SCIII Applauds Gov. Henry McMaster’s Support of Bringing Volkswagen-Backed Electric Vehicle Business to South Carolina

SCIII The Perfect Conduit for Human Capital Support for Sprout Motor Inc.

ORANGEBURG, S.C., March 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — South Carolina’s Institutes of Innovation and Information (SCIII) praised South Carolina’s Governor Henry McMaster’s support of investing nearly $1.3 billion to bring a new electric vehicle plant into the state. Scout Motors Inc., backed by Volkswagen, and South Carolina officials announced plans to start building new Scout vehicles, powered this time by electricity, for the first time since 1980. The venture would bring 4,000 jobs to staff Scout Motor Inc.’s $2 billion plant; once fully operational, the plant would produce up to 200,000 vehicles annually and export them worldwide.

SCIII believes bringing Scout Motors Inc. to South Carolina goes a long way to keeping the state at the forefront of the competitive fight to land electric vehicle plants: Georgia provided $1.8 billion in incentives to Hyundai Motor Group’s first U.S.-based electric vehicle plant near Savannah, while North Carolina seems poised to offer Vietnamese automaker VinFast more than $1 billion in incentives and assistance for its first North American electric vehicle plant. Scout Motors will help keep human capital, especially career-ready graduates from the state’s seven HBCUs, from leaving the state and instead investing and entrusting their careers in South Carolina’s business and industry.

This is particularly topical and important to SCIII because the South Carolina General Assembly appropriated funding in 2021 to develop educational institutes at each of South Carolina’s seven HBCUs. This initiative was inspired by the leadership and vision of State Senator John L. Scott, Jr. Each Institute was established specifically to increase opportunities and exposure for their student bodies, businesses, and the surrounding community. SCIII works to strengthen the state’s HBCUs by building pipelines from each Institute directly to opportunities in state business and industry. Guided and managed by Executive Director Dr. Gwynth R. Nelson, the partnerships established by the SCIII Foundation, businesses, corporations, and HBCUs, connect and create tremendous opportunities for students. These connections and the relationships with the respective institutes help produce a ready-made workforce for the state’s businesses and industries.

Specifically relevant to the Scout Motors Inc. plans, Benedict College and South Carolina State University focus on Business, Engineering, Environment, Communications, and Transportation. The BEST Institute at Benedict College in Columbia, SC, fosters innovation and educational opportunities related to fields and industries associated with careers in business, entrepreneurship, science and technology and the BECT Institute at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg prepares students for careers in Business, Environmental Science, Communications, Transportation and Supply Chain Management. Both institutes can readily serve as a conduit and steady supply pipeline for career-ready human capital for Scout Motors.

South Carolina is poised to be a major player in the electric vehicle industry and everything that goes along with it, like making batteries. In October, Gov. Henry McMaster signed an executive order directing the state Commerce Department to aggressively court businesses involved in the industry and give them one point of contact.

According to the Greenville News, “The $1.3 billion in state help will go toward building a new interchange for the plant on I-77 and a railroad bridge over the highway. South Carolina Commerce Secretary Harry Lightsey said there would be other improvements to sewer, power, and roads as well as grants the company can use to get the venture off the ground.”

About Benedict College and South Carolina State University: 
Benedict College offers majors in many disciplines across the liberal arts and strongly emphasizes STEM areas. The campus includes buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. SC State University is an 1890 land grant, senior comprehensive institution committed to providing affordable and accessible baccalaureate, master’s educational specialist, and doctoral degree programs. Both institutions contribute to economic development, enhance citizens’ quality of life, and prepare highly skilled, competent, and socially aware graduates to meet life’s challenges and demands, enabling them to work and live productively in a dynamic, global society.

About SCIII:
South Carolina’s Institutes of Innovation and Information (SCIII) is an initiative and vision inspired by Sen. John L. Scott, Jr., which focuses on revolutionizing and cultivating the state’s seven four-year HBCUs’ overall capabilities and contributions for the citizens and residents of the state. South Carolina has a rich history of educating people of color, and SCIII provides the perfect conduit for partnerships between SCIII HBCUs and state business and industry, diversifying and improving the state’s workforce.

Media Contact:
Tashion Macon;
; 818.749.8786

SOURCE South Carolina’s Institutes of Innovation and Information (SCIII)