German industries are making a tremendous impact on the state of South Carolina, and the trend is only poised to continue.
That’s why the College of Charleston will host the second annual German-American Business Summit on Feb. 8, 2018. Organized in a joint effort between the College of Charleston’s German program, the School of Business, and the Career Center, the Summit aims to address issues facing the German-American business community. The topic of this year’s event is innovation in manufacturing. The one-day event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the College of Charleston campus at the Stern Center Ballroom, 71 George St.
“The presence of German-American businesses in South Carolina is truly astonishing and something we can all be very proud of,” says Morgan Koerner, chair of the department of German and Russian Studies and associate professor of German at the College of Charleston.
According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, more than160 German companies directly employ 32,000-plus South Carolinians. Per capita, South Carolina receives more investment funds and the most jobs from German industry of any state in the country.
The second annual German-American Business Summit kicks off with a job and internship expo gathering 13 German companies, which will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Participating companies include BLG Logistics, BMW of North America, Bosch, Dachser USA, groninger, Hubner, KION North America, Kuehne + Nagel, MAU Workforce Solutions, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Rick Hendrick BMW, Rodl & Partner, Stöbich and ZF.
At 2 p.m. keynote speaker Michael Golz, chief information officer of Americas SAP, will discuss “Digital Innovation in 21st Century Industry.” At 3:30 p.m., a panel discussion on innovation moderated by School of Business instructor Lancie Alfonso will bring together Mathias Boehmisch, IT senior manager and information officer, Mercedes-Benz Vans Ludwidsfelde & Charleston; Vincent Halma, president and CEO, KION North America; Shane Porzio, vice president, global business management Kaolin, BASF; and Carolin Wolfsdörfer, vice president of operations, ZF Transmissions Gray Court.
“We created the summit to provide a space for companies to interact with one another, but also with the College of Charleston,” says Koerner.
In doing so, the College endeavors to better understand the companies’ needs and to create better job pipelines for College of Charleston students.
“German business is vital to the South Carolina economy and to the College,” says Rene Mueller, professor and director of the College’s international business program. “Over the years, German companies have provided internships, jobs and mentoring opportunities for our students. Not only does this event help highlight the foreign language and business skills of our students, it shows the larger community how important the German – South Carolina relationship truly is.”