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South Carolina: The Tire Capitol of the World

Ted Pitts
President & CEO, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce


Manufacturing is key to South Carolina’s economy.  Manufacturing makes up 12 per cent of South Carolina’s workforce and 16.8 per cent of the state’s entire GDP.  Manufacturers account for roughly one-third of South Carolina Chamber of Commerce members and are responsible for extensive job creation and technological innovation in our state.   Manufacturing is on the rise in South Carolina, and the tire industry is playing a huge role in this progress, employing over 20,000 South Carolinians at about 160 tire-related businesses across the state.  We are truly the tire capital of the world, accounting for 31 percent of United States tire exports and being home to 4 of the world’s top 10 tireproducers.  In a highly competitive economic development and recruitment climate three things are key to our success-  Workforce, The Port in Charleston, and being the #1 Right to Work state in the nation.


Ted Pitts took over as President and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce in January of 2015.  He came to the Chamber after serving first as Deputy Chief of Staff and then Chief of Staff for South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley during her first term in office.  Prior to that, Ted served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2003 – 2010 representing Lexington County. 

Ted comes from the business community where he was a successful commercial real estate broker and Partner with the South Carolina firm Wilson Kibler.  He also serves as a Major in the South Carolina Army National Guard and is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan.  He is also a graduate of Presbyterian College.  Ted and his wife, Christina, have three children.