September 15, 2019 | Sunny, 60's | Contact Us

All about cruise ships

Posted on April 18, 2015 by in Jobs & Economy

Economic benefits claimed:

http://www.port-of-charleston.com/UnionPierPlan/pdf/cruisestudy.pdf

Currently 16 port-of-calls and 53 origination cruises have been booked at the SCSPA for 2010. Based upon the survey results, it is estimated that the passengers on ships that will make Charleston a port-or-call, 66.49% will leave the ship and visit the City which will amount to 11,303 additional tourists.

1

Of these visitors, one-half will debark on escorted motor coach tours from the ship to tour the region’s attractions while the other one-half will visit the city independently. Passenger spending is estimated to be $5,552,496, while crew members are estimated to spend $2,606,575. Cruise line companies will spend an estimated $14,143,535 in direct spending.

A study done by College of Charleston professors Dr. John Crotts and Dr. Frank Hefner estimates the total economic output at more than $37 million for the Tri-County area. This estimate includes approximately 407 jobs to the area that contribute $16.2 million in salaries and wages and $3.5 million in state sales and income taxes.

Currently 16 port-of-calls and 53 origination cruises have been booked at the SCSPA for 2010. Based upon the survey results, it is estimated that the passengers on ships that will make Charleston a port-or-call, 66.49% will leave the ship and visit the City which will amount to 11,303 additional tourists.

1Of these visitors, one-half will debark on escorted motor coach tours from the ship to tour the region’s attractions while the other one-half will visit the city independently. Passenger spending is estimated to be $5,552,496, while crew members are estimated to spend $2,606,575. Cruise line companies will spend an estimated $14,143,535 in direct spending.

Garbage:

In order to minimize the amount of waste generated, cruise lines have aggressively implemented waste management programs that actually reduce the creation of waste.  In the last 10 years alone, cruise ships have cut waste and garbage almost in half, despite a growth in cruise capacity averaging 7.6% annually.  In addition, according to the EPA, the U.S. population recycles an average of 28% of its waste per year.  Cruise ships are reducing their waste stream and still recycling anywhere from 25-80%, depending on the ship — significantly higher than that of most local communities.  This further reduces the amount of waste that requires disposal.

Emissions:

To address emissions from the cruise ships themselves, in October 2008 the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) agreed to revise and strengthen the emission standards in Annex VI and reduce the amount of sulfur in ship’s fuel. The revised law will enter force in July 2010. The current global limit on sulfur in marine fuels is 4.5 per cent. Under the revised Annex this limit will fall in two stages to 3.5 per cent in 2012, and finally to 0.5 per cent in 2020 subject to a review in 2018. (top of page)

What about shoreside power, or plugging in, the cruise ships while they’re at dock?

Given the current technology, costs and trade-offs, shorepower does not seem to offer an attractive environmental benefit at this time.  However, we will continue to monitor the technology in the future as it improves and develops.

The electric load required to support a cruise ship while at dock is significant.  This electricity has to come from the grid, so the emissions from the associated power plant and available capacity have to be considered.

While two cruise terminals on the West Coast have installed shore side plug-in capabilities for ships, shoreside power is a very new and very costly technology.  It can cost up to $10 million to retrofit a berth and $1-2 million for each ship.

On March 26, the IMO designated a 230-mile area around the U.S. coast as an Emission Control Area (ECA), dramatically reducing ship-related emissions and eliminating the need to consider shore power. The EPA estimates this move reduces sulfur content in fuel by 98% – cuts particulate matter by 85%, and NOx by 80%. The new standards go into effect in 2011, with implementations in 2012 and 2015. (top of page)

……………………..

Master’s thesis, Columbia U.:

 

Cruise ship fees and head taxes—Port authorities and managers can charge cruise ships pership

or per-passenger fees that are carefully calculated to offset the cost of port operations,

services, maintenance, and security while not overcharging ships.

Whether court-ordered or not, SPA and Charleston should pause the Union Pier project and onduct and invest in, baseline studies and assessments of the potential impacts on the overall environment, economy, and community, including historic and cultural resources. As public agencies with the decision-making power, they should have a clear understanding of the costs and benefits to all major stakeholders. Towards these goals, SPA and Charleston can work with the community and preservation professionals to establish limits of acceptable change (LAC), develop a clear definition of neighborhood character, and an inventory of potentially impacted tangible and intangible heritage resources. Environmental and heritage impact studies can help with this process. Cruise ships have a potential benefit to port cities, and establishing limits of acceptable change will allow Charleston to benefit from the cruise industry while minimizing and mitigating the detrimental aspects of cruise ship tourism.

In order to establish limits of acceptable change, Charleston should follow the four-part process described in Chapter 2.

Cruise companies or

Port authorities can create or set aside a portion of fee and tax revenue for infrastructure, ommunity, and environment funds. These funds can be used for the preservation and restoration of historic and cultural resources.

187

Seventy cruise ships come to Charleston annual, bringing 250,000 visitors.

discharge untreated sewage and garbage ground to one inch pieces when they are 3 miles out.

The planned and hotly disputed $25 million Charleston terminal for cruise ships would be located on 72 acres of prime waterfront valued at $532 million and adjacent to historic districts. Nine acres would go for parking.

Carnival’s cruise ships make 88 landings in Charleston annually and bring 200,000 visitors to town.

Cruise ships burn what’s called “bunker fuel,” a highly polluting sludge-like oil that leaves black streaks on structure in the adjoining historic groups, according to Carrie Agnew, executive director of Communities for Cruise Ship Control and a resident of the historic neighborhood of Ansonborough in downtown, not far from where cruise ships dock. The Charles physician group  calls pollution from the ships a health hazard

PeopleMatter CEO on Upper King relocation: ‘We are pleased’

Posted on June 16, 2014 by in Jobs & Economy

People Matter on Upper King Street, 2014

By Tom Grubisich

Upper King Street had a forlorn look three years ago. Many long-established shops in this onetime premier downtown center of furniture, dry goods and other basic retail stores had left as consumers migrated to shopping malls and centers with acres of convenient parking elsewhere in the region. But PeopleMatter CEO Nate DaPore saw something else when he toured the neighborhood in search of a new headquarters for his software company that was growing rapidly by meeting the human-resource needs of restaurants, hotels and other service businesses.

What he saw was a place where PeopleMatter’s engineers, analysts and other high-tech staffers would be “interacting with people of all walks of life…where they would be immersed in their work and be inspired to create the innovative products we build today,” as he said at the 2011 ceremony to announce PeopleMatter’s planned relocation to 466 Upper King from the Navy Yard in North Charleston.

As part of the $19.9 million relocation, the dilapidated building was stabilized and retrofitted for the needs of the high-tech company that PeopleMatter is. But the structural bones were carefully restored to honor and protect the building’s historic character.

Local America Charleston asked DaPore about the now-accomplished relocation in a recent wide-ranging interview where he also talked about the sensitive issue of how Charleston can achieve a balance between its two economies — fast-growing, well-established tourism and equally fast-growing but newly emerging high tech.

The Q & A:

How does the experience of PeopleMatter’s new intensely urban location on Upper King Street compare with what you anticipated when you decided to make the move?

Nate DaPore, CEO, PeopleMatterWe have been pleased with our decision to move to Upper King Street. Having our headquarters in downtown Charleston, rather than segmented off in a business park like large companies tend to do, was an important decision to encourage our employees’ work/life balance and our recruiting efforts. Our team members really enjoy being a part of the community and having access to a variety of places to eat, shop and visit.

What about your plan to expand on Upper King?

We just expanded a month ago with the opening of our sales and service center across the street from our HQ in the 483 King building, which added an additional 10,000 square feet to our office space.

Would you like to see other high-tech companies move to the Upper King Street area?

Yes, tech companies like to be in clusters. Look at regional tech cities like Austin and Raleigh, which were named the No.1 and No. 2 Fastest-Growing Cities by Forbes this year, respectively. They have created areas where tech companies reside so they can create a network effect where tech entrepreneurs can share ideas and grow together. Growing Charleston’s knowledge economy, especially in the downtown area, helps support growth for us all.

Upper King Street has become the center of nightlife in the city. The city government, reacting to what it says has become a “tipping point,” is moving to create an Entertainment District to better manage nightlife. Was the atmosphere on Upper King Street different three years ago?

Yes, there were fewer businesses on Upper King Street when we moved here, and real estate prices were appealing at the time. Over the last several years, a lot of new businesses have opened up on Upper King. We support free enterprise and are excited to see growth continue for Charleston. We, as a city, are at an inflection point in mapping out our growth plans for the next decade.

Do you support creation of the Entertainment District, where there could be no additional bars and restaurants with late-night drinking?

We support our local businesses and community here in Charleston. We encourage the city to give all stakeholders a voice in this discussion and hope the city will evaluate what is best for the community after hearing feedback from everyone.

Charleston’s tourist economy is strong and continues to grow. There are now 5 million visitors coming to the region annually. How does the emerging knowledge economy, of which PeopleMatter is part, fit in with the more-established tourist economy? How do the two economies achieve a balance?

The city has to look at its master plan, as any rapidly growing city would do, to ensure a proper diversity of businesses and sound planning. This is really the crux of the current debate. How should our city emerge over the next 10 – 20 years and what changes should be done now to ensure great growth, a secure and safe city, and place people want to live and work? This is the key question the city and its residents that needs to address. I would further ask us all, what type of city does Charleston want to become? These are the questions we need to address. All voices should be included in the discussion on what is best for the residents and businesses of the city to ensure we chart the best path forward for everyone.

Charleston’s service economy has a comparatively lower pay structure. Has that had an influence on the pay structure for high-tech jobs, where salaries for positions like engineer, developer and programmer are less than what is paid in Raleigh and Austin, which have more established high-tech economies? Does that gap hinder high-tech recruitment, especially among potential in-migrants?

No, I don’t believe the service industry wages have had much effect on the high tech wages at this time. That certainly may change as the high tech community has more and more impact on the community. The high tech wages here are a function of supply of available high tech talent and demand for that high tech talent. The more tech businesses that move here or startup here and the less availability of experienced high tech talent could certainly push up wages in the area as has been the case in larger tech communities such as San Francisco. Charleston offers a unique work/life environment that makes people want to live here, and from a recruitment standpoint, that helps tech companies attract talent.

Regional Charleston public K-12 schools are making progress on closing the minority achievement gap — as reported here — but the high schools appear to be making less progress in producing graduates who achieve at the Proficient and Advanced levels (beyond the Basic level) — as reported here. Do knowledge-based companies like PeopleMatter need to see more graduates at those higher levels of achievement?

Yes, education certainly plays a significant role in hiring of technology-based talent. The more we as a community move to help our high schools start or strengthen their curriculums and student achievement the better we will all be as a community. Programs like the Tri-County Cradle to Career (TCCC) initiative are working to help in this area. I would also encourage high schools to strengthen or start their STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) programs to support more jobs not just in technology but employers like Boeing and the life science community here in Charleston.

Photo credit: Charleston City Paper.

Digital Corridor in vanguard of ‘knowledge’-powered innovation centers

Posted on June 14, 2014 by in Jobs & Economy

The Rise of Innovation Districts, Brookings, 2014By Tom Grubisich

The Charleston Digital Corridor is one of a number of  let’s-do-it “innovation centers” in metro regions around the U.S.  that promise to transform the American economy with jobs built around knowledge.

Where the centers are and what they could mean for an economy that’s still sputtering in a majority of top metros is examined in the new Brookings report “The Rise of Innovation Districts.” The Charleston Digital Corridor is not among the districts featured, but Brookings analyst Rachel Harvey said “there’s no need for Charleston to be disappointed” because the public policy think tank wasn’t presenting a “best” list — just highlighting about 20 that got off to a strong start.

I sat down with Digital Corridor founder Ernest Andrade to get his take on how his district compares with the ones Brookings featured. We met in his office that is part of the Digital Corridor’s complex for start-ups it seeds. Before its redevelopment, the building was the vacant, termite-infested and asbestos-laden space of a now-extinct TV station on East Bay Street just above Calhoun. Now, it’s a sleek beehive of start-ups.

Highlights of the interview:

When you compare the Digital Corridor and the districts cited by Brookings, what do you see?

New PictureSeventeen of the districts are in cities and the borough of Brooklyn that are many times bigger than Charleston, and some of them have received millions of dollars of public and private investment. One, the Cortex bioscience and technology research-to-commercialization district in St. Louis, has received $60 million in investment funding plus $15 million in tax credits. The Charleston Digital Corridor has incubated 76 high-tech start-ups since 2009 that have created over 500 high-wage jobs, and we’ve done this with just $625,000 in public investment in our two facilities. That’s less than $1,500 per job, which is a bargain in the high-tech sector.

Some of the companies that have graduated from our Flagship and Flagship2 facilities include PeopleMatter, Good Done Great and Omatic Software, and the ones currently at our facilities include Phishlabs, ISI Technology and Netrist Solutions, all of which are experiencing great growth.

Brookings says the first requirement for success in an innovation district is a “collaborative leadership network from key institutions, firms and sectors who regularly and formally cooperate on the design, delivery, marketing and governance of the district.” There also should be a lot of interaction between industry, research universities and government, Brookings says. Is that how the Digital Corridor evolved?

No, what we did was not as complex, and it didn’t require a research university. It started with meetings in 2000. Local business leaders, tech entrepreneurs and Charleston’s citizenry agreed on the primary goal of creating enough high-wage jobs to close the gap with the steadily rising cost of living. To illustrate, this is what the gap generally looked like in 2000:COLA and wage growth gap

This was unsustainable. Our economy was built around manufacturing, distribution and hospitality. But with the wage stagnation of this economy, everyone understood we had to do something. They didn’t know exactly what, except that they wanted new businesses that were more “generative” and less “distributive.” These businesses, through their products and services, would create new wealth for our economy.

While having a powerhouse computer science engineering research university could have accelerated our growth, not having one didn’t stop us. More than 80% of Charleston’s high-tech businesses were being formed by entrepreneurs who had moved to our community to take advantage of Charleston’s livability, legendary lifestyle and existing talent pool. The local government’s mantra for entrepreneurs who comprised the Digital Corridor was simple, “You focus on building great businesses, and we’ll take care of the rest.” There were no outside consultants. The Digital Corridor strategy was 100% community-sourced.

What’s something the Digital Corridor’s doing that’s building the foundation for a knowledge economy?

We organized CODEcamp, where year-round classes in Web and mobile software technologies are taught to beginners and pros. We have had 500 students in just two years. You don’t need a four-year institution to do this. We did it with professionals from member companies in the Digital Corridor. We recently received a $247,000 innovation grant from the state to expand CODEcamp. How many communities are doing something like this?

Brookings says an innovation district starts by setting a vision. How important was that with the Digital Corridor?

You start with a vision. It has to be internal – it’s not something that that can be imposed on a community by an outside consultant. Then you have to execute on the vision, and constantly monitor the actions and make changes on the fly to optimize outcomes.

Brookings says innovation districts should include housing, retail, restaurants and other mixed uses, where people can “live, work and play.” Where is the Digital Corridor in meeting those objectives?

Thankfully, what we have on the Charleston peninsula is the real deal — urbanity, economic and demographic diversity andEverybody loves Charleston vibrance on par with great cities like New York, San Francisco and Boston, and a very human scale. It’s part of what’s been rated as the “Best City in the U.S.”

What if a large company that’s considering relocating to Charleston said it wants a lot of parking for its hundreds of employees. What can the Digital Corridor offer that business?

Peninsular Charleston makes up just about 6 square miles of a 100-square-mile city. We have the ability to scale up on the peninsula to suit the needs of larger companies and are doing this with redevelopment currently taking place. Then, we have Daniel Island – a part of the Charleston Digital Corridor’s geography that is ideally suited for large companies. Already located there are two major, publicly traded, high-tech employers – Blackbaud and Benefitfocus.

Charleston has lots of competition with other communities that want to develop knowledge economies. How well is Charleston doing, based on comparative data?

Charleston 5th nationally in high-tech job growth, Bay Area Council, December 2012 - CopyThere are two recent surveys that show Charleston’s superior performance. First, is one from the Bay Area Economic Council on the West Coast, which ranks the Charleston region fifth nationally in high-tech job growth (table above).

Charleston 11th among best performing metros on jobs, 2013The second survey – from the Milken Institute — shows Charleston is 11th nationally in overall job creation and sustainability (table above).

The Digital Corner was born 12 years ago. Where are you today?

The first five years was to understand what we needed to do to create a high-wage economy. The next five years was demonstrating that we could do it and establish program sustainability. Now we’re in the third five-year phase, where we are accelerating the growth of our still emerging technology industry.

 

Innovation districts aim

to transform battered economy

Innovation districts are entrepreneurial responses to huge dislocations throughout the U.S. economy.

Jobs remain below pre-recession levels in 61 of the 100 largest U.S. metro areas, Brookings reports. The Washington, DC-based policy center also says poverty and near poverty in the largest metros have grown from 48 million people in 2000 to 66 million today – “due not only to the recession but broader trends around wage stagnation and economic restructuring.”

'We need your help,' Mitchell Weiss, Collecdtive Next, 2014Innovation districts, Brookings says, can:

  • Further the ability of cities and metropolitan areas to grow jobs in ways that both align with disruptive forces in the economy and leverage their distinct economic position.
  • Empower entrepreneurs as a key vehicle for economic growth and job creation.
  • Grow better and more accessible jobs at a time of rising pov­erty and social inequality.
  • Reduce carbon emissions and drive denser residential and employment patterns at a time of growing concern with environmentally unsustainable devel­opment.
  • Help cities and metropolitan areas raise revenues and repair their balance sheets at a time when federal resources are diminishing and many state govern­ments are adrift.

Drawing by Mitchell Weiss of Collective Next for Boston Innovation District.

 

Metro Charleston lags in tech pay

Posted on April 30, 2014 by in Jobs & Economy

Metro Charleston tech salaries compared, USE, ranked, 2013High-tech salaries in Metro Charleston are significantly below those in the “knowledge” economies of Raleigh and Austin, TX, and even trail U.S. medians.

Salary gaps range from 15% to 30% and, depending on the particular jobs category, even higher. Metro Charleston, which aspires to become a knowledge economy, does pay the highest for web developers, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that’s current to May 2013  (See comparative table above and more extensive table here.)

Cost of living is slightly higher in Metro Charleston than in Raleigh and  lower than in Austin. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the price parity index for the Charleston region is 97.2 on a scale where 100 is the national mean. In Raleigh, the PPI is 96.7% and in Austin it’s 99.4%. PPI’s measure how far a dollar goes from region to region, particularly in big-ticket items like housing.

With its lower tech pay, Charleston can be competitively more attractive to companies looking to relocate. Boeing, for example, is developing a technology center for manufacturing in North Charleston, where it has already created 6,100 jobs for mechanics and other workers who assemble the 787 Dreamliner.

Charleston 5th nationally in high-tech job growthCharleston is the fifth fastest growing region in tech jobs, according to 2010-2011 data from the Bay Area Council in San Francisco (chart at left).

On the other hand, Metro Charleston, which has a high level of in[-migration for job seekers, may not be able to compete as effectively for high-level technologists, like computer and systems information managers who are making $122,900 in in Raleigh and $135,540 in Austin) compared to $106,150 locally.

Dr. Tara Sinclair, economist for the Indeed employment service and a professor of economics at George Washington University in Washington, DC, told Local America Charleston:

“Charleston has a large young start-up community. Young businesses like this often do not have high salaries, as the payoff can come later for individuals who are employed at start-ups.

“From  Bureau of Labor Statistics data, it does seem that there is a supply of talent in Charleston willing to take lower salaries than other cities like Raleigh and Austin. However, from an economic perspective, if Charleston wants to compete long-term with Raleigh and Austin for talent in open positions, companies will have to raise their salaries or find other benefits to offer to attract top talent.”

 

 

Metro Charleston lags in tech salaries

Posted on April 28, 2014 by in Jobs & Economy

Metro Charleston tech salaries compared, USE, ranked, 2013High-tech salaries in Metro Charleston are significantly below those in the “knowledge” economies of Raleigh and Austin, TX, and even trail U.S. medians.

Salary gaps range from 15% to 30% and, depending on the particular jobs category, even higher. Metro Charleston, which aspires to become a knowledge economy, does pay the highest for web developers, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that’s current to May 2013  (See comparative table above and more extensive table here.)

Cost of living is slightly higher in Metro Charleston than in Raleigh or Austin. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the price parity index for the region is 97.2 on a scale where 100 is the national mean. In Raleigh, the PPI is 96.7% and in Austin it’s 99.4%. PPI’s measure how far a dollar goes from region to region, particularly in big-ticket items like housing.

With its lower tech pay, Charleston can be competitively more attractive to companies looking to relocate. Boeing, for example, is developing a technology center for manufacturing in North Charleston, where it has already created 6,100 jobs for mechanics and other workers who assemble the 787 Dreamliner.

Charleston is the fifth fastest growing region in tech jobs, according to 2010-2011 data from the Bay Area Council in San Francisco.

On the other hand, Metro Charleston, which has a high level of in[-migration for job seekers, may not be able to compete as effectively for high-level technologists, like computer and systems information managers who are make $122,900 in in Raleigh and $135,540 in Austin) compared to $106,150 locally.

 

 

 

 

Tri-County paychecks: Men way ahead of women

Posted on April 10, 2014 by in Jobs & Economy

Woman at work on bomber engine, WWIIIt’s a man’s world in earnings by gender in the Tri-Counties.

In Charleston County, the average of men’s pay is 73% higher. In Berkeley County it’s 45% higher and in Dorchester County, 37% more.

Wage Gap for Tri-County Women Higher Than U.S.The numbers show that the pay gap by gender in Charleston County is much higher than the overall U.S. rate, which is 50%.

Photo credit for woman assembling engine at North American Aviation plant in Los Angeles during World War II: Library of Congress.

Region came back strong from Big Recession

Posted on December 22, 2013 by in Jobs & Economy

After the crash, our region's big recoveryThe Big Recession hit the Tri-Counties hard. But they recovered faster than the state and the U.S.

Charleston County — the largest in the region — has recovered faster than Berkeley (Summerville) and Dorchester (North Charleston) counties.

Overall, the Tri-Counties have a 5.%% unemployment rate, lower than South Carolina’s (7.1%) and the 50 states as a whole (7%).

Much of the comback is being fueled by growth in the tech sector.