Clemson Reach: Specializing in Cleaning Up Messes

Clemson University is a land grant university that has had a tremendous impact on the world of agriculture. Chip Carter spent some time on campus and followed some alumni for our new series “Clemson Reach.” Today, we learn about a company that has made its mark doing the jobs that others do not want to do, from providing labor to now stepping in and handling COVID-19 cleaning.

Defender Services in Columbia, South Carolina is a company that specializes in cleaning up messes, even messes like helping employers find a work force.

Nicky McCarter states, “We’ve become a total labor source to manufacturing facilities, any type of manufacturing in the country. We do something in pretty much any of it, and we’re also in the distribution arena now... We actually pull the product, package the product, put the product on the truck... So, we have become a total contract labor business.”

However, this is not a temporary staffing situation. Their workforce is 98 percent full-time on site. They have hundreds of accounts across twelve states, with a locally hired workforce.

Defender Services is also a two generation Clemson operation. Nicky graduated from Clemson in 1980 with a degree in Administrative Management. His son, Cole, graduated in 2016, earning a degree in PRTM (Parks, Recreation, Tourism Management).

Clemson had a big impact on Cole, as he came back home to work in the family business. “You get up there and you just kind of start to figure out a little bit about who you are... You kind of buckle down, and you kind of figure out, ‘okay, this is the path I’m going on to becoming an adult,’” he states. “For me, it kind of brought me a little bit closer to my dad, to my family. Clemson is a big, big part for us, and so I think Clemson kind of sealed that deal for me.”