COVID-19

How the pandemic is changing South Carolina manufacturing

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Apr 15, 2020
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Inside Assembly North at BMW's Spartanburg manufacturing facility, the biggest BMW factory in the world. Bridget Bodnar/Marketplace
COVID-19

How the pandemic is changing South Carolina manufacturing

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Apr 15, 2020
Inside Assembly North at BMW's Spartanburg manufacturing facility, the biggest BMW factory in the world. Bridget Bodnar/Marketplace
HTML EMBED:
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More than 200 international companies have operations in South Carolina’s Spartanburg County. The area’s biggest employer is the BMW plant, which has temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite the virus shuttering much of the global economy, many of Spartanburg’s manufacturers are still open for essential business.

Sixty-five percent of manufacturing companies there are operating in some capacity, according to David Britt, chair of the economic development committee of the Spartanburg County Council. Some facilities have even pivoted to produce medical and protective equipment needed to fight the virus. Britt spoke with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about the challenges of manufacturing during the crisis and what it will take to keep factories running.

“For industry to come back in full force, or even halfway, we need reliable tests, and that’s a huge problem,” Britt said. “In manufacturing, we need masks, we need gloves — but most importantly — we need tests.”

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