Work assessment is a workforce education and development tool, comprised of three proctored assessments: Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information.

These assessments, which offer a work-ready credential, are available at no-cost to job seekers. For more information on WIN’s Learning Assessments, please call 1-888-717-9461.

The Trident Workforce Development Board and its affiliate partner agencies offer a menu of career readiness assessments within the SC Works Centers to provide our job seeker and employer customers with assessment options aligning with their individual employment needs.

WorkKeys Assessments will continue to be offered at all three SC Works Centers within the region, for a fee. Please contact the phone numbers below for fee information.

The Trident Workforce Development Board values and supports employer partners who use WorkKeys assessments as a screening tool. Employers are encouraged to contact ACT at 1-800-967-5539 for questions on ACT Profiles and WorkKeys Assessments.

To schedule your WIN or WorkKeys Career Readiness Assessment please call:

  • Charleston Adult Education: (843) 574-1882

  • Dorchester Adult Education: (843) 873-7372

  • Berkeley County Adult Education: (843) 899-8690

Test takers should confirm with the employer or training provider on the required assessment.

SC Works helps individuals find their dream career at any age and any stage of their lives, and is comprised of one-stop centers in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. SC Works Trident offers a variety of services to help employers and job seekers meet their workforce development needs.? For the latest on SC Works, visit and like us on Facebook.


Daniel Brock / Michael Stettner

Rawle Murdy /

(919) 820-2612 / (214) 718-8027

Career Adaptation – Why Change is Necessary

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By Mark A. Leon

I had an interesting debate last evening on whether graphic novels are considered literature or comic books.? Academia in the United States will have a varied opinion on this question with extreme views leaning heavily on no and yes.? It does pose an interesting line of discussion that goes much deeper than black or white.? The traditionalist view of comic books is that there is an inherent struggle between good and bad; heroes and villains; right and wrong.? That methodology of thinking has changed introducing a deeper shade of gray.? With the upcoming adaptation of the graphic novel into film, we will witness Batman and Superman pinned up against each other.? Both have battled their own inner demons in the past, but they represent the moral good.? Why would they be battling each other?

Graphic novels today are taking us to a new way of thinking and a new way of learning.? A form of storytelling that was once deemed unacceptable in schools is now a part of literary teaching.

Why do graphic novels add a new element to the way students are learning literature:

  • Graphic Novels / Comics are understandable and engaging to today’s youth.
  • They allow us to overcome our own real life fears and struggles by connecting to the heroes and all they had to overcome (alienation, abandonment, death).
  • There is a sense of loyalty to the battle.? Heroes and villains have a history that is uncovered with each issue that deepens the impact of the struggle.
  • Today’s society no longer has clear cut definitions of right and wrong.? We struggle every day with poverty, overpopulation, unemployment, mental illness, social alienation, relationship barriers and more.? Sometimes decisions that may be morally wrong in some eyes have a greater good to another.
  • Graphic novels are not linear.? We must look closely at images, dialogue and story to uncover hidden secrets and truths within the lives of the characters.? There is a true complexity within the stories.
  • So many thrive for a world of escape.? Whether it is better or not is not the critical question.? Why we need this temporary escape is.? If this weren’t true, Marvel films would not be making 1.3 billion dollars with each Avengers release.
  • In the world of academia, we will always need Shakespeare, Steinbeck, Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.? We also need to find a way to relate to a generation wrought with creativity, angst, apathy and doubt.

Now, how is this comparable to a adaptation within your career?

Otherwise, there wouldn’t be value in this article.? Change is inevitable.? I have witnessed in my professional career, the birth of the internet, applicant tracking systems, automation, social networking, video interviewing and Infographics.? The entire playing field has changed.

During my first internship in recruitment:

  • I recorded our job openings on a cassette tape for candidates to dial in and listen to.
  • All resumes were in a tan metal filing cabinet
  • All applicants had to do a basic math and English test in the lobby
  • We manually called each candidate to reject or extend offers

bat2Big changes.? As professionals we need to embrace change.? I am not telling all of you seasoned professionals you should drop Turner Classic Movies and start an Instagram account.? Nor am I saying learn Ruby on Rails or HTML web development.? I am saying to never lose site of the pure thirst for learning.? Employers offer thousands of internal and external resources to continue to develop your skills.

In fact, I was forced to learn basic HTML web page editing when we did not have a resource and I learned all I needed from YouTube videos.

A few tips:

  • Look at where you are and where you are going.? What is your long term career passion?? Do you have the skills for where you want to be and if not, what is your goal to get there?
  • What is your action plan?? Create a project plan on how you want to achieve your goals.
  • Do not walk in with any personal limitations.? If you feel like you cannot learn a skill, you won’t.? It is that simple.
  • Reward yourself with each milestone.
  • Continue to re-invent your personal brand

There you have it.? Never stop expanding your mind.? It is a simple rule for success.? We can thank Superman and Batman for today’s lesson.

Poll Managers Needed for June Primary Elections in Charleston County

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Earn $135 and provide a valuable service to your community at the same time!

The Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration (BEVR)

is in need of additional poll managers for the statewide primary June 12. BEVR needs about 200 poll managers in the following areas: Downtown Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, West Ashley, James Island, Hollywood, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, and Folly Beach.

“Poll managers have a unique opportunity to serve the community, meet their neighbors and become involved in the democratic process,” said Joseph Debney, BEVR’s Executive Director.

Poll managers are compensated $135 ($60 for training and $75 for working on Election Day) for each election they work. The poll manager must work Election Day to be paid for the training session.

Election Day duties include: processing of voters, ballot distribution, activation of the voting system machines, compliance with election law and procedures, and general voter assistance.

Applicants must be:

  • A registered voter in Charleston County or an adjoining county (Dorchester, Berkeley, Georgetown or Colleton County). Students ages 16 and 17 may apply as well, although they are not registered voters.
  • Willing and able to attend a Poll Manager Training Session (two to three hours in length) and pass an online certification test.
  • Prepared to work the entire Election Day, from 6 a.m. until approximately 7:30 p.m.
  • Non-partisan and neutral when working an election.

To apply for a poll manager position visit

For questions, please contact or by phone at (843) 974-6421


For information on Charleston County Government news and services, the public can:

Visit our website:

Official Press Release

South Carolina’s jobless rate again inches up slightly

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South Carolina’s jobless rate inched up slightly in January, even as the state’s employment continued to rise.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said in a news release Monday that the unemployment rate last month was 4.3 percent. That’s up from a revised 4.2 percent in December.

Nationally, unemployment was unchanged at 4.1.

The state reported that the number of people working in South Carolina in January was again above 2.2 million. The number of unemployed people was up more than 2,000, to over 100,000.

Charleston, SC Ranks #4 for Best Mid-Sized Cities for Jobs Growth in 2018 According to New Study

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New Geography ranks Charleston, South Carolina #4 among mid-sized cities for Best Cities for Jobs Growth in 2018 moving up 3 ranking points from last years study


The methodology for our 2017 ranking,?which seeks to measure the robustness of metro areas’ growth both recently and over time, largely corresponds to that used in previous years. The ranking is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics “state and area” unadjusted employment data reported from November 2005 to January 2017.

The data reflect the North American Industry Classification System categories, including total non-farm employment, manufacturing, financial services, business and professional services, educational and health services, information, retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality, and government.

We used five measures of growth to rank MSAs over the past 10 years. “Large” areas include those with a current non-farm employment base of at least 450,000 jobs. “Midsize” areas range from 150,000 to 450,000 jobs. “Small” areas have as many as 150,000 jobs. The total number of MSAs included in this year’s rankings is 421.

The index is calculated from a normalized, weighted summary of: 1) recent growth trend: the current and prior year’s employment growth rates, with the current year emphasized (two points); 2) mid-term growth: the average annual 2011-2016 growth rate (two points); 3) long-term momentum: the sum of the 2011-2016 and 2005-2010 employment growth rates multiplied by the ratio of the 2005-2010 growth rate over the 2011-2016 growth rate (one point); 4) current year growth (one point); and 5) the average of each year’s growth rate, normalized annually, for the last 10 years (two points).? The goal of our methodology is to capture a snapshot of the present and prospective employment outlook in each MSA, and these revisions allow the reader to have a better sense of the employment climate in each.

Complete list of Top 98 cities

The Marcus Effect: Finding Satisfaction and Value in any Job

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By Mark A. Leon

How does one find value in their job? That is a question that has been studied, analyzed and reported on for hundreds of years. As the scope and look of jobs change, the variables of work change, but the one common denominator will always be the same: You/Employee/Associate/Team Member!

Is value measured by ROI? Is it measured by your salary? Perhaps by the performance results in your assessment? For some it is a commission check while others find value in their benefits and/or vacation time. Some feel the number of hours worked in a week will translate to value while job security is critical to others. We can continue listing personal value choices until we run out of data storage space for this piece but value can be simplified to several key elements.

  • Value and personal work satisfaction does not translate directly to the level of seniority or responsibility in the organization
  • Personal satisfaction is as important if not more important than performance assessments, wage, and rewards/recognition
  • The level of commitment one puts into their role has positive correlation to job satisfaction levels
  • If an employee is happy with what they are doing, he/she will give more effort and feel more dedicated to the job and the company
  • “Giving 100%” is not a cliché but a way of life

At this moment, many of you are wondering why I have titled this installment, The Marcus Effect?
Marcus is a hospitality maintenance technician whom I met in Myrtle Beach and now resides in the Charlotte area. Marcus is a very talented and versatile professional with exceptional knowledge of home repair, plumbing, cleaning and general maintenance. That alone should provide him job security and value with the hotel and its guests but Marcus goes beyond the traditional elements of a job description and takes a personal interest in his guests. To Marcus, the hotel guests are an extension of his family. Does he invite them home for Thanksgiving if they are alone and away from family? No but he would.

What differentiates Marcus from the rest of his staff is the incidentals he performs beyond the scope of his role.

1.) If a co-worker had an emergency he would work a double to cover or even an overnight shift
2.) If a guest needed a ride to a restaurant or the airport, he would take them
3.) If a guest appeared sad in the lobby, he would tell a joke or provide comfort and company
4.) If a cup of coffee was near empty, he would offer to refill it. Of course coffee is free in the lobby.
5.) He always puts guests needs ahead of his own. If he is on a break and an emergency arises, he will suspend his own free time.
6.) He shows genuine interest in his co-worker’s families and their well-being

What would spur on this type of extraordinary behavior from a maintenance technician.

Does he believe in the mission of the company?
Does he believe in the value he provides to the customers/guests?
Does he believe his behavior will lead to a promotion?
Does he believe in karma and is hoping all this will lead to better things for him and his family?
Is he just happy?
Does he love the pay and benefits?
Is he the type that is good-natured?
Does he want to be challenged and diversified in his work activities?

All of the above, but so much more.

I heard a comment once “There are no bad jobs, just bad workers”

If you owned your own company would you want one administrative assistant that worked 150% of the time and loved his/her job as that attitude extended to customers, colleagues and suppliers or ten CEO’s that worked at 50% capacity and had a negative persona extending out to its customers and shareholders? That is a very interesting question. Rather unrealistic but it poses room for thought.

What has made my friendship with Marcus flourish is that I was around for the birth of his daughter, I have been invited to stay with his family when I have been in town and I have even stored my car there while on business travel. Couple that will a joke when I need one and a level of dedication that you traditionally do not see in most friendships or business relationships and you have a gift. He possesses warmth that has no separation between work, family and life. He is who he is: A truly dedicated human being who believes in the good of others and the desire to help others.

In the workforce, there have been studies on what motivates employees. Is it money, benefits, value added, level of responsibility or opportunity for career growth. All elements play into one’s decision to join a firm and to stay. What drives Marcus is the knowledge each day he is positively affecting the lives of others. What he loves a great deal is that each day, he meets new people from various places bringing with them cultural elements and lifestyle differences. No matter what they social status or way of life, he adapts and greets with a smile.

To me, Marcus encompasses all the soft elements of what I look for in an employee. If I could hire ten of him or even just one, it would make my company a better place to work.

When you look at your own job, regardless of how others view it, if you are satisfied and adding value, you can’t ask for more than that.

To Marcus and the Marcus Effect. I hope we all feel it now or someday.

Heatworks Growing Charleston County Operations – Creating 60 new jobs in Mount Pleasant

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Manufacturer creating 60 new jobs in Mount Pleasant

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Heatworks, a manufacturer of innovative tankless water heaters, is expanding their Charleston County operations. To accommodate its continued growth, the company is creating approximately 60 new jobs.

Heatworks is a technology company that has pioneered a new tankless, electric water heater for a variety of residential and commercial applications. Heatworks is nearing the production phase of its flagship product, the MODEL 3 Water Heater. Rather than using metal coils or traditional heating elements, the MODEL 3 uses Heatworks’ patented Ohmic Array Technology to heat water in the simplest, purest and most efficient way.

To accommodate its continued growth, the company is relocating its headquarters to a larger facility to consolidate its offices and laboratory in one location. Located at 2353 Highway 17 North in Mount Pleasant, S.C., the company’s new facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2017. Hiring should begin in early 2018, and interested applicants should visit the company’s careers page online (link is external) for more information.


“What brought us together initially was the frustration with getting hot water delivered to an outdoor shower. We were sure if it was happening to us, then other people were probably having the same dilemma. Not only did we seek to solve our initial problem, but we’re changing the way the world heats water.” –Heatworks Founder and CEO Jerry Callahan

“South Carolina’s world-class workforce continues to demonstrate a level of excellence that is unmatched, and as a result, companies like Heatworks continue to grow and thrive in our state. I congratulate this great company and look forward to all that we know they’ll achieve in Charleston County.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

“We’re excited to celebrate the continued success of South Carolina’s manufacturing industry. Heatworks Technologies is on the front line of innovation in their industry, and we look forward to their continued success.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“Charleston County is well-suited for Heatworks’ expansion with our business-friendly environment and access to a diverse talent pool. We are proud that they have decided to expand here.” –Charleston County Council Chairman Victor Rawl

“The Heatworks announcement demonstrates our investment in supporting and fostering growth within our existing businesses through our Business Concierge program. We are grateful for Heatworks’ steadfast commitment to Charleston County.” –Charleston County Economic Development Executive Director Steve Dykes


  • Heatworks is growing its Charleston County operations.
  • Creation of 60 new jobs.
  • Heatworks is a manufacturer of tankless electric water heaters that uses the natural conductivity of water to generate heat.
  • The company’s new headquarters will be located at 2353 Highway 17 North in Mount Pleasant, S.C.
  • Hiring should begin in early 2018, and interested applicants should visit the company’s careers page online (link is external) for more information.

Volvo Cars adds next generation XC90, 1,900 new jobs to South Carolina plant in 1.1 billion investment drive

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Volvo Cars, the premium carmaker, today announces that the next generation of the XC90 large premium SUV will be built in its new manufacturing plant in Charleston, South Carolina from 2021. This takes Volvo Cars’ total investment in its US manufacturing operations to over USD 1.1 billion and will raise the total of new jobs created at the Charleston site to nearly 4,000.

The South Carolina plant will start production of the next generation S60 in the fall of 2018. The addition of the next generation XC90 from 2021 as well as a planned new office campus will create 1,900 new jobs, which come on top of the 2,000 new employees currently being hired.

“The continued expansion of our plant in South Carolina is another significant commitment to the US market,” said H?kan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “The plant in Charleston will serve both the US and international markets and forms a strong foundation for our future growth in the U.S. and globally.”

Volvo Cars announced in May 2015 that its first ever manufacturing plant in the United States would be located just outside Charleston in South Carolina. The decision to choose South Carolina was taken as a result of its easy access to international ports and infrastructure, a well-trained labour force, an attractive investment environment and experience in the high tech manufacturing sector.

The business logic behind the decision to build the next generation XC90 in South Carolina is compelling. The U.S. is the largest single market for the XC90, although a considerable amount of XC90 volume will be exported from the Port of Charleston. Total U.S. production capacity at the plant will rise to 150,000 vehicles annually.

The XC90 has played an important role in Volvo Cars’ sales revival in the United States and around the globe. The widely acclaimed large SUV, launched in 2014, is the most awarded luxury SUV of the century and helped Volvo Cars recover its sales in the United States from a low of 56,000 units sold in 2014 to almost 83,000 units in 2016.

Today’s announcement on further expansion in South Carolina allows Volvo Cars to take another step toward the company’s ‘build where you sell’ global manufacturing strategy. It currently operates two manufacturing plants in Europe, as well as two factories in China. A third Chinese plant is currently under construction.

In addition to expanding the manufacturing plant Volvo Cars will further develop its neighbouring office campus at the Charleston site. A new office building will be constructed to house up to 300 staff from R&D, purchasing, quality as well as Volvo’s Southern Regional Sales team.

“We’re excited to add a second car to our first American factory and we continue to be impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit in South Carolina,” said Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO of Volvo Car USA. “Our business in the U.S. has been undergoing a transformation over the past two years and this is an important next step for our development here.

While Volvo Cars will employ up to 4,000 people directly at the South Carolina site, the full economic impact on the local economy will be much greater once the job multiplier effect is included.


Volvo Car Group in 2016

For the 2016 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 11,014 MSEK (6,620 MSEK in 2015). Revenue over the period amounted to 180,672 MSEK (164,043 MSEK). For the full year 2016, global sales reached a record 534,332 cars, an increase of 6.2 per cent versus 2015. The record sales and operating profit cleared the way for Volvo Car Group to continue investing in its global transformation plan.

About Volvo Car Group

Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 534,332 cars in 2016 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.

As of December 2016, Volvo Cars had over 31,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Sk?vde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofstr?m (Sweden).