On Monday, Representative Joe Cunningham (D-SC-1) met with recreational boating industry leaders – including representatives from Scout Boats, Sportsman Boats Manufacturing, Zodiac, Stingray Boats, and NMMA – at Scout Boats’ facility in Summersville, S.C. to discuss the recreational boating industry’s workforce challenges and infrastructure needs. Congressman Cunningham also toured Scout Boats’ plant prior to the roundtable discussion – which includes over 350,000-square feet of manufacturing space and employs nearly 500 people – witnessing the manufacturing process first-hand.
During the roundtable portion of the event, industry stakeholders and Rep. Cunningham discussed the role that state and federal governments can play in addressing the boating industry’s workforce needs and challenges of worker recruitment and retention. Currently, the recreational boating industry is facing a shortfall of more than 31,000 qualified workers for manufacturing, technicians, and service repairs.
“We had a great discussion on the boat manufacturing industry, and specifically, the contributions that is makes to the economy here in the ‘Lowcountry’,” said Rep. Cunningham.
In addition to discussing workforce development, Rep. Cunningham highlighted the importance of recreational marine infrastructure and the economic impact that recreational boating has in South Carolina — especially in his district. In the South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, recreational boating generates more than $700 million in annual economic impact, supporting more than 200 business and 3,500 jobs.