History

The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) traces its origin to a loose-knit association formed by cotton mill pioneers around the turn of the 20th century.

The rapid growth of the state's industry between 1880 and the early 1900's presented cotton mill owners with common problems. To face those problems, owners formed the South Carolina Manufacturers Association.

Records of the early years are sketchy, but they do show that the infant association, later known as the Cotton Manufacturers Association of South Carolina and later still as the South Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association (SCTMA), dealt with problems that faced every cotton mill.

By the end of the 1920's, industry employment hit the 150,000 mark. Manufacturing was entrenched in South Carolina and mill owners began to recognize its importance. Many Association members felt that mills could be more influential with legislators. Realizing the economic impact their companies were making in South Carolina, the Association wanted a voice in government and hired a paid staff. From that point, SCTMA developed into a highly visible and respected voice in state government. Lobbyists acted on behalf of the industry, supporting beneficial legislation and discouraging legislation burdensome to textile producers in the state.

In 1996, the SCTMA Board of Directors decided that in the best interest of the Association and the state, it would create a more effective voice for all manufacturing companies in South Carolina. Thus, the SCTMA transformed into a broader-based organization operating under a new name: South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (the "Alliance"). The new Alliance not only gives the state's manufacturers a stronger, more prominent voice in South Carolina, but also allows manufacturing firms to work together in strengthening industry and improving the quality of life in South Carolina.

The idea of holding forums for the exchange of ideas still exists as a key tool for communication in SCMA. The forums are divided by major subject areas into committees, divisions, and councils that meet regularly and exchange communications. In these meetings, leaders of independent firms master new strategies and techniques to take back to their plants. By learning together under the auspices of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, leaders in the state's manufacturing industries work together to create a society that supports manufacturing. In turn, manufacturing supports South Carolina's citizens with jobs and quality products.
 





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