Andy Carr tapped as new president and CEO of SCMEP.

Date15 March 2022

Andy Carr knows he has big shoes to fill, but after years walking alongside a legend in South Carolina manufacturing, he feels comfortable wearing them.

Carr led the S.C. Manufacturing Extension Partnership through the sudden death of its heart-and-soul CEO and president last fall and guided the organization as interim president while an executive search committee looked for someone to replace Chuck Spangler.

Carr was offered the job in February and took the title officially on March 7.

"Fortunately, I had 24 years of working with Chuck boss, mentor and friend, so maybe it's not quite so intimidating because of 24 years of working with the man," Carr said.

He said the staff applied Spangler's yeoman-like approach to getting the job done in the days and weeks after his death, working to help the state's manufacturing community even as they mourned the passing of someone frequently referred to as something of a legend on the state's manufacturing stage.

"Obviously we're going to be informed by Chuck's legacy," Carr said of SCMEP's plans to continue adapting to emerging manufacturing needs. "We have a great organization and a great culture here at SCMEP and that will continue. The one thing that we do know is that change is continual. And the pace of change continually gets faster and that's something that SCMEP will continue to do. There's no such thing as standing still in manufacturing. You either move forward or backward, and we will continue to move forward and we'll do that by making sure that we've got all the products and all the services the things that South Carolina manufacturers need to be globally competitive. That's what we're all about."

A native of Scotland, Carr worked for Lucas Industries in Birmingham, England which he likened to the UK's version of Detroit a former heavy manufacturing stronghold that has struggled in recent decades. The company offered him a temporary position in the United States, and he moved to Greenville with Lucas Engine Management Systems, a six-month gig that lasted five years and eventually led him to jobs in Spartanburg and Fountain Inn before he joined the staff of SCMEP in 1988.

SCMEP is a nonprofit group that serves as a resource for manufacturing in much the same way state extension...

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