While big name manufacturers tend to dominate South Carolina’s business headlines, the technology sector has been quietly on the rise. Now, the South Carolina Commerce Department says it plans to advocate more forcefully for the tech industry.
The Commerce Department says there are actually more people employed in the tech sector than in aerospace.
The tech sector covers a broad range of industries, from software companies and medical device startups to advanced manufacturers, but it's dominated by small firms without much name recognition.
The Commerce Department also says encouraging these smaller firms is a different process than traditional economic development work, which is designed for large employers.
Federal data show that software and information technology companies employed 9,250 people in Charleston and 8,550 in Greenville and Spartanburg in 2015.
Economic-development officials say that focusing on tech could diversify the state's economic growth - from being dependent on companies that make things to attracting firms that design and invent things.
The Commerce Department plans to promote the tech sector, bringing attention to the work happening here so that investors and talented workers will take notice. A similar marketing effort has boosted South
The Commerce Department will be hiring a new director within the month for the department's office of innovation. The new hire will focus on finding a new direction for the innovation office and shaping the image of the technology sector.