The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance has been working during the COVID-19 pandemic to help Palmetto State industries navigate issues including worker safety, lack of child care, supply chain interruptions, unemployment and a thicket of local, state and federal health/behavior guidelines and mandates. That’s according to John Wall (in photo), guest speaker for Capital Rotary’s July 29 Zoom meeting. He’s vice president of government relations and general counsel for the group that represents 400 manufacturing facilities and 880,000 employees. Wall noted that manufacturers have been proud to “fill in the gaps” by supplying personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, gowns and masks to combat the coronavirus. They also “stepped up in a big way to lead the charge for contact tracing in the workplace,” Wall said. While COVID-19 is today’s chief concern, Wall noted one of industry’s future legislative goals is business license tax reform setting a standard filing date, application form, appeals process, rate and class schedule and a portal for online access. Education reform is another goal, aiming to ensure that students “have the skills they need to fill these great-paying jobs here in our state.” Wall believes South Carolina’s future includes more investment by food marketing and processing businesses, growth in “life sciences” like pharmaceutical manufacturing, and growth in warehouse/distribution facilities. Wall is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and the University of South Carolina’s School of Law. He joined the Manufacturers Alliance in 2018.