Lt. Gov. tours Volvo as plant gets ready to produce only electric vehicles

Lt. Gov. tours Volvo as plant gets ready to produce only electric vehicles

By Ann McGill originally published by Live 5 WCSC on Jan 25, 2024.

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) – Big changes are coming to the Volvo manufacturing plant in Ridgeville.

The automaker says just six years from now, the Swedish carmaker will go fully electric.

Starting in 2030, the company will kick gas-powered engines to the curb and only manufacture electric vehicles.

The company invited one of the state’s top officials to the Lowcountry to check out the plant as it prepares to move forward.

Lt. Governor Pamela Evette got full access to the assembly plant that is working to attract the next generation of manufacturing employees.

She even took part in a training exercise designed for new workers.

“This really gets continuity you know. There’s this manual you look at, you do it. The same thing everybody is trained on the same way. I think this is great. I think this is why it’s so important to get our kids involved in our robotics and STEM programs. Cause Legos are a huge part of that dexterity, that creativity,” Evette said.

Volvo is working with ReadySC on a new program to recruit students even before they graduate high school to help them get ready for that 2030 deadline. The Accelerator Program is working with seniors at Woodland, Ashley Ridge, Cross and Stall High Schools.

The company currently employs 2,000 people and is working to bring 1,300 more on board to staff a second shift as it prepares to roll out the all-electric EX90 SUV starting this summer.

There are two application events happening soon. The first one is on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Ridgeville at the Ridgeville Community Center people can fill out applications.

There’s another one happening Tuesday in Moncks Corner at the Moncks Corner Library from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

SC Lt. Gov visits Bamberg discussing economic development, rural communities

SC Lt. Gov visits Bamberg discussing economic development, rural communities

By Shawn Cabbagestalk, Originally Posted Jan 17, 2024 by WJBF News Channel 6

BAMBERG, S.C. (WJBF) – South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette visiting Bamberg, S.C. It was one of many stops focusing on economic development and rural communities. “We know when companies come to rural communities, it, it changes everything for a town and a county and a city,” South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette said.

In the aftermath of last week’s E-F 2 tornado, Lt. Gov. Pam Evette did not tour the damage. Instead, she toured Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing to highlight economic prospects in the area. Our cameras were not allowed inside for security reasons. “I met Phoenix when they were up in Greenville. They won a manufacturing award. So I said, I’d love to come down and see what you’re doing. So that’s what’s brought me here today, to become a better salesman for our state,” she added.

During the strategic tour, she highlighted the transformative impact of industrial development in rural areas and its positive effects. “When somebody makes an investment in our small communities, little by little all kinds of things start to change,” she said. “Grocery stores start to look at coming here, strip malls start to pop up. Builders get excited about building homes in those areas.”

Her vision extends beyond immediate challenges, addressing healthcare concerns and emphasizing the need for infrastructure development, including broadband access. “As other companies see the exciting growth that happens and how communities, really make them part of everything that’s happening, we know that that kind of news is very infectious,” she shared. “South Carolina is where everybody’s looking to grow and we’re looking to show ’em the success in these areas.”

Lt. Gov. Evette plans to visit the tornado-hit area to assess the damage, collaborating with South Carolina EMD to coordinate federal assistance. “They’re waiting word, to see what kind of funding, and how what they’ll declare that incident. So we’re just kind of waiting now on the feds,” Lt. Evette said. “I’m excited to see, the rebuild down here and just how it attracts people from all over the state to come down and support, support the businesses that have been impacted.”

She also visited the TICO tractor factory in Jasper County.

S.C. Technical College system helps state grow, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette says

S.C. Technical College system helps state grow, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette says

By Matthew Christian, Originally published in the Aiken Standard on January 12, 2024

NORTH AUGUSTA — South Carolina’s technical education system is a big reason for the state’s economic growth, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette said Jan. 10.

South Carolina broke its record for largest single economic development project announced twice in 2022, Evette told the women of the Steel Magnolias Republican women’s group at Southbound Smokehouse. 

BMW announced a $1.7 billion expansion of its Upstate operations, including $1 billion for the production of electric vehicles in Spartanburg and $700 million to build a battery assembly plant in Woodruff. 

Redwood Materials announced plans to construct a $3.5 billion plant in Berkeley County that will build electric vehicle parts. 

The Census Bureau recently announced that South Carolina led the nation in population growth percentage from 2022-2023. 

“We keep growing because we are so blessed with an amazing technical college system,” Evette said. “We can create the workforce of tomorrow.” 

South Carolina’s technical college system includes 16 schools serving different areas of the state. Aiken County is served by Aiken Technical College. 

Evette added her middle son, Joey, chose to attend Greenville Technical College. 

The Evettes live north of Greenville in Travelers Rest. 

Evette said Joey played lacrosse in high school, and her friends would ask her about Joey’s college plans at the games. She said Joey was the smartest of her three children but didn’t want to be in school anymore. 

“Oh my God, he didn’t get into Clemson,” Evette remembers her friends asking. “It really dawned on me how everyone viewed our technical college system as almost a second-tier option.” 

Most people don’t realize there are good careers for graduates of a technical college, Evette continued.

She added someone with a mechatronics degree — design and analysis of sensors and actuators — can make $55,000 per year and, if that person is a good employee, six figures three years after graduation.

The best part, Evette continued, is that graduates will have zero college debt. 

Evette said she tours businesses around the state — she visited Aiken’s AGY plant in 2023 — and speaks to groups of Republicans. She said she is often told by businesses that employees need soft skills and by parents that children need to learn fiscal responsibility. 

“Really all we need to do is get our kids working again,” Evette said. 

She added youth employment is as low as it’s been. 

“Kids will learn soft skills in that first job,” Evette continued. “You can’t teach fiscal responsibility to someone who’s never had a job. They don’t know what they’re giving up to earn a dollar.” 

Evette said she’s started a statewide campaign to encourage parents to let their children get afterschool jobs

North Augusta to open a multispecialty clinic for cancer patients

North Augusta to open a multispecialty clinic for cancer patients

By Aria Surka with WFXG News, originally posted 1/13/24

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – In an effort to support North Augusta’s downtown revitalization and maximize the use of the Medac building, Augusta Oncology says it’s bringing a new multispecialty clinic to the former Medac building.

City and state leaders announced the second phase of the Beacon Bluff project.

North Augusta says this will bring 250 jobs and will be the most advanced radiation treatment facility in Georgia and South Carolina.

South Carolina Senator, Tom Young said “Our goal is for there to be timely affordable and accessible care for South Carolinians and Georgians in this region by doing that and it is a win win for consumers and patients in our view and as Governor McMaster said last year as he signed the legislation he said South Carolina is open for business.”

This center will provide chemotherapy and radiation, making it easier on patients to get all their treatments at one site. 

Augusta oncology’s plan is to have a 30 thousand square foot medical oncology suite on the second floor to include chemotherapy and a 15 thousand square foot radiation center with what it calls the latest technology in the two-state area. 

 “Our patients have relayed to us that their most difficult challenges is traveling to multiple sites to receive their cancer care. This puts a strain on their and it puts a strain on the patient. Our goal is to enhance the cancer patient’s experience and provide the most advanced care with cutting edge technology for these patients,” said Augusta Oncology CEO, Tracy Duffie.

This clinic along with the full beacon bluff development project represents over $35 million dollars into North Augusta.

 “It doesn’t stop here we want to sure this year in our executive budget,” said SC Lieutenant Governor, Pamela Evette, “We are targeting investments in health care agencies to help patients benefit. We are looking forward to this not just being the first but the first of many announcements across our state.”

Demolition for this project will begin February 5th with a goal to be open and treating patients by the end of this year.

Lt. Gov. Evette Speaks to Crowds during the SC March for Life at the SC State House

Lt. Gov. Evette Speaks to Crowds during the SC March for Life at the SC State House

Politics, religion, and abortion were all discussed on Saturday during the March for Life.

Written by Nate Stanley, originally published Jan 6, 2024 by WLTX News 19

COLUMBIA, S.C. — On Saturday, hundreds gathered for South Carolina’s 50th March for Life outside of the State House.

South Carolina Citizens for Life founded the event and had dozens of churches represented. It drew people from around the state, including Mary and Karen from Charleston.

“We came out here to save lives, to save our babies,” Karen said.

After a short walk to the State House steps, speakers, including Attorney General Alan Wilson, Rep. Joe Wilson, and Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, spoke. Evette highlighted the work her office has done after a year of abortion legislation in the state.

“In our executive budget, we’ve asked for $500,000 to go to children’s trust. $250,000 of that will get matched 3-to-1 by the federal government,” she said. “Right now, the program, OBGYNs refer an at-risk mom to the children’s trust program. A nurse will come out to their home; they’ll help them when it comes to prenatal care to help with the baby when it’s born to helping them find options with careers.”

In 2023, the legislature passed a new version of the fetal heartbeat law that essentially bans abortion after six weeks. After a long battle, the South Carolina Supreme Court took on the bill to decide whether it was constitutional. In August 2023, the court decided 4-1 to uphold the law. Evette said she sees the last year as progress.

“If you save one life, it’s a win. Here in South Carolina, when the first Heartbeat Bill got locked up in the Supreme Court, and then the Supreme Court voted against it, we saw out-of-state abortions rise at astronomical levels,” she said. “That was not good for South Carolina; to be an abortion destination state was not what we wanted to be labeled as. If this law didn’t take everybody where they wanted to, know that you are saving more lives today than you did before it passed.”

For Jonathan Bruce, the day was about spreading his message and connecting with others in Columbia.

“What I believe is we should come to a consensus of understanding of what life is,” he said. “I believe if we can come to an agreement of where life starts, we can actually get somewhere.”

Mary and Karen said they came to spread awareness of available resources for mothers in the state.

“That baby doesn’t have a choice but a mother has a choice,” Karen said. “There are so many people out there today that want children but can’t have children.”

Planned Parenthood did not respond to a request for comment on the rally.