The Advanced Materials sector includes companies that use a broad range of technologies to produce components used in an even broader range of products. The five groups within this industry are metals, polymers, ceramics, glasses, and composites. In recent years, South Carolina companies in the Advanced Materials sector have generated $1.5 billion in capital investment and created over 2,700 jobs. In York County, areas of particular concentration include wood products, plastics, and rubber.
Advanced Materials companies of all shapes and sizes benefit from York County’s rich heritage of manufacturing. Companies such as Atotech USA, Inc., an automated plating equipment, centrifugal dryer and environmental test chamber manufacturer; Composite Resources, which works with carbon fiber, Kevlar, fiberglass, and a host of other advanced materials; and Fomas, Inc., a forging and seamless rolled ring manufacturer; enjoy the location, excellent transportation network, and focused training programs offered through York Technical College. Wages in this sector are 5% lower in York County than the national average, making this location beneficial to employers.
% Employment Change ('12 - '15)
Source: Chmura Economics, JobsEQ; 2015
Home to two research institutions and 16 technical colleges, the Charlotte region and South Carolina offer a wealth of training programs and industry resources.
York Technical College Center for Advanced Manufacturing
York Technical College degree programs and corporate and continuing education in various fields that support the advanced manufacturing and transportation equipment industry including Industrial Maintenance, Machine Tool, Engineering, and Information Technology.
Okuma Technology Institute
York Technical College in Rock Hill is home to the Okuma Technology Institute, a partnership with Okuma America. The Institute offers hands-on training in CNC machining practices to York Tech students, Okuma distributors, and customers using Okuma machines and tools. Students from across the country, and the world, come to Rock Hill to train on Okuma CNC machines, including industry leaders such as Rolls Royce, Boeing, Siemens, General Motors, John Deere and Harley-Davidson. Courses offered at the Institute include CNC Operation and Programming, Electrical and Mechanical Maintenance.
UNC Charlotte Center of Precision Metrology
The University of North Carolina Charlotte Center of Precision Metrology is an interdisciplinary association of UNC Charlotte faculty and student researchers, allied with industrial partners in the research, development and integration of precision metrology as applied to manufacturing. The center is charged with breaking new ground in precision metrology through addressing real-world industrial concerns in a collaborative setting. Specific research is funded through contracts with industrial partners to address proprietary application and development projects. Government funding is solicited for sponsoring fundamental and large-scale metrology projects.
UNC Charlotte is 35 minutes from York County.
University of South Carolina - McNair Center of Aerospace Research
Aerospace is the second largest industry in South Carolina, and supporting this cluster is the University of South Carolina’s McNair Center of Aerospace Research. The McNair Center’s mission is to grow South Carolina's knowledge-based economy and support industry through aerospace education, research leadership and industry advancement.
Focus areas of the McNair Center's research include:
- Steered fiber nonconventional laminate design
- Automated novel structural composite part production
- Multi-disciplinary design optimization of composite (aircraft) structures
- Automated, fusion based assembly
The McNair Center is 1 hour and 15 minutes from York County.
Clemson University Advanced Materials Research Laboratory
As one of the state’s premier research universities, Clemson is home to the Advanced Materials Research Laboratory at its Innovation Campus and Technology Park in Anderson, SC. This state-of-the-art facility houses internationally recognized research programs in optoelectronics, chemistry and materials science. It also houses one of the nation's most outstanding electron microscopy facilities and a professional staff that provides services to private industry and academic clients.
Clemson University is a leader in advanced materials research, which accounts for almost 30 percent of the University's total research funding. Clemson has a significant track record as a resource for the advanced materials industry, with 14 startup companies and landing parties based on Clemson advanced materials expertise and more than 70 advanced-materials-based technologies available for licensing.
Clemson University is 2.5 hours from York County.
SC Aerospace Cluster
SC Aerospace works to market and grow South Carolina’s aerospace industry cluster. It expands education and training to increase the aerospace sector’s workforce. Training programs include ReadySC and Apprenticeship Carolina. Aerospace educational opportunities exist in several institutions across South Carolina, including USC’s McNair Center, Clemson University’s Computational Center for Mobility Systems and International Center for Automotive Research, the Composites Manufacturing Technology Center of Excellence, South Carolina Technical College System (including York Technical College), and Richland County School District One’s Challenger Learning Center. SC Aerospace builds a competitive business environment. This cluster employs 53,768 people in South Carolina, with an average annual employee growth rate of 11.4%, and an average wage of $71,000. Leading SC Aerospace companies in York County include Cytec, Porvair Filtration Group, and Winbro Group Technologies.