Skip to main content

Charleston Business

The Business Narrative: Labor Turnover

Feb 26, 2024 09:30AM ● By Donna Walker

The States Where People Are Quitting Jobs The Most

New research has revealed the states where people are quitting their jobs the most, with Alaska coming out on top.


South Carolina ranked eighth.


The study by business experts Upflip analyzed the newest quit rate data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to see which states had the highest levels of people quitting as a percentage of total employment.


It found that Alaska has the highest average quit rate of any state, with 3.44 percent, based on data for each month of 2023. In August of 2023, quit rates were highest at 4 percent, and they were lowest in December of 2023 with just 3 percent.


In second place on the list is Montana, which has an average monthly quit rate of 3.38 percent. Quit rates were highest in May of 2023, with 3.7 percent, and then lowest in July of 2023, with 3.1 percent.


Third place goes to the eastern state of West Virginia, with an average monthly quit rate of 3.30 percent. February of 2023 saw the highest quit rates in the state, with 3.9 percent, and November saw the lowest, with just 2.7 percent.


Wyoming takes fourth place, with the Mountain West state seeing an average quit rate of 3.29 percent for 2023. January, February and March all saw the highest monthly quit rate with 3.5 percent, and December saw the lowest with 2.7 percent.


Rounding out the top five is Louisiana, which comes in with an average monthly quit rate of 3.27 percent. February of 2023 saw the highest quit rate, with 4 percent; the lowest was found to be 2.7 percent, which occurred in November and December.


South Carolina’s 2023 average monthly quit rate was 3.05 percent.


Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson from Upflip said: “With the sheer number of layoffs seen in 2023 and into 2024, it’s not always been the choice of a worker to stay at a company."


The spokesperson added, "However, this, combined with recent strikes and unionization in many industries, shows that many workers are reaching their breaking point, and where this is happening the most can be seen on this list."


And the spokesperson said, "It will be interesting to see how these statistics vary across 2024 and if we will see a repeat of the ‘Great Resignation.’”

ACL Airshop Appoints Bernhard Kindelbacher as CEO

Greenville, South Carolina-based ACL Airshop, a global leader in air cargo Unit Load Device (ULD) logistics solutions to over 200 airlines, air cargo carriers, and other transportation clients, announced the appointment of Bernhard Kindelbacher as chief executive officer, effective March 1, 2024. 


Kindelbacher has an extensive background in air cargo leadership, logistics management, business development and strategy, global operations, and full enterprise general management, stemming from his professional career for over 30 years with Lufthansa Cargo.


He recently culminated his distinguished Lufthansa career in an extended general management post as managing director for all cargo operations in the USA and Canada.


In his Lufthansa career, he held roles such as senior VP Strategy & Business Development as well as senior VP Network, Product & Marketing, in which he successfully designed and implemented numerous transformations.


He was also responsible for creating the first worldwide cargo joint ventures with ANA, United Cargo and Cathay Pacific.


His international and intercultural leadership and growth experiences include assignments as well as board functions in Europe, China, Latin America, and North America.


His education includes a business degree from the University of Munich and an MBA from the University of Vermont.


Said Kindelbacher: "ACL Airshop is a successful worldwide entrepreneurial team of air cargo and logistics experts with a strong High-Performance Culture. I am delighted to join this professional enterprise, to lead it forward in its next stage of growth and strategic development."


He added, "We will build momentum, and take very good care of our customers and our employees. I am very happy to become part of the ACL Airshop team."


Steve Townes, the current CEO, will continue serving the company in an advisory role as vice chairman.


For the past nine years, his leadership resulted in significant growth and superior market positioning. Townes, reflecting on the progress of ACL Airshop, said: "Bernhard is the right leader for this next chapter of ACL Airshop, with deep professional roots and impeccable expertise in the global air cargo sector."


ACL Airshop is a portfolio company of funds managed by Astatine Investment Partners. 


Jim Metcalfe, a board member of ACL and CEO of Astatine Investment Partners, said, "We are excited about Bernhard leading ACL in its next phase. We believe he brings strategic vision that will generate financial benefits for investors, value add service for customers and new opportunities for employees."


Metcalfe added, "We want to thank Steve for his energy, enthusiasm and contributions as CEO."


ACL Airshop owns, maintains and leases more than 74,000 Unit Load Devices (ULDs), including air freight pallets and containers, issued from 57 airport hub locations across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Latin America.


ACL Airshop's growth in recent years builds on the company's 40-year heritage as an air cargo equipment and logistics specialist. Its worldwide services network has expanded from 23 airport hub locations in 2016 to nearly 60 at latest count, and still growing.


Today, the company maintains the largest independent inventory of lease-ready ULD assets in the industry for short-term solutions, and also has an array of longer-term multi-year ULD Management contracts.


The company is deploying innovative logistics technologies such as the award-winning App "FindMyULD" which officials say yield better fleet efficiencies and operational cost savings for customers.


ACL Airshop was first-in-market among its competitive class to offer Bluetooth tracking and tracing of air cargo pallets and containers.

SC Launch Inc. Invests in Viatec, For Third Time

South Carolina Research Authority announced its affiliate SC Launch Inc.’s third investment in Viatec.


The Piedmont, South Carolina-based company provides ‘plug-and-play’ electronic power take-off systems that optimize energy efficiency and reduce diesel emissions and noise pollution for utility and other fleets.


Viatec became an SCRA Member Company in 2017 and received a $25,000 Project Development Fund Grant and a $46,000 Demonstration Grant.


It became an SC Launch Inc. Portfolio Company in 2018 when it received its first investment of $250,000. Viatec received a second investment of $200,000 in 2020. This new, third investment equals $300,000.


Viatec’s electrification solutions, SmartPTO, SmartPX, and SmartAPU, lower fuel and maintenance costs and reduce emissions while creating a clean, quiet worksite, according to SCRA officials.


The solutions provide an affordable, green solution for commercial vehicles in the utility, telephone, construction, and delivery industries, said SCRA Senior Investment Manager Steve Johnson.


“Viatec also has several other systems to eliminate constant diesel idling in large vehicles, such as EMS trucks, and maintaining power and temperature in tractor-trailer driver cabins,” Johnson said.


“This investment will allow us to continue scaling to make our solutions available to more utility fleets and other customers,” said Viatec President and CEO Mark Ferri.


Ferri added, "“Our continued success is due to trusted partners like the teams at SCRA and SC Launch Inc. They’ve been with us for many years as we’ve refined and grown our product offerings.”


Chartered in 1983 by the state of South Carolina as a public, nonprofit corporation, South Carolina Research Authority fuels the state’s innovation economy through the impact of its comprehensive services to technology-based startups, academia, and industry.


SCRA provides funding and support to accelerate the growth of academic startups; high-quality lab and administrative workspaces; facilitation and funding for partnerships between and among industry, startups, and academic institutions; assistance and funding for the relocation of technology-based companies to South Carolina; and coaching and funding for startups that may also receive investments from its affiliate, SC Launch Inc.

Patent Office Empowers Innovation Among Black Inventors, Entrepreneurs By Increasing Number of Patent, Trademark Resource Centers at HBCUs

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have played a critical role in advancing intergenerational economic mobility for Black families and communities throughout generations.


Additionally, HBCUs have been instrumental in fostering innovation and intellectual property development.


Today, HBCUs continue to foster innovation among Black inventors and entrepreneurs with the help of Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs) in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).


PTRCs are part of a national network of public, state, and academic libraries designated by the USPTO to offer trademark and patent assistance to the public.


The local centers support the intellectual property needs of the public by providing a human touch.


PTRC library staff are local information experts trained by the USPTO on how to use search tools to access information and help people navigate their patent and trademark journey.


Services include online resources, research consultations, and workshops to share information on the importance of intellectual property.


“Patents and trademarks are key to establishing ownership rights to inventions and brands that bring tangible economic benefits to their owners,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and director of the USPTO, who designated three HBCUs as PTRCs in 2023.


Vidal added, “We are committed to increasing the number of PTRCs at HBCUs and educational programs across the country to ensure that Black creators, inventors, and entrepreneurs have access to these key resources.” 


Currently, four HBCU libraries have been designated as PTRCs:


Howard University’s Founders Library, designated on December 8, 1986. 

John B. Cade Library at Southern University and A&M College, designated on October 12, 2023. 

John B. Coleman Library at Prairie View A&M University, designated on October 16, 2023. 

Miller F. Whittaker Library at South Carolina State University, designated on December 6, 2023.


In the continued effort to expand the number of PTRCs across the country, Vidal issued letters to 600 libraries across the country, including all HBCUs, inviting each institution to consider becoming PTRCs to assist their local innovators.


Adia Coleman, head of the Business Library at Howard University, first learned about the importance of intellectual property from her father who was an entrepreneur and had one of his ideas stolen.


This understanding helps her identify with those that visit the PTRC.


“Having these resources at HBCUs helps to empower people,” said Coleman. “There’s a fear that an idea can be stolen the moment that it’s shared."


Colemn added, "Speaking and meeting with someone that looks like you, can help entrepreneurs and inventors feel more comfortable knowing that their ideas are safe.”


“Intellectual property is a valuable asset,” said Derrick Brent, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and deputy director of the USPTO. “Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets make possible this system of new businesses, and successful entrepreneurs."


Brent added, "We are grateful for these HBCU PTRCs which provide students and local communities with hands-on education in invention and entrepreneurship, helping to achieve a more inclusive and successful innovation ecosystem.” 


To find a list of PTRCs by state, go to the USPTO’s official PTRC locations page.

Allow us to tell your company's Business Narrative. Send your press release to David Dykes or for more information email [email protected]