From the ancestral influences of Native Americans to the early impact of European kingdoms such as England and France, to the modern contributions made by numerous nations around an ever-shrinking globe, America thrives when others get involved.
One nation that has always been committed to American success is Germany. Let’s take a quick look back at some of the ways that Germans and their businesses have impacted the U.S., especially the Southeast, in recent years.
The southeastern region of the United States is one of the oldest areas in the country, home to many original European settlements, including iconic areas such as Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Charleston.
The Southeast also has a historical reputation as an agricultural area. However, in the modern era, its businesses and industries are noteworthy. The Southeast is home to many different brands that span a wide variety of industries, from Coca-Cola to Home Depot, Lowes, Delta Airlines, CNN, and Duke Energy.
This rich area of America’s east coast and its nearby interior is also home to a number of thriving international firms—many of which come from one of America’s richest sources of cultural influence and immigration: Germany.
German history in America is often linked to areas like Pennsylvania and New York City. However, Germans settled all over the country as it grew, and by the 21st century, many German companies had gone south. In fact, in 2010, Site Selection Magazine reported that “the strongest player by far throughout the Southeast is Germany” among all the national entities in the region.
This fact did not change moving forward either. Between 2011 and 2015, the state of South Carolina alone recorded $4.1 billion in capital investment from German companies, leading to the creation of 9,000 new jobs. At the time, SC already had 27,000 German-made jobs coming from over 160 companies from Deutschland.
Many of these are still household names, such as BMW, Bosch, Adidas, and Behr. Others are small and medium-sized enterprises that remain equally German in their makeup. In either case, many of these companies, and others that have joined them in recent years, continue to proudly represent their German heritage in America through their business activity.
The interest that German companies have shown in the southeast in the past remains alive and well in the 2020s. However, they are not immune to the challenges that have plagued both national and international business in recent years.
The Great Recession has made finding workers difficult. Inflation is impacting prices and curbing buyer enthusiasm. Factors like the War in Ukraine and China’s three-year-long zero-Covid policy have wreaked havoc on supply chains for dozens of months. And that doesn’t even take into account the worldwide pandemic that rocked industries and individuals alike just a few short years ago.
Throughout the ongoing challenges, German companies in the U.S. Southeast must remain focused on the advantages that brought them overseas — and it requires a strong C-suite to maintain a focus on future success. This is something that is much easier said than done, especially at a time when talent is at a premium.
“It requires a strong C-suite to maintain a focus on future success.”
That’s where the executive recruitment team at Stanton Chase South Central can help. Our proven recruitment methods have landed ideal placements in countless firms across the Southeast. Our experience and network help clients identify qualified candidates before competitors have a chance to snap them up.
When it comes to German businesses, in particular, we have a close connection and vested interest in seeing German companies thrive, starting with my own German roots. If you’re a German business operating in the American Southeast, we’d love to connect. Please, reach out so that we can learn more about your company, what brought you to the States, and how we can help you improve your C-suite and, by extension, the rest of your brand.
Germans are and always have been fully invested in the U.S. It’s important that we reciprocate by helping them thrive in their business activities so that we can all benefit from their inclusion in the endlessly rewarding experiment that is the American melting pot.
Tim Fetzer serves as a Director at Stanton Chase’s Nashville office. With over a decade of global search experience, Tim has a passion for driving change through leadership recruitment and assessment. Tim originally hails from Germany, but has also lived in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
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