Columbia's top industries: advanced manufacturing, healthcare, insurance information and technology, green energy production, transportation and logistics, research, development and discovery. Manufacturing in Columbia takes many different forms, but at the top of the list are Samsung, Nephron Pharmaceuticals and Michelin. Local players such as Healthcare Us Co. Some of the major employers are the state government, Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC, the University of South Carolina and the Palmetto Health hospital system.
In addition, Fort Jackson, the second largest training center in the United States Army, is located in Columbia. South Carolina is a right-to-work state and has the lowest unionization rate in the country, at just 3.7 percent. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) is responsible for paying unemployment insurance benefits, collecting unemployment taxes, helping people find work, linking companies to qualified candidates, and collecting and dismissing. Other economic development projects that are in the design phase of the city include a plan to develop a technology-focused industrial park and plans to attract research projects to the University of South Carolina and to the community.
The University of South Carolina boosts the economy by spending more than 32,000 students, as well as 7,900 faculty, staff and support staff. The Columbia region, historically isolated thanks to the state government, the University of South Carolina and Fort Jackson, lost more than 10,000 jobs between 2002 and 2004. The South Carolina special school program, a division of the State Board of Technical and Comprehensive Education, assumes full responsibility for training and designs programs that are tailored to the needs of the company. To that end, the city plans to focus increasingly on attracting technology companies to the area and especially to the University of South Carolina research campus. The South Carolina Department of Transportation is a government agency of the U.S.
state of South Carolina.