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SPONsORED BY SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERcE | 2014
Wood Group Mustang is People Oriented… Project Driven® SERVICES OFFERED
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Making history with two of the largest capital projects in the history South Carolina.
aving been involved with two of the largest capital projects in the history of South Carolina, including Boeing and BMW, Greenville’s Wood Group Mustang is a global engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) powerhouse that still holds small-town values and continues to deliver on all sizes of engineering projects throughout South Carolina and the southeast United States. South Carolinians may know Wood Group Mustang as the former Global Performance acquired in 2006 by the Scottish conglomerate Wood Group, widely respected in the oil and gas industry. Wood Group Mustang has more than 200 employees in the Greenville area, while its parent company earned revenues of $7 billion with 43,000 employees in 60 countries worldwide. Wood Group Mustang serves the oil and gas, pipeline, refining, chemical, process services, industrial (including automotive and aerospace) and automation industries. While part of the global powerhouse, the Greenville team still maintains the fundamental principles that drove them to serve the process facility and industrial markets of the Upstate. “By joining a successful global team already in place, we have been able to service the various markets in the region through EPCM projects,” says Brent Owen, vice president and general manager of Wood Group Mustang’s Greenville office. “Using the broad reach and depth of talent from the entire organization,
New Process Development & Commercialization Front-End Engineering Detailed Engineering Estimating Materials Management Procurement Construction Management QA/QC and Inspection Process Safety Management Professional Staffing Services Cost & Schedule Management Manual Development & Training Startup & Commissioning
we are able to support our clients with a strong regional presence as ‘Mustang’ grows and expands its business both domestically and internationally.” As a recipient of the Boeing Supplier Excellence Award for the past two years, Wood Group Mustang strives to gain a full and detailed understanding of the needs of the project at hand and the specific desires of its clients. Repeat business projects and referrals from existing clients continue to reflect the company’s customer service pledge. “Using our proven systems and tools as the foundation, we design a project execution plan that is custom designed to the needs of the project and maintain the flexibility to adapt throughout the project,” explains Ken Anthony, vice president of business development, Wood Group Mustang. “We have in-depth experience integrating our team and tools with those of our clients to ensure that they receive the results they seek.” The company’s Upstate success contributes to the thousands of job opportunities for South Carolinians from family businesses to multinationals. “South Carolina depends on these companies to sustain the economy, and we are committed to supporting them in their efforts. We intend to continue the growth enjoyed over the past 14 years and look forward to continued success in South Carolina and other key regions globally,” says Brent Owen.
For additional information, please contact one of our South Carolina business development professionals:
Ken Anthony 864.404.2211 email@example.com Billy Dunlap 864.404.2727 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
2014 EDITION | VOLUMe 4
Resources that promote research and privatesector partnerships, plus a high quality of life draw talent to South Carolina’s growing innovation economy
CYcLE OF GROWTH
SpANNINg THE GLOBE
South Carolina training programs give employers a workforce development advantage
South Carolina is fertile ground for a blossoming recycling industry, which created 765 jobs and $104 million in investment in 2013
South Carolina offers the sea, air, road and rail assets to link businesses to both domestic and international markets
14 DIscOVER 57 EcONOmIc PROFILE 68 GALLERY
JUsT RIgHT FOR BUsINEss
A robust manufacturing sector helps drive growth in South Carolina’s diverse economy
BIg GROWTH IN SmALLER PLAcEs
State economic development efforts pay off in new jobs and investment in rural communities
Anchored by Boeing, South Carolina is going full throttle for aviation and aerospace growth
DEsTINATION OF CHOIcE
A thriving arts scene, haute cuisine and warm hospitality help make Charleston an international city and top destination for tourists
South Carolina works up a healthy appetite for farm-to-table initiatives
2014 EDITION VOLUME 4
SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
DIREcTOR OF cONTENT | BILL McMEEKIN EDITOR AND PROJEcT MANAGER | EmILY McMacKIN CONTRIBUTING WRITERs | NaN BaUrOTH, PamELa COYLE, BILL LEWIs, MarTHa SpIZZIrI, STEpHaNIE VOZZa, GarY WOLLENHaUpT CONTENT COORDINATOR | JEssIca WaLKEr BOEHm STAFF WRITER | KEvIN LITWIN PROOFREADING MANAGER | RavEN PETTY MARKETING COORDINATOR | KaTE SWaNsON LEAD DEsIGNER | KacEY PassmOrE SENIOR GRAPHIc DEsIGNERs | STacEY ALLIs, LaUra GaLLagHEr, KrIs SEXTON, JaKE SHOrEs, VIKKI WILLIams GRAPHIc DEsIGNERs | jacKIE cIULLa, LINDsEY HIggINs, maTT WEsT CREATIVE TEcHNOLOGY ANALYsT | BEcca ArY LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER | BrIaN McCOrD SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHERs | JEFF ADKINs STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERs | MIcHaEL CONTI, WENDY jO O’barr, FraNK OrDOÑEZ, mIcHaEL TEDEscO cOLOR IMAGING TEcHNIcIAN | aLIsON HUNTEr EXEcUTIVE INTEGRATED MEDIA MANAGER | SUZI McGrUDEr SALEs SUPPORT PROJEcT MANAGER | Sara QUINT SALEs SUPPORT COORDINATOR | CHrIsTINa MOrgaN AD PRODUcTION MANAGER | KaTIE MIDDENDOrF AD TRAFFIc AssIsTANTs | KrYsTIN LEmmON, PaTrIcIa MOIsaN WEB PROJEcT MANAGER | DavID DAY WEB DEVELOPER I | NELs NOsEWOrTHY WEB DEsIGNER II | rIcHarD sTEvENs DIGITAL PROJEcT MANAGER | JILL RIDENOUr DIGITAL PRODUcTs DEsIGNER | ErIca LampLEY
What’s on businessclimate.com/south-carolina
Investment and expansion by BMW drives growth in the auto sector in the state
Biotechnology and Life Sciences
State initiatives link South Carolina life sciences innovators
Aerospace and Aviation
South Carolina takes flight as a center of aircraft manufacturing
CHAIRMAN | GrEg THUrmaN PREsIDENT/PUBLIsHER | BOb ScHWarTZmaN EXEcUTIVE VIcE PREsIDENT | RaY LaNgEN SENIOR V.P./SALEs | TODD POTTEr SENIOR V.P./CLIENT DEVELOPMENT | JEFF HEEFNEr SENIOR V.P./OPERATIONs | CasEY HEsTEr SENIOR V.P./JOURNAL DIGITAL | MIcHaEL BarbEr V.P./SALEs | JarEK SWEKOsKY V.P./CONTENT OPERATIONs | NaTasHa LOrENs MEDIA TEcHNOLOGY DIREcTOR | CHrIsTINa CarDEN PHOTOGRAPHY DIREcTOR | JEFFrEY S. OTTO WEB sERVIcEs DIREcTOR | ALLIsON DavIs CONTROLLER | CHrIs DUDLEY SENIOR AccOUNTANT | LIsa OWENs AccOUNTs PAYABLE COORDINATOR | MarIa McFarLaND AccOUNTs REcEIVABLE COORDINATOR | DIaNa GUZmaN IT DIREcTOR | DaNIEL caNTrELL EXEcUTIVE SEcRETARY | KrIsTY GILEs HUMAN REsOURcEs MANAGER | PEggY BLaKE
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Drill down on the numbers behind the state’s powerhouse economy with a full set of statistics and data.
Learn more about key industry sectors and top companies that make the Palmetto State work.
South Carolina Commerce is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the South Carolina Department of Commerce. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by email at email@example.com. FOR MORE INFORMATION, cONTAcT: South Carolina Department of Commerce 1201 Main St., Ste. 1600 • Columbia, SC 29201 Phone: (803) 737-0400 www.sccommerce.com VIsIT SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERcE ONLINE AT BUsINEsscLIMATE.cOM/sOUTH-cAROLINA ©Copyright 2014 Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Ste. 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Member Member The Association of Magazine Media Custom Content Council
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SPONSORED BY SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE | 2014
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THE RIGHT THING THE RIGHT wAY
hat is it about South Carolina?” I am often asked this question by people all over the nation, trying to find out the secret of our success. Many want to know how South Carolina – in less than a decade – has caused a sea-change in business development, leveled the economic playing field and emerged as a national leader in manufacturing, agriculture and foreign direct investment. My answer is simple: Our state has learned what we need to be successful, and we continue to build on our reputation as a state that is just right for business. During the national economic downturn, the state emerged as a Southeast magnet for new jobs, investment and growth, ranking as one of the top states for doing business by Area Development, Chief Executive and Business Facilities magazines. Since 2011, the South Carolina Department of Commerce helped facilitate the recruitment of 49,000 jobs and funneled more than $14.5 billion in capital investments into the state. Moreover, South Carolina has experienced record growth in our manufacturing sector, experiencing a more than 18 percent gain in output from 2010-2012. Our economic development reputation has earned us the moniker “Beast of Southeast,” and this success is due largely to Gov. Nikki Haley’s role in business development, the state’s workforce and Commerce’s aggressive recruiting strategy. As a result, household names across various industries have put down roots in South Carolina including brands like Boeing, BMW, Bridgestone Americas, Continental Tire, Google, Honda, Michelin, TD Bank and Sonoco. In South Carolina, we are doing the right thing, the right way. Commerce has strategically focused on making sure South Carolina is globally competitive and sustains a vital and thriving economy. We are manufacturing for the world and exporting to all corners of the globe. One of the true secrets to success for the state is its investment in workforce development, ensuring the state’s residents have the skill sets businesses are seeking. The award-winning readySC™ program, for example, offers coordinated training through the state’s technical colleges at no cost for eligible new or expanding companies. The state’s cultural and historic offerings and opportunities for outdoor recreation from coast to mountains, including 400 golf courses, make South Carolina an unparalleled place to call home. One of my core beliefs is that business doesn’t sit still. To be competitive, you have to be ready for change. With Commerce’s project managers spearheading economic development efforts, and with help from our partners and allies across the state, we are doing more than ever to show why South Carolina is just right for business. Bobby Hitt South Carolina Secretary of Commerce
Discover South Carolina
BUILT FOR ENJOYMENT
South Carolina doesn’t have to manufacture fun, but it has a number of manufacturers that make products designed for it. Honda of South Carolina Manufacturing Inc. has been producing all-terrain vehicles at its operations in Timmonsville since 1997. In November 2012, the company hit a major milestone, producing its 2.5 millionth ATV. Honda also announced that it would invest $27 million in the plant to make its next generation of side-byside utility products, adding 65 jobs to its 850-person workforce. Scout Boats in Summerville builds award-winning sports fishing craft. The company is an innovator in the design and construction of its crafts, including the use of advanced materials and composites. Located on Pawley’s Island, The Original Hammock Shop produces cotton rope hammocks and weatherresistant DuraCord rope hammocks. The family-owned company has been in operation since 1978. Tara Grinna Swimwear has been producing its vibrant and colorful suits for more than 25 years. The company is based in Conway, where it manufactures its bathing suits. North Star Leather, based in Chesterfield County, produces wallets, handbags, checkbooks and other leather accessories.
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Florence County’s Honda of South Carolina Manufacturing Inc. facility produces four-wheeled Honda FourTrax ATVs.
BY THe NUMBeRs
South Carolina’s rank in tire exports. Nearly 30 percent of all U.S. tire exports come from the Palmetto State. KeY INDUsTRY
FAsT-GROWTH cOMPANIEs REcEIVE REcOGNITION
Seven South Carolina companies ranked on the Inc. 500, the list that highlights private companies with the biggest percentage gain in revenue over three years. Tops among South Carolina companies and No. 14 on the Inc. 500 was Sparc, a Charleston software developer that had a three-year revenue increase of 12,863 percent. Omatic Software in North Charleston, another Inc. 500 company, experienced a nearly 2,200 percent revenue growth over the last three years. Blue Acorn in Charleston designs and builds e-commerce sites for brands and other online retailers, while Boomtown, another Charleston company, develops Web-based marketing systems used by real estate professionals. Wireless Communications in Greenville is a Verizon Wireless retailer with 32 locations. In Lexington, Space Saving Solutions has experienced revenue growth of more than 1,600 percent in a three-year period, while West Columbia’s Performance Strength Designs was featured on NBC's The Biggest Loser.
TOP-LEVEL HEALTH-cARE PROVIDERs sERVE SOUTH cAROLINA
The medical center at the Medical University of South Carolina is one of eight hospitals in the state that appeared on the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals List for 2013-14. The MUSC Medical Center, a world-renowned teaching hospital that handles nearly 33,000 admissions a year and performs nearly 19,000 inpatient surgeries, was nationally ranked for rheumatology, nephrology, and ear, nose and throat treatments. Its MUSC Children’s Hospital was nationally ranked in pediatric cardiology and heart surgery, GI surgery and gastroenterology, and nephrology. In addition, U.S. News cited Charleston’s Roper Hospital, Greenville Memorial Hospital, Spartanburg Regional Medical Center and AnMed Health in Anderson as high performing in several categories. And Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in Charleston was named to Truven Health Analytics’ 2013 Top 100 Hospitals list in the Medium Community Hospital Category.
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island includes 10 holes along the Atlantic Ocean.
THINGs TO DO
TEE IT UP AND TAKE A sWING
South Carolina and golf are synonymous, and while golf has been called "a good walk spoiled," the Palmetto State spoils the players of the game with more than 400 championship courses, including two that rank on Golf Digest ’s 2013-14 100 Greatest Golf Courses list and six that rank on its 100 Best Public Golf Courses list. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, designed by golf architect Pete Dye, was No. 21 on the 100 Greatest Courses list for 2013-14. The course hosted the 2012 PGA Championship and is one of four courses nationally to host each of the PGA of America's major championships. The course also hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup, among other prestigious tournaments. Also on the 100 Greatest Courses list is Harbour Town Golf Links, a course designed by Dye and Jack Nicklaus. The Hilton Head course is the home of the RBC Heritage, a regular PGA Tour stop. You don't have to be a pro or a member to play Kiawah Island and Harbour Town. Both are public courses and are ranked on Golf Digest 's 100 Greatest Public courses list. Joining them on the 2013-14 list were: May River Golf Course at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club on Pawleys Island and TPC Myrtle Beach at Murrells Inlet.
Just Right for Business
A rObUsT maNUFacTUrINg sEcTOr HELps DrIvE grOWTH IN SOUTH CarOLINa’s DIvErsE EcONOmY
By Stephanie Vozza he way Bobby Hitt sees it, the factory floor is an important place for South Carolina. “Manufacturing is the key contributor of wealth in the U.S.,” says Hitt, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce. “We’re focused on recruiting manufacturing and manufacturing-related companies, and we’ve recruited expansions of over 60 new projects in automotive fields in the past 30 months. The numbers are pretty significant – 9,000 new jobs and $5 billion worth of investment.” U.S. manufacturing is gaining traction, and South Carolina is leading the way. Manufacturing GDP in South Carolina grew 8.5 percent in 2012, compared to the national average of 7.8 percent. Industrial powers including BMW, Boeing, GE, Michelin, Continental Tire and Bridgestone call the state home, proving that it’s just right for business. Overall, the state’s $178 billion economy has created thousands of jobs and attracted investment from around the world. Major announcements in 2013 resulted in more than 15,457 jobs and close to $5.4 billion in new investment.
Global Companies Grow in South Carolina
The state has one of the lowest private-sector unionization rates in the nation, and ranks third
lowest among states for manufacturing unionization, at 1.9 percent. “South Carolina is a low-tax state that offers corporations a strategic location with access to major markets throughout the Southeast,” says James Chavez, president and CEO of the South Carolina Power Team. “Perhaps the most significant offering is that state leaders such as Gov. Nikki Haley and Secretary Bobby Hitt have developed an aggressive effort to grow jobs by taking care of existing industry and positioned us to compete on a global scale to lure new investments to the Palmetto State.” Many of the booming companies are household names. Tire maker Michelin North America expanded
its existing Anderson County facility to keep up with increasing demand. The company invested $200 million and expects to generate 100 new jobs with the expansion, which was completed in 2013. In April 2012, Michelin announced an investment of $750 million in its Anderson and Lexington County facilities, creating more than 500 new jobs. Michelin is South Carolina’s largest manufacturing employer, with nearly 9,000 workers at its nine production facilities located throughout the state. Essex Holdings, a global resources company with business lines in minerals, energy, agriculture and food, is building a manufacturing facility
in Marion County. The $54.4 million investment is expected to generate 215 new jobs in the company’s food division. Spirit Pharmaceuticals, makers of generic drugs, will move into a new facility in Clarendon County. The company is investing $12.1 million and expects to generate 296 new jobs. HARTMANN USA Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of medical products, announced an $18 million investment that is expected to generate 75 new jobs. The company will relocate its Bloomington, Ind., production operations to its York County headquarters. “We’ve worked hard the last 20 years to create diversity in our economy,” Hitt says. “Two of our
The Palmetto State exported $25.1 billion worth of goods around the world in 2012. Below are the top eight export destinations for South Carolina products. S.C. Export Destinations 1. Canada: $3.9B 2. Germany: $3.7B 3. China: $3.2B 4. Mexico: $2.0B 5. U.K.: $1.4B 6. Australia: $778.7M 7. Japan: $725.3M 8. Brazil: $714.0M Source: U.S. ITA
Made in SC
South Carolina Exports
2009 $16.5B 2010 $20.3B 2011 $24.7B
Source: U.S. International Trade Administration
Area Development: A 2013 Silver Shovel award in recognition of economic development projects undertaken in 2012, the fifth straight year the state has received a Gold Shovel or Silver Shovel award in its population category. Area Development: Named Continental Tire the Americas LLC manufacturing facility in Sumter County Project of the Year. Continental Tire announced plans in 2011 to build the plant, representing an investment of $500 million and 1,700 new jobs. Area Development: Ranked South Carolina No. 2 in the nation on its Top States for Doing Business list based on 14 key site-selection criteria. Business Facilities: Ranked South Carolina No. 7 for lowest cost of labor, No. 3 as a nuclear power leader, No. 7 for automotive manufacturing strength, No. 8 for business climate and No. 10 as automotive parts supplier leader on its 2013 State Rankings Report. Chief Executive: Named South Carolina one of the 10 best states for business in 2013, based on ratings from 650 business leaders.
20 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
success stories are BMW and Boeing, which are like bookends on either sides of our state. We also have the largest tire manufacturing jurisdiction in the world. South Carolina has a good manufacturing base. We’re a small state with a compact power structure. Because we’re small, we’re able to work through all the permitting. We all know each other here, and we can sit down and figure out the best way to handle business. In order for us to win, we have to be a team.”
South Carolina: High Marks for Business Climate
And those efforts are gaining notice. South Carolina earned a Silver Shovel award in 2013 and
a Gold Shovel Award in 2012 from Area Development magazine in recognition of its record on job growth and investment. In addition, South Carolina made the top 10 on Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best States for Business list in 2013, based on taxation and regulations, quality of workforce, and living environment. Chavez, who recently relocated to South Carolina from the Nashville, Tenn., area, says the Palmetto State’s good fortune is a result of the high caliber of its leadership. “Gov. Haley doesn’t just show up to deal-closing meetings or a ground-breaking,” he says. “She makes calls to decision-makers everyday. And not just the biggest
projects; she calls on every project. That type of leadership separates her from nearly every other governor, and it is a major reason that South Carolina is back on top of the economic development world.” Hitt says some of his priorities moving into the future are to continue focusing on manufacturing, as well as on information technology, digital media, insurance and health. “The big horses in our state are in manufacturing,” he says. “We want to continue to add to that. We’re marketing South Carolina to the world as a customizable state. Tell us what you need, and we’ll customize our training and site development to give it to you.”
ANchOReD bY BOeINg, SOUTh CaROLINa Is fULL ThROTTLe fOR avIaTION aND aeROsPace gROWTh
By Stephanie Vozza
hen it comes to geographic size, South Carolina may not be a heavyweight contender – it ranks 40th in area – but the Palmetto State has attracted some big names when it comes to business investment. In fact, it has readily established itself as a place where companies come, stay and grow. “We are fighting above our weight,” says Bobby Hitt, South Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce. “We’re a small state blessed with good geography and good basic infrastructure and a nice, compact government system that lets us solve problems for our companies.”
industry. In fact, South Carolina’s aerospace industry now comprises more than 200 manufacturing and defense companies across the state, including Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation and A.I.D. Co., which is part of RBC Bearings Inc.
Recruiting the Aerospace Industry
In 2012, the state formed an Aerospace Task Force to develop and grow this industry. Its director, Charlie Ferrell, says he’s seeing the interest level picking up in South Carolina. “We attended the Paris Air Show, and there was a tremendous amount of interest in South Carolina,” he says. “Because of Boeing, people around the world now know where South Carolina is. Having Boeing choose us was a gamechanger. South Carolina now has a reputation for being a player in aerospace.” Farrell says South Carolina stays competitive with neighboring states by “setting the table for more companies to come.” “My job is to direct our strategic plan that will enhance the aerospace industry,” he says. “In the last 15 months, we’ve worked on all of the issues that make us competitive with neighboring states as well as in the world. We’re working especially hard on workforce development.” Farrell says South Carolina is investing in its STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs across its education system, beginning in kindergarten. “Aerospace is highly regulated, and it takes a very skilled workforce,” he says.
One of its booming industries is aerospace, which has charted a course for rapid growth in the state that shows no sign of slowing soon. The sector is anchored by The Boeing Co., which chose Charleston in 2009 for a massive assembly operation for its 787 Dreamliner. Today, the company employs 6,000 workers at four facilities in South Carolina. Boeing announced in April 2013 that it would invest another $1.1 billion in the Palmetto State, creating an additional 2,000 jobs over the next eight years. This expansion represents a 30 percent growth in its South Carolina workforce. Hitt says Boeing’s selection of South Carolina put the seal of approval on the state for the aerospace and aviation
“We’re a small state blessed with good geography and good basic infrastructure and a nice, compact government system that lets us solve problems for our companies.”
Bobby Hitt, South Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce
24 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
Trident Technical College in North Charleston trains Boeing employees to work on the company’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
“We know that our schools have to become feeders for a high-tech education system. We have one of the better technical programs in the country. We’re also focusing on our readySC and apprenticeship workforce development programs.” Hitt agrees: “Continuous improvements in workforce are one of the most important catalysts to our state being able to help businesses expand and grow.”
Building a Supplier Base
Both Hitt and Farrell say attracting suppliers to the state to serve a new industry takes time. “Boeing is in the early stages,” Hitt says. “The company is not unlike BMW. In its first 10 years, BMW helped us attract 12 or 15 suppliers to South Carolina. Now, 20 years later, we have more than 40 companies that came here specifically to serve BMW. And some of those came within the last year or two.” Farrell says as Boeing’s production rises, so will more interest.
The Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliners are sent to the company’s 265-acre campus in North Charleston for final assembly and delivery.
“BMW builds about 1,200 cars per day – that’s an astounding amount,” he says. “Boeing is producing two or three airplanes per month. Suppliers are waiting, but they’re also watching.” “Companies like Boeing and BMW are like big oak trees,” Hitt says. “They grow and they spread,
and a lot of things grow in their drip line. Our job as government is to help take care of them. When companies are profitable, they will continue to do business here.”
Find more about business growth and investments in South Carolina at businessclimate.com/south-carolina.
Aerospace Task Force
South Carolina formed its Aerospace Task Force in 2012 to focus on growing the aerospace industry and to create a ready workforce. South Carolina is a state with a rich history in aviation, and the Aerospace Task Force provides an even better framework to support this industry through statewide communication and collaboration, says Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. Currently, South Carolina has more than 200 aerospace manufacturing, engineering, aviation service companies and suppliers employing more than 20,000 people. These companies, which are widely distributed throughout the state, include industry leaders such as Boeing, Cytec, GE Aviation, GKN Aerospace, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Michelin Aircraft Tire, SKF, TIGHITCO and Zeus.
787 WITH WHEELS DOwN IN CHARLESTON FINAL ASSEMbLY: BOEING
Employees in South Carolina’s aerospace sector
Jobs created in aerospace in the state since 2006
Aerospace-related companies in South Carolina
$2.5 billion: Capital investment from aerospace and aviation companies in the state since 2006
Big Growth in Smaller Places
STaTE EcONOmIc DEvELOpmENT EFFOrTs paY OFF IN NEW jObs, INvEsTmENT IN rUraL cOmmUNITIEs
IN 2013, a TOTaL OF 3,000 jObs WErE rEcrUITED TO rUraL cOUNTIEs IN SOUTH CarOLINa.
SpIrIT PHarmacEUTIcaLs, STarFLO COrp. aND TrImacO HavE FOUND sUccEss IN smaLL cOmmUNITIEs.
RUraL cOUNTIEs SEEING MAJOR grOWTH INcLUDE ORANGEBURG, LAURENS, HAMPTON AND CLARENDON.
28 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
Located in Clarendon County, downtown Manning recently gained five new retail businesses.
By Nan Bauroth pirit Pharmaceuticals is thinking big in a smaller community. The wholesaler and distributor of over the counter/generic products will open a new packaging and manufacturing facility and has opted to invest $12.2 million in a former Federal Mogul facility in Summerton, a community of about 1,000 people in Clarendon County. The 296 jobs the project will generate are part of the 19 percent – 3,000 jobs in total – recruited to the state’s rural counties in 2013. The force propelling this rural job infusion is a laser focus on economic development initiatives at the local and state level that ensures a supply of industrial parks and facilities available for multiple types of companies and industries. “Orangeburg, Laurens and Hampton are good examples of counties that have done yeoman’s work when it comes to development of product,” says Maceo Nance, small business and rural development director at the South Carolina Department of Commerce. “All of them have established at least one new industrial park over the last three years.” This determined commitment to job growth in rural counties is also evident in initiatives such as the Rural Infrastructure Authority, which has awarded nearly $3.8 million in grants for 14 water, sewer and drainage projects in 13 counties across the state.
BUsINess SPOTLIGHT Located in Manning, Trimaco offers paint sundries, surface protection products, and cleaning and paint prep products, including drop cloths, wipers, masking paper and film, and protective wear.
Clarendon: The Good Life
Marie Land, chairman of the board of directors of Main Street Manning, is involved in the revitalization of the historic community of 5,000 residents. Ribbon-cuttings have already been held for five new retail businesses in the heart of downtown, and the housing market is experiencing an uptick. Land says everyone in town wants the same thing. “We love the fact that we are rural, with wide open spaces, so our goal is a quality environment that offers a good education that leads to good jobs,” she says. Clarendon County recently installed
sTaff PhOTOs bY Brian McCord
natural gas, and the city and county joined forces to provide water services. Another asset is the Manning campus of Central Carolina Technical College in Sumter, which offers workforce training programs and a business incubator. “Businesses considering coming to Clarendon County can locate on site with us while we train their employees,” says Dr. Tim Hardee, president of the college. “We’ve had several companies located in the incubator for six months to a year while the county was building a location for them in an industrial park.” CCTC can also help train 20 to 2,000 employees in a workforce.
Positive Working Environment
Employees in rural counties such as Clarendon express contentment with their jobs
and their quality of life. Jamie Dennis, a welder for 25 years at Starf lo Corp., a division of the William Powell Co. that makes industrial valves in Manning, has never worried about being laid off. “The company is always thriving financially,” Dennis says. “They have expanded three times, which has created more job opportunities. Everybody stays because it’s a great work environment.” Bobby McDonald, a machine operator at Trimaco, which manufactures a variety of paint sundries at the company’s plant in Manning, says, “It’s a joy to get up every morning and come here. I look forward to each day because it’s a challenge, and I am always increasing my skills. We’ve introduced new products and had an increase in employees after getting new customers.”
Both Nance and Hardee attribute the rural job boom to a realization by small communities of the critical role a skilled workforce plays in their well-being. “We have had a change in local leadership when it comes to understanding economic development and the need to invest in their community,” Nance says.
Big Growth in Smaller Places
STATE ECONO EFFORTS PAY MIC DEVELOPMENT OFF IN NEW INVESTMENT JOBS, IN RURAL COMM UNITIES
IN 2012, A TOTAL OF 3,800 JOBS WERE RECRUITED TO RURAL COUNTIES SOUTH CAROLINA. IN
28 || SOUTH CAROLINA
SPIRIT PHARMACE UTICALS, STARFLO CORP. TRIMACO HAVE AND FOUND SUCCESS IN SMALL COMMUNIT IES.
RURAL COUNTIES MAJOR GROWTH SEEING INCLUDE ORANGEBU RG, LAURENS, HAMPTON AND CLARENDO N.
gone country. ticals has developmen When the t director wholesaler Carolina Department at the South and of of over-the-co distributor of them have establishedCommerce. “All unter/ generic products at least one industrial park new over new packaging opened a This determined the last three years.” manufactur and commitmen ing growth in rural opted to invest facility, the company counties is also t to job initiatives such evident in Federal Mogul $12.2 million in a former as the Rural facility in Summerton Infrastructu community re Authority, ,a of about 1,000 which has awarded nearly Clarendon people in $3.8 million BUSINESS County. 14 water, sewer in grants for The 296 jobs and drainage SPOTLIGHT counties across projects in 13 are part of the the project will generate the state. Located in Manning, 27 total – recruited percent – 3,800 jobs Clarendon: in Trimaco offers to the state’s The Good Life counties in paint rural 2012. sundries, surface Marie Land, The force propelling chairman of protection products, this rural job directors of the board of infusion is a Main Street laser focus and cleaning Manning, is on economic involved in and developmen the revitalizatio t initiatives paint prep products, at the local historic community n of the state level that and including drop ensures a supply of 5,000 Ribbon-cutt industrial parks cloths, ings have alreadyresidents. wipers, masking and facilities of on ﬁve new for multiple available retail businesses been held types of companies paper and film, of downtown, in industries. and and and the housing the heart protective wear. on an uptick. market is “Orangebur According to g, Laurens and Land, everyone in town wants are good examples Hampton the same of counties thing. done yeoman’s “We love the that have fact work when wide open spaces, that we are rural, with it comes to developmen t of so our goal is environmen Nance, small product,” says Maceo a quality t that offers business and a good education that leads to rural good jobs,” she says.
BY Brian McCord BUSINESSCLIM
By Nan Bauroth pirit Pharmaceu
new retail businesses.
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BIG DeALs IN SC
Rural development highlights: Continental Tire: Investing $500M in a Sumter County facility that will employ 1,600 Belk: A $40M e-commerce fulfillment center in Union County will support 294 jobs Masonite: Located a $14M facility in Bamberg County that will bring 159 jobs ZF Transmission: Expanded in Laurens County, a $175M investment that will create 450 jobs. ZF’s total investment has grown to more than $600M and 1,600 jobs. PTR Industries: Relocating manufacturing operations and a corporate headquarters to Horry County, creating 145 jobs.
Sumter County Bamberg County
Owned by Chris Fisher, pictured, Fisher Recycling creates GlassEco countertops from recycled materials.
32 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
CYcLE of GRowTH
SOUTH CarOLINa Is FErTILE grOUND FOr a bLOssOmINg rEcYcLINg INDUsTrY
By Gary Wollenhaupt n the Charleston area, homeowners can have custom countertops embedded with recycled glass pieces in their favorite colors. Chris Fisher, owner of Fisher Recycling, collects glass bottles – along with many other discarded items – from restaurants, offices and institutions. He then grinds these pieces to make GlassEco countertops. Fisher is one of the entrepreneurs in South Carolina leading the way in the state’s booming recycling business. He’s created products to utilize the items he recycles, including oyster shells and food waste transformed into compost. “We’ve built a machine where one product goes in and seven different products come out of one glass bottle,” Fisher says. “Finding profitable marketing on the backend will always be a challenge, especially when you’re introducing new products into the market.” sustainability projects are having a major impact in the state, with about 500 companies involved, including collectors, processors, recycled-product manufacturers and equipment makers. In 2013 alone, 10 recycling companies located or expanded operations in the state, creating 765 jobs and $104 million in investment. “Our recycling industry is growing, and we continue to create new jobs in the industry,” says Chantal Fryer, senior manager in the recycling market division for the South Carolina Department of Commerce. “We want folks to
Going Green: Cash and Ecology
Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword in South Carolina. It’s big business. A number of
sTaff PhOTOs bY Brian McCord
Fisher Recycling collects glass bottles and other discarded materials.
By the Numbers
Companies are involved in sustainability projects in South Carolina
Recycling companies that located or expanded operations in South Carolina in 2012
Sustainability jobs created in the state in 2012
Amount invested in the sustainability industry in 2012
know that recycling is good for the economy as well as the environment.” A number of companies in the state accept a variety of plastics from residential and industrial sources and process them into feedstock for new products that range from food and beverage containers to carpet, textiles and automotive parts. The Carolinas Plastics Recycling Council is collaborating with public and private partners to boost plastic bottle recycling. “We estimate about 300 million plastic bottles go into landfills each year, and we have 15 companies in the Carolinas that can take those bottles and find a new use for them,” Fryer says.
Growing the Ecosystem
In Johnsonville, Wellman Plastics Recycling LLC offers a wide variety of products for the automotive, lawn and garden, consumer products, and electronics
industries made from recycled plastic, nylon and resin. The company launched a nylon product that features 100 percent postconsumer waste - nylon carpeting which is ground into fiber and recaptured through a proprietary process. The product is used in cylinder-head covers made of recycled material on Ford Motor Co.’s 3.0-liter Duratec engine, says Glen Odom, Wellman vice president of raw material development. Wellman has invested $5.5 million to expand its existing 2.2 million-square-foot facility, devoted to manufacturing and high-tech research and development, that will also add 50 jobs to the region. At BMW Manufacturing Co. in Spartanburg, the company has woven sustainability throughout its entire operation. Solid waste recycling programs reduce the need for landfills, a water conservation initiative helps save
9.5 million gallons of water a year, and a comprehensive energyefficiency plan saves energy and reduces CO2 emissions. In 2011 alone, the BMW Spartanburg plant saved nearly 30 million kilowatt hours at an annual savings of nearly $1.5 million. In February 2012, the company added new solar panels to provide solar energy to power the 24,000-square-foot Zentrum Museum and three new electricvehicle charging stations (available for public use). The 400 solar modules, each capable of producing 240 watts of energy, save approximately 135,000 kilowatt hours per year, says Sky Foster, communications manager for BMW. The company has found South Carolina to be supportive of its sustainability efforts. “For example, the sustainability of our workforce development strategy has been accomplished through a long-standing relationship with the state’s
Left to right: The BMW Zentrum Museum is operated by a photovoltaic array that includes 400 modules.; Chris and Elizabeth Fisher own Fisher Recycling, which is based in North Charleston and creates various handcrafted products from recycled goods.
BMW MANUFACTURING CO. BMW Manufacturing Co. has made sustainability part of its corporate culture and its business model. The automaker, which opened a manufacturing facility in Greer, S.C., in 1992, has undertaken a number of initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint: BMW is a partner in a joint venture that brings methane via a 9-mile pipeline from a landfill to its plant, where it cogenerates hot water and about 50 percent of the plant’s electricity consumption. BMW has invested in a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell-powered material handling equipment at its plant, replacing lead-acid battery power sources The company generates electricity for its Zentrum Museum visitor center with solar power. The photovoltaic array produces about 135,000 kilowatts of electricity per year. The automaker reduced its energy load for painting automobiles by 30 percent through the use of an integrated paint process that combines the top and primer coats. BMW replaced existing metal-halide lighting fixtures on the production floor and in covered parking areas with LEDs and other efficient systems.
technical colleges, as well as our graduate automotive engineering program with Clemson University,” Foster says. “Also, SCRA and the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Coalition have been instrumental in our implementation of the world’s largest hydrogen fuel cell material handling fleet.” For companies considering sustainability initiatives, BMW offers some hard-won lessons. “Benchmark other companies, do your homework and, if possible, pilot projects internally first prior to a system-wide rollout,” Foster says.
The company supports local activities of The Nature Conservancy, The Palmetto Conservation Foundation and Upstate Forever, which promotes sensible growth.
Continue reading about sustainability in South Carolina at businessclimate. com/south-carolina.
SOUTh CaROLINa WORks UP a heaLThY aPPeTITe fOR faRM-TO-TabLe INITIaTIves
38 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
By Bill Lewis
ity Roots co-founder Eric McClam suspected that South Carolinians had a healthy appetite for locally grown, sustainable agriculture products that reach their tables just hours after leaving the farm. The response from his customers proves just how hungry they are. “We worried initially about getting word out and selling our products, but apparently the community was starving for this type of addition to the area. We sell everything we grow and are working now on expanding,” says McClam, who in 2009 began City Roots, Columbia’s first in-town sustainable farm, with co-founder Robbie McClam. City Roots and agricultural enterprises such as Watsonia Farms, a fourth-generation family farm in Monetta, are part of a thriving agriculture industry in South Carolina that is at the forefront of sustainable farming, community-supported agriculture, urban farming initiatives and traditional agribusiness endeavors. Today, some 180 South Carolina farms have acreage dedicated to growing organic products. They are part of a broader agribusiness sector – which includes agriculture, forestry and related businesses – that has a $34 billion impact on the state’s economy each year and accounts for 200,000 jobs. The state is a major producer of cotton, freestone peaches, peanuts, pecans, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon and tomatoes as well as broilers, turkeys, eggs, soybeans, leafy greens and cattle.
City Roots in Columbia is part of South Carolina’s growing farm-to-table movement.
South Carolina Farms: Economic Vitality
A South Carolina Department of Agriculture study found that even during the recession, the agriculture side of agribusiness experienced a $1 billion increase and grew to $17.9 billion. “Agriculture is a vital part of South Carolina’s economy. The agriculture industry’s growth during the devastating recession is something not many other industries experienced, and we are very proud of that success,” says
Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. At Watsonia Farms, sustainability and organic growing methods have been in place for years. “We are proud to say that we enjoy the reputation of being forerunners in the industry, using cutting-edge agricultural practices,” says Jeph Watson, one of the four generations of Watsons who have worked on the farm since 1918. Throughout the state, urban farming and innovative practices have found fertile ground. City Roots, for example, includes a 2.75-acre farm that grows 125 varieties of fruits and vegetables, keeps bees for locally produced honey and raises chickens for farm-fresh eggs. Even the farm’s barn is sustainable. Built using locally sourced materials and incorporating energy-efficient features, the barn meets LEED standards. Watsonia Farms has a close relationship with Clemson University, which conducts research at the farm on leading-edge ag practices. In Greenville, a network of more than 30 groups, ranging from individual homeowners to schools, churches and businesses, are part of an urban farming initiative.
sTaff PhOTO bY Jeffrey S. Otto
The South Carolina State Farmers Market in West Columbia features wholesalers, retailers and farmers from across the state.
Meanwhile, the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston has developed a halfacre educational garden – the MUSC Urban Farm – to create opportunities for the surrounding community to learn how to eat for health and to gain a better understanding of the connection between land and food.
An App a Day
“The importance of a sustainable urban farming effort like ours is not limited to simply supplying incredibly delicious, healthy, locally grown organic food to our community. We’ve been humbled by the interest and help we’ve received from volunteers, interns and our elected officials,” Eric McClam says of City Roots.
Another example of innovation is the Certified South Carolina program, which brands and promotes locally grown agricultural products sold in restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets, and even some hospitals and school cafeterias. Now more than 1,200 farmers, processors, wholesalers and retailers use the brand. Technology is helping South Carolinians connect with the land and with their food. When it comes to linking consumers with farm-fresh products in a state where even barns meet LEED standards, it’s no surprise that there’s an app for that. Fresh on the Menu, the restaurant version of Certified South Carolina, offers a free app that enables users to find
restaurants featuring the state’s freshest foods. Users can learn about the chefs who prepare their favorite meals, try recipes and see a list of the farmers who produce the food they love. Even when they are dining out, South Carolinians can make the farm-to-table connection.
SOUTH CARO LINA WORK UP A HEALT S HY FARM -TO-TA APPETITE FOR BLE INITIA TIVES
38 || SOUTH CAROLINA
ity Roots co-founder McClam suspected Eric South Carolinian that a healthy appetites had for locally grown, sustainable agriculture reach their products that tables just hours the farm. The response from after leaving proves just his customers how hungry they are. “We worried word out and initially about getting selling our apparently products, but the for this type community was starving of sell everything addition to the area. We we grow and now on expanding are working ,” says McClam, 2009 began who in City Roots, Columbia’s in-town sustainabl first e farm, with co-founder Robbie McClam. City Roots and agricultura enterprises such as Watsonia l a fourth-gen Farms, eration family City Roots in Monetta, farm in Columbia are part of growing farm-to-table is part of South a thriving agriculture Carolina’s movement. industry in South Carolina that is at the forefront Commissio farming, community of sustainabl ner of Agricultur e Hugh Weathers. -supported e agriculture , urban farming At Watsonia and traditional initiatives Farms, sustainabi agribusine organic growing ss endeavors. Today, some lity and place for years. methods have been have acreage 180 South Carolina in farms dedicated “We are proud organic products. to growing to say that They are part reputation we enjoy the broader agribusine of being forerunne of a industry, using includes agriculturess sector – which rs in the cutting-ed practices,” , forestry and ge agricultura businesses says related l – that has four generation Jeph Watson, one of a $34 billion on the state’s the impact s of economy each Watsons worked on who have accounts for the farm since 200,000 jobs. year and 1918. Throughou is a major producer The state t and innovative the state, urban farming peaches, peanuts, of cotton, freestone pecans, cucumbers fertile ground. practices have found cantaloupe , watermelo , n and tomatoes City Roots, well as broilers, for as turkeys, eggs, 2.75-acre farm example, includes leafy greens soybeans, a and cattle. of fruits and that grows 125 varieties vegetables South Carolina , keeps bees for locally produced honey Farms: Economic chickens for and raises Vitality farm-fresh farm’s barn eggs. Even A South Carolina the is sustainabl locally e. Built using Departmen sourced materials Agricultur t of e study found and incorporati energy-effi the recession, that cient ng the agriculture even during LEED standards.features, the barn agribusine meets side of ss experience Watsonia Farms da increase and has a close grew to $17.9 $1 billion relationshi billion. “Agricultu p with re is a vital which conducts Clemson University part of South Carolina’s , economy. The on leading-ed research at the farm industry’s ge ag growth during agriculture In Greenville practices. recession is the devastatin , a network something of more not many other g than 30 groups, industries experience ranging from homeowne d, and proud of that individual rs to success,” says we are very and businesses schools, churches , are part of farming initiative. an urban STAFF
PHOTO BY Jeffrey S. Otto BUSINESSCLI
By Bill Lewis
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40 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
Commodity values from South Carolina farms
Farms in South Carolina
Average acreage of a South Carolina farm
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
South Carolina Agriculture Export Values
Acres of productive land in South Carolina
Jobs attributable to the state’s forestry industry
2008 $720.4M 2009 $641.5M
Forestry product exports from South Carolina
South Carolina Top Crops and Commodities (2012)
Chicken Eggs $109.4M
Planting a Seed
PrOgrams grOW THE NEXT crOp OF FarmErs IN SOUTH CarOLINa
Lowcountry Local First’s initiatives are so popular that the North Charlestonbased organization’s Buy Local week has been expanded to a full month every fall. The response to its apprentice and incubator programs for new farmers has been just as dramatic. More than 70 apprentices have gone through the Growing New Farmers Program, and six farmers are jump-starting their careers at the Dirt Works Incubator Farm in Charleston, says Jamee Haley, Lowcountry Local First executive director. “We are creating jobs, building a workforce and providing the infrastructure that helps us sustain our agricultural economy,” she says. The benefits include a stronger economy, access to farm-fresh produce and a healthier environment. “We know that 80 cents of every dollar spent with a family farm comes back to our local economy. Supporting these farmers creates jobs, decreases our impact on the environment, increases our local food supply and addresses our aging farmer population,” she says. The apprenticeship program enabled Bo Collins to hone the agricultural skills he began to develop while helping farmers in Thailand harvest rice. His next step was to join the incubator program, which is helping him launch his business, Sol Haven Farm. “They’re planting the seeds for new farming businesses,” Collins says. Lowcountry Local First’s incubator program, which was launched in partnership with Clemson University, provides startup assistance for new farmers, including access to farmland; mutually shared equipment including a tractor, a packing shed and a walk-in cooler that otherwise would be prohibitively expensive; and marketing assistance and advice from an experienced mentor. Collins is growing seasonal vegetables, herbs and cut flowers on Johns Island and is looking forward to a career working on the land. His customers are happy, too. “We have people who’ve become full-time customers,” Collins says. “There’s a lot of support around local food. It’s something everyone can come on board with.” – Bill Lewis
REsOUrcEs, qUaLITY OF LIFE DraW TaLENT TO SOUTH CarOLINa’s INNOvaTION EcONOmY
By Pamela Coyle
s Chief Technology Officer at SPARC, Bob Williams does not find Charleston a tough sell when he’s recruiting talent. A growing tech community, an attractive cost of living, proximity to other urban centers, great hospitality and education sectors, and an open attitude about software development align. The beaches help, too. “It is really easy to sell a
candidate, and it is really easy to keep a candidate,” Williams says. SPARC should know. The software development firm is on a tear, growing exponentially in the last three years. With roughly 200 employees in late 2013, SPARC plans to hire 300 more in the next four years – sooner, if Williams has his way. The company develops software for the government and commercial sectors and develops and markets its own commercial software products for executive leadership, human resources, green energy,
analytics and mobile markets. An $11 million expansion involves buying one building and adding a second, for 80,000 square feet in all. And SPARC is only one of many of the Palmetto State’s tech innovation success stories.
Wealth of Resources Support S.C. Tech
South Carolina has built a strong innovation ecosystem, with resources that promote research and private-sector partnerships to get ideas to market. The South Carolina
44 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
The 2012 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities index evaluated 200 large metros on factors such as employment growth, wage growth, high-tech concentration and growth in high-tech GDP. The top 10:
6. Salt Lake City, UT 1. San Jose-SunnyvaleSanta Clara, CA
5. Washington-ArlingtonAlexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
8. Cambridge-NewtonFramingham, MA
7. Provo-Orem, UT
3. Raleigh-Cary, NC
9. Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC 10. Fort Worth-Arlington 2. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos
Source: Milken BestPerforming Cities, 2012
4. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown
South Carolina Research Authority
SCRA is a self-sustaining, state-created entity that helps develop tech-based industries. Innovation Centers in Charleston, Columbia and Anderson provide incubator space to new and later-stage ventures, and SCRA’s Applied R&D division has federal and corporate clients in the ship-building, aerospace, advanced materials, ordnance, manufacturing, defense and security sectors. SCRA manages programs worth more than $2 billion in contract value. Its flagship SC Launch program accelerates innovation with grants, loans, equity investments, mentorship, business-services partnerships and networking to tech startups.
SCRA by the Numbers
SCRA’s estimated economic impact on South Carolina’s economy to date
Tech-related jobs created in the state from SCRA’s efforts
Early-stage companies launched with help of SCRA’s SC Launch program
High-Tech GDP Growth (2006-2011)
1. Brownsville-Harlingen, TX 2. Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH 3. Merced, CA 4. Charleston, SC 5. Bakersfield-Delano, CA
Direct capital investment from SC Launch, which has attracted more than $220 million in private funding
Source: Milken Best-Performing Cities, 2012
Bob Williams, Chief Technology Officer at SPARC in Charleston
SPARC, a software product development company, plans to add 300 people to its workforce.
Research Authority (SCRA), for example, offers applied research and commercialization services in the advanced energy, biomedical and bioinformatics, collaborative technologies, and e-commerce arenas. SC Launch, an SCRA affiliate, supports creation of knowledge-based companies and high-wage-earning jobs. In higher education, the University of South Carolina, Clemson University and Medical University of South Carolina provide research, facilities and commercialization services that support tech innovation. But the proof is in the products and services from companies that have come up or grown up in South Carolina. Two of them are giving the state a big role in the health-care information technology segment. Benefitfocus, a major player in health-care and benefits technology, announced in late 2013 that it will add 1,200 associates in the coming years and triple its existing Charleston campus. Its cloudbased platform serves more than 20 million consumers and supports enrollment for more than 100 benefit types. The company added a San Francisco office in 2012 and has operations in Tulsa, Okla., and Greenville, S.C. Greenville is also home to CareCam Innovations, an SC Launch company. Founded by a registered nurse, CareCam’s patented video documentation system creates a specific and complete electronic point-of-care health record. Connecting payers, providers and patients in a way that verifies care, protects privacy, reduces costs, enhances coordination and increases patient and family engagement is the goal. In digital media, Columbiabased Pandoodle allows dynamic brand placement and native advertising for content producers and distributors. Voolio, Pandoodle’s platform, creates a new type of ad
sTaff PhOTOs bY Brian McCord
46 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
unit that allows content owners to embed and sell brand-customized placement slots within their videos.
Newberry County, South Carolina:
Sensor Electronic Technology Inc., the world’s leading maker of ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV LEDs), made South Carolina home more than a decade ago. President and CEO Remis Gaska, an electrical engineering Ph.D. and former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor, spent time in four other states – none for more than three years. Sensor ET established collaborative programs with the University of South Carolina that provided access to labs and other facilities, contingent on contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense, a strong supporter. Midlands Technical College, also in Columbia, has trained at least 30 employees in a joint program with the National Science Foundation. The company tailors solutions for fields such as R&D, drug development, military applications, space exploration and, more recently, disinfection and personal health care. One new application, in refrigerators, will greatly extend the life of produce. Manufacturing the tiny, semi-conductor UV LEDs is an expensive enterprise, requiring state-of-the-art clean rooms and lots of power. “I can’t imagine having this operation in Palo Alto,” Gaska says. “We would go bankrupt just with the utility bill.” With a $20 million investment from a Korean semiconductor manufacturer, Sensor ET now has a six-acre campus and a second building with capacity to grow. “We were able to attract talented people from around the world and form a very good technical team at the senior scientist level,” Gaska says. “That is key.”
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Not Just for Coders
IT-OLOgY INITIaTIvE maKEs IT aN ‘IT’ carEEr paTH IN SOUTH CarOLINa
IT is everywhere. That’s one driving message of IT-oLogy, which is redefining what technology careers look like for South Carolina school-aged children and their parents. The nonprofit collaborative of schools, universities, organizations and businesses creates lines of sight to tech-related careers. The collaborative, which has three initiatives – Promote IT, Teach IT and Grow IT – started in South Carolina and has branches in Columbia and Greenville, with recent expansions to Charlotte, N.C., and Austin, Texas. In Columbia, school children take part in Cyber Saturdays and other hands-on programs in dedicated space where professional tech user groups hold their meetings. IT-oLogy also offers workshops, educational seminars, luncheons and other events in various locations. In October 2013 the collaborative scored big with an agreement from South Carolina public universities to “strongly encourage” all students to earn a digital design minor and turbocharge their majors, says Lonnie Emard, IT-oLogy’s president. “We have a collaborative environment, a cohesive ecosystem where academia and the private sector work hand and hand,” he says, noting that college enrollment in tech-related fields is up. The shortage of skilled tech talent is no secret. Yet misconceptions about what a “tech job” can be linger. Preconceptions that an IT career requires deep coding knowledge, math wizardry or systems networking are outdated. Yes, scores of those jobs exist and pay handsomely. With technology embedded nearly everywhere, however, employers need project managers, writers, analysts and other problem-solvers who are simply techsavvy. IT-oLogy has programs for teens, college students, educators, and tech professionals and their companies, hosting events such as the Gartner Big Data Conference and the Palmetto Open Source Software Conference, but can make a major impact among young learners. “You can be a project manager with great communication skills and make great money. And you’ll never be unemployed,” says Todd Lewis, executive director of the Columbia IT-oLogy branch. “When kids hear that message, they are very receptive to it. So are their parents.” To learn more about IT-oLogy, visit www.it-ology.org. – Pamela Coyle
SpANNING THE GLobE
Top 10 South Carolina Export Destinations (2012)
Source: U.S. International Trade Administration
50 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
SOUTH CarOLINa OFFErs THE sEa, aIr, rOaD aND raIL assETs TO LINK bUsINEss TO marKETs
United Arab Emirates
By Martha Spizziri
hen Jim Redman-Gress relocated his logistics company to Charleston from New York City, he became quickly impressed not only with the facilities (such as the Port of Charleston) available there, but with the efficiency with which they operate. “It seemed like a growing area compared to New York, which was kind of maxed out,” says RedmanGress, owner of RGA Logistics. “It’s very alive. It’s growth-oriented. It’s a great place to ship through. Trucks move through the port quickly. Customs is really efficient here.”
The Wando Welch Terminal at the Port of Charleston is the port’s largest terminal in terms of volume and size.
South Carolina is a hub for domestic and international trade. The state offers access to the fast-growing Southeast and East Coast markets – and a highly skilled workforce. Its deep-water ports, airports and five major interstates connect to major North American markets and international shipping destinations.
Add land availability and low operational costs, and it’s no wonder high-profile companies such as Amazon, adidas, Target and QVC choose South Carolina as a distribution location. A roster of Foreign Trade Zones that allow companies such as BMW Manufacturing Co. to defer or eliminate duties and taxes. BMW was named Exporter of the Year in 2012 by the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones on the strength of the $7 billion in exports from a Spartanburg subzone. The Port of Charleston helps power the state’s international trade, handling more than $63 billion in commerce each year. It’s the center of a growing export business that sent $25.1 billion in products from South Carolina overseas in 2012. And it’s a key advantage for major manufacturers such as BMW and tire makers like Michelin, Bridgestone and Continental in reaching global markets. “South Carolina’s port system is a major driver of the state’s overall economy,” says Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority, the port’s owner. Over the course of 10 years, the Ports Authority plans to invest around $1.3 billion in its ports, Newsome says, “representing an all-in bet on the future of big ships calling Charleston, as well as population growth in the Southeast and the rise of exporting activity.” That plan includes a new container terminal at a former naval shipyard. Slated to open in 2018 or 2019, the Navy Base Terminal will boost container capacity 50 percent. The port will also upgrade existing facilities. The state is providing another $700 million in infrastructure, including a new Intermodal Container Transfer Facility, operated by Palmetto Railways, a division of the South Carolina Department of Commerce. The ICTF will be served by two rail carriers and connect to I-26 and the Navy Base Terminal. With a depth of 45 to 48 feet, Charleston Harbor currently holds a five-foot advantage over the next-
“South Carolina is a very business-friendly state. If you compare the working environment, the living environment, the port and its infrastructure, it seems like it’s a win all the way around.”
Jim Redman-Gress, owner of RGA Logistics
52 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
deepest port. The ports authority plans to deepen Charleston’s channels to 50 feet or greater, complementing the Panama Canal expansion that will allow larger vessels to reach Atlantic Coast ports. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is studying the project; once it’s approved, Charleston will be the only Southeast port to allow 24/7 access to larger, post-Panamax vessels. “The Southeast is an export-rich area, with natural resources like forest products and agricultural goods, as well as a large share of the nation’s manufacturers that make product in global demand,” Newsome says. “The Port of Charleston is positioned to become an even larger player in exporting activity, thanks to its deep shipping channels, which are currently the deepest in our competitive region. Ships continue to increase in size, requiring deep water to efficiently handle goods and maximize a vessel’s capacity. For each foot of additional water, a carrier can load 100 additional containers per voyage. Charleston has a five-foot advantage over its next-deepest competitor, which, for an ocean carrier, is found money.” The state’s integrated transportation network also includes two Class I rail carriers, several shortline railroads, five commercial airports and five interstates that cross the state and put it within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population.
South Carolina Cost Advantage
“We do a lot of business with smaller companies looking for ways to save money,” Redman-Gress says. “We’ve shown people that you can move your goods through the Port of Charleston for a lot less than if you were to bring it in through New York or Los Angeles.” “South Carolina is working at providing tax breaks wherever they can,” says Hal Burton, president and CEO of third-party logistics provider Premier Logistics Solutions in Charleston. For instance, companies that increase their cargo volume at Charleston’s port by at least 5 percent in a year can become eligible for tax credits. Redman-Gress also appreciates the work ethic in the state. “Even though it’s a slower pace of life, it’s full of hardworking people proud of doing what they do,” he says. He remembers warehouse workers one hot summer day hand-carrying upwards of a thousand 20- to 30-pound fabric rolls. “These guys are blowing through (the rolls) just as fast in the middle of July as in January when it’s beautiful out,” he says. “South Carolina is a very business-friendly state. If you compare the working environment, the living environment, the port and its infrastructure, it seems like it’s a win all the way around.”
Port of Charleston: Fast Facts
TOP SOUTH CAROLINA EXPORT PRODUCTs (2012)
1. VEHICLES: $8.1B
busiest on the East Coast for container traffic
tons of non-containerized cargo handled in FY 2013
2. MACHINERY: $4.2B 3. RUBBER: $2.0B 4. ELECTRIC MACHINERY: $1.5B 5. PLASTIC: $1.3B 6. OPTICAL/MEDICAL INSTRUMENTS: $813M 7. PAPER/ PAPERBOARD: $798M 8. ORGANIC CHEMICALS: $698M 9. WOOD PULP: $468M 10. COTTON/YARN/ FABRIC: $398M
growth in container volume in FY 2013, outpacing regional and national growth
nationally for dollar value of goods handled in 2012
of exports of U.S.-made exported tires, tops in the nation
container moves per hour, per crane
= 4 containers
Source: Global Trade Information Service
Avenue of Growth
SOUTH CarOLINa INLaND pOrT IN GrEEr OpENs NEW OppOrTUNITIEs FOr LOgIsTIcs
The Port of Charleston has deepened its reach in the state more than 200 miles inland. The South Carolina Ports Authority opened the South Carolina Inland Port (SCIP) in Greer in fall 2013. The SCIP, within a day’s drive of 94 million consumers, is served by every mode of transport. Norfolk Southern provides daily rail service to and from the Port of Charleston. Greer is located on Interstate 85, halfway between Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga., and close to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. The SCIP is especially attractive to companies trying to grow their e-commerce fulfillment operations. They can easily bring in shipments from overseas, break them down at the SCIP and ship them via overnight air. In September 2013, BMW Manufacturing Co. announced it would move its export operation to a new building in Greer adjacent to the SCIP. The company wants to expand its operations to serve emerging markets such as Russia, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Egypt, where there is heavy demand for the company’s X3 Sports Activity Vehicles. BMW expects similar response to its latest X5 model. At 413,000 square feet, the new facility will more than double the space of the automaker’s current export operation – with room for further expansion. The location near the inland port will let BMW re-use import containers for export, avoiding empty containers. And BMW will be able to move most of it shipments destined for export to the Port of Charleston via rail, avoiding interstate traffic. BMW expects the Greer facility to be ready for operation in January 2014. – Martha Spizziri
South Carolina’s Oldest and Largest Regional Economic Development Alliance
1201 Main St. / Ste. 100 / Columbia, SC 29201 803.733.1131 / www.centralsc.org
Visit the new building and sites locator to search available property in the state at www.locateSC.com. For additional information, contact: Jennifer deCesare, Buildings and Sites Manager (803) 737-0597 Jdecesare@ SCcommerce.com
Abbeville Spec Building (Abbeville County) Lakelands Commerce Center 60,000 square feet Expandable to 500,000 square feet
Carolinas Centre Spec Building (Chesterfield County) Carolinas Centre Industrial Park 52,284 square feet Expandable to 102,000 square feet
Note: These listings were provided by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and were considered correct at the time of publication. However, due to the nature of real estate, the information and availability may change during the lifetime of this publication and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Go to SCcommerce.com for the most up-to-date information.
Hampton County Spec Building (Hampton County) Southern Carolina Business Campus 50,000 square feet Expandable to 200,000 square feet
Kirco Spec Building (Richland County) Carolina Pines Industrial Park 184,453 square feet Expandable to 370,000 square feet
1 Abbeville Spec Building 2 Carolinas Centre Spec Building 3 Hampton County Spec Building 4 Kirco Spec Building
56 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
2012: 4,723,723 2000: 4,011,832 Change: 17.7% Households (2011): 1,758,732
Source: South Carolina Big 50
Major MSA Population (2012)
Median single-family home listing price (August 2013) CharlestonNorth Charleston
10,000 30,000 Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Greenville Hospital System
Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway
$249,990 $159,900 $170,700
Myrtle Beach Source: realtor.com Greenville-Spartanburg Columbia
Palmetto Health, Michelin North America, BMW Manufacturing Co., BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Food Lion, The Boeing Co., Lowes Cos., Wells Fargo, Lexington Medical Center, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, SCANA Corp.
Top Employment Sectors
Trade, Transportation & Utilities: 19.2% Government: 18.4% Professional and Business Services: 12.7% Leisure & Hospitality: 12.0% Manufacturing: 11.7% Education & Health Services: 11.0% Finance: 5.4%
THIS SECtION IS SPONSORED BY
502 E. Main St. • Walhalla, SC 29691 • (864) 638-4210 • www.OconeeSCEDC.com www.facebook.com/InvestOconeeSC • www.twitter.com/InvestOconeeSC
SOUTH CarOLINa TraININg prOgrams gIvE EmpLOYErs a WOrKFOrcE DEvELOpmENT aDvaNTagE
By Kevin Litwin outh Carolina’s success in being just right for new investment, growing its existing companies and creating jobs is in no small measure due to the availability of a highly skilled workforce and training programs that assist business. Just ask Schaeffler USA in Cheraw, which makes products and systems for engines, transmissions and chassis applications for customers that include Chrysler, Fiat, Harley-Davidson, Husqvarna, John Deere and Stanley Black & Decker. The company has won numerous quality awards, and Phil Homan says some of the credit goes to the state-run Apprenticeship Carolina program that the company utilizes to train prospective skilled machinists and tool-and-die makers. Homan, Schaeffler USA’s manager of human resources in Cheraw, says the company frequently utilizes the apprenticeship program run through Northeastern Technical College, also in Cheraw. Apprenticeship Carolina consultants are available at no charge to employers, Homan notes, and can guide companies through the registered apprenticeship development process from initial information to full recognition in the national Registered Apprenticeship System. Schaeffler has put 253 workers through the program so far and graduated 230; 86 percent of them are still with the company in skilled machinist, supervision and management roles, Homan says.
One of them is Jerry Bryant, who participated in Apprenticeship Carolina from 2000 to 2002 and today has advanced in the company to a group leader role in manufacturing. “Apprenticeship Carolina launched my career with its twoyear program, where I learned about statistics, physics and the technical side of manufacturing and tool-making that Schaeffler depends on,” Bryant says. “Since graduating from the program in late 2002, I worked as a tool-anddie machinist at Schaeffler for 10
years, then as a production manufacturing supervisor, then a project manager, and currently manufacturing group leader. I have also earned associate degrees in occupational technology along with industrial technology along the way. The apprenticeship program got me rolling.”
Ready, Set, Go
South Carolina’s readySC™ workforce training program works with the 16 technical colleges in the state to prepare workers to meet the needs of employers.
Ashton Elmore worked for readySC™ for two years prior to landing his current job as training manager at Continental Tire the Americas in Fort Mill. The tiremaker is building a $500 million manufacturing facility in Sumter that is ultimately expected to employ 1,600 workers. “We don’t have the manpower to interview, hire and train the 1,600 employees we will eventually need, so readySC™ has been doing all the recruiting tasks based on the upcoming needs of Continental,” Elmore says. “We
“The readySC staff has been a vital extension of our human resources department.”
Ashton Elmore, training manager at Continental Tire the Americas
60 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
sTaff PhOTO bY Brian McCord
couldn’t do this massive evaluation and hiring process without them.” The readySC™ program’s mission is to help create jobs, and any company that is creating 10 jobs or more can utilize readySC™ services. “Their staff members conduct a pre-hire program to teach applicants about Continental – including an overview about making tires and other processes – then readySC™ also does a two-week post-hiring process that informs employees on issues such as industrial safety, cultural awareness training, and communications skills,” Elmore says. “The readySC™ staff has been a vital extension of our human resources department here at Continental.”
14 15 12 13
SOUTH CAROLINA TECHNICAL COLLEGE SYSTEM
Other companies that have successfully utilized the readySC™ program include A.I.D. Co., a manufacturer of aerospace components that in 2013 moved its operations from Georgia to Westminster, S.C.; and Accuride Wheel End Solutions, a company in Camden that makes aluminum wheels for semi-trucks and trailers. “When I have job openings here at Accuride, besides contacting the local employment and workforce services, I also contact readySC™,” says Gail Hornsby, human resources supervisor with Accuride Wheel End Solutions. “They know about companies that are laying off, who is shutting down, and know of skilled people out there who can fill our positions. In 2012, we had 40 people trained by readySC™ before they started work at Accuride. I’ve been in human resources for 25 years, and the people at readySC™ are very professional to work with for preemployment and post-employment training. They are exceptional in recommending if a person is ultimately a good fit for Accuride.”
1. Tri-County Technical College, Pendleton 2. Greenville Technical College, Greenville 3. Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg 4. Piedmont Technical College, Greenwood 5. York Technical College, Rock Hill 6. Midlands Technical College, Columbia 7. Northeastern Technical College, Cheraw 8. Florence-Darlington Technical College, Florence
9. Horry-Georgetown Technical College, Conway 10. Williamsburg Technical College, Kingstree 11. Central Carolina Technical College, Sumter 12. Trident Technical College, North Charleston 13. Technical College of the Lowcountry, Beaufort 14. Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, Orangeburg 15. Denmark Technical College, Denmark 16. Aiken Technical College, Aiken
DEsTINATIoN of CHoIcE
SHEM CREEK, MT. PLEASANT SC
ArTs scENE, HaUTE cUIsINE HELp maKE CHarLEsTON aN INTErNaTIONaL cITY
By Kevin Litwin outh Carolina’s diverse topography stretches from the Appalachian foothills in the northwest to 187 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline, and it offers a gamut of living options from cosmopolitan urban centers to charming small towns, rural communities and wide-open spaces. year, Charleston was voted the Top City in the U.S. in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards – and described by one reader as a “bucket list” city.
Bucket list, indeed. An energetic arts community includes 75 art galleries in the downtown area alone, and the city hosts numerous and thriving culturebased organizations, including the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts, the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, Spoleto Festival USA and the Charleston Artist Guild. “Charleston is an artsy city with concerts, festivals or something artsrelated almost every week of the year,” says David Scheffler, president of the Charleston Artist Guild. “Even the architecture and old homes are artistic. Our entire oceanfront peninsula is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hundreds of photographs are taken every day by tourists visiting downtown Charleston or the peninsula area.” The Charleston Arts Guild has 600 members and hosts outreach programs in various schools, plus provides scholarships to talented high school and college students. It operates a gallery on East Bay Street, stages annual spring and fall sidewalk shows, and works with the City of Charleston to sponsor the yearly Piccolo Spoleto Juried Art Exhibition that is viewed by thousands of residents and visitors to the city.
Charleston, a city of more than 125,000 residents, is considered one of the economic and cultural centers of the South and a magnet for visitors from around the world. Outside magazine named Charleston a 2010 Best Town, citing its low unemployment, vibrant arts scene, standout architecture and warm hospitality. In 2012, for a second straight
Drizzle and Sizzle
Charleston has made cuisine an art form as well. In the early 2000s, when executive chef and former Texan Marc
“Even the architecture and old homes are artistic. Our entire oceanfront peninsula is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.”
David Scheffler, president of the Charleston Artist Guild
64 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
sTaff PhOTOs bY Brian McCord
Downtown Charleston’s King Street features a design and dining district, as well as fashion and antiques districts.
The Gibbes Museum of Art in downtown Charleston showcases art collections from various genres and rotating exhibits.
66 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
Collins was being recruited by restaurants throughout the country, he ultimately chose Charleston. Today, Collins is executive chef and co-owner of Circa 1886, an upscale eatery that specializes in Lowcountry cuisine, incorporating Charleston and Southern cuisine in what he calls “an elevated way,” resulting in comfort food with a dramatic flair. “When I started in the early 2000s, the owners wanted Circa 1886 to specialize in Lowcountry cuisine, so I dug into books to see what that meant, and I was lucky enough to pick up a book called Two Hundred Years of Charleston Cooking that was originally released in the early 1900s,” Collins says. “It tells about the French Huguenots in old Charleston and their influence on cooking, as well as South African food from the slave days, and traders who brought many spices from the Caribbean and West Indies. Charleston was the largest port on the Eastern seaboard, so all of those different flavors came through here, and I’ve incorporated much of that history into the present-day dishes.” Collins says a couple of signature dishes at Circa 1886 are an achiote spice-rubbed antelope loin with sour cream and lime grits as well as a fried catfish dish basted in truffle oil. “I arrived in Charleston at a perfect time, with the city evolving into a world-class restaurant destination,” he says. “Now there are top chefs here such as Sean Brock, Mike Lata and Jill Mathias, and the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau does a great job marketing how our excellent local food even enhances our tourism industry.”
See more about South Carolina’s top destinations at businessclimate. com/south-carolina.
68 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
SEE A sTEEpLEcHAsE
Springdale Race Course in Camden hosts the annual Carolina Cup and Colonial Cup races, which are two of the most important steeplechase events in the United States and typically draw more than 60,000 people. In addition, Camden is known as a horse training center, and has been home to several champion racehorses.
WALK THROUgH THE gARDENs
The 14-acre Hopelands Gardens in Aiken includes fountains, a reflection pool and a pond, trails, wetlands, garden sites and the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. The historic destination also hosts special events, such as Christmas in Hopelands.
70 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
ADmIRE THE ARcHITEcTURE
The $17 million Doctors Bruce & Lee Foundation Library in downtown Florence, which is the Florence County Library System headquarters, is a neoclassical landmark in the city.
sTaff PhOTO bY Brian McCord
C2 ALLIaNcE CONSULTING ENGINEERS 16 BERKELEY COUNTY EcONOMIc DEVELOPMENT 43 BMW MaNUFacTURING COMPaNY C4 CENTRaL SC ALLIaNcE 26 CHaRLESTON COUNTY EcONOMIc DEVELOPMENT 18 CLEMSON UNIVERSITY 48 COURTYaRd bY MaRRIOTT DOwNTOwN aT USC 72 DORcHESTER COUNTY EcONOMIc DEVELOPMENT 6 EcONOMIc DEVELOPMENT PaRTNERSHIP 30 GREENwOOd PaRTNERSHIP ALLIaNcE 12 HaYNSwORTH SINKLER BOYd PA 10 KBR BUILdING GROUP 67 LaURENS COUNTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORaTION 2 MEadWESTVacO C3 MIcHELIN NORTH AMERIca 47 NEwbERRY COUNTY EcONOMIc DEVELOPMENT 36 NEXSEN-PRUET 42 NORTH EaSTERN STRaTEGIc ALLIaNcE 57 OcONEE COUNTY EcONOMIc DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
Ad Index (cont.)
72 ORaNGEbURG COUNTY DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION 49 PacOLET MILLIKEN ENTERPRISES INc. 34 SaNTEE COOPER 54 SOUTH CaROLINa POwER TEaM 55 SOUTH CaROLINa STaTE PORTS AUTHORITY 21 SUMTER EcONOMIc DEVELOPMENT 8 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CaROLINa 4 WOOd GROUP MUSTaNG INc.
VISIT OUR ADVERTISERS
Alliance Consulting Engineers Berkeley County Economic Development www.berkeleycountysc.gov BMW Manufacturing Company www.bmwusfactory.com Central SC Alliance www.centralsc.org Charleston County Economic Development www.charlestoncountydevelopment.com Clemson University www.clemson.edu Courtyard by Marriott Downtown at USC www.courtyardcolumbiausc.com Dorchester County Economic Development www.dorchesterforbusiness.com Economic Development Partnership www.edpsc.org Greenwood Partnership Alliance www.partnershipalliance.com Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd PA www.hsblawﬁrm.com KBR Building Group www.kbrbuildinggroup.com Laurens County Development Corporation www.laurenscounty.org MeadWestvaco www.mwvindustrialproperties.com Michelin North America www.michelin.com Newberry County Economic Development www.newberrycountysc.org Nexsen-Pruet www.nexsenpruet.com North Eastern Strategic Alliance www.nesasc.org Oconee County Economic Development Commission www.oconeescedc.com Orangeburg County Development Commission www.ocdc.com Pacolet Milliken Enterprises Inc. www.pacoletmilliken.com The Rockefeller Group www.rockgroupdevelopment.com Santee Cooper www.santeecooper.com South Carolina Power Team www.scpowerteam.com South Carolina State Ports Authority www.scspa.com Sumter Economic Development www.sumteredge.com University of South Carolina www.sc.edu Wood Group Mustang Inc. www.mustangeng.com
72 || SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCE
KING OF THe ROaD
BeaUTIFUL ON THe OUTSIDe
When many downtowns in America today are in a downward decline, Aiken’s downtown remains alive with successful specialty shops, restaurants, banks, offices, museums, a radio station, hotels, entertainment venues and residences. The vibrant Aiken downtown includes an arts-based Alley neighborhood along with several boulevards lined with dogwoods and magnolia trees. Annual downtown events include a Beach Blast summer weekend; Aiken’s Makin juried arts and crafts festival; Christmas in July; and A Holly Day in December. Quick fact: More than 30 streets in downtown Aiken are named for other cities and counties in South Carolina, including Columbia, Edgefield, Florence, Greenville, Richland, Sumter, Williamsburg and York.
The six-floor, 230-bed Aiken Regional Medical Center is staffed by 130 physicians who provide world-class treatment in 40 specialties such as cancer, cardiology, diabetes, pediatrics, stroke, women’s services and wound healing.
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Noted and Noteable
Strom Thurmond is among 10 former South Carolina governors who hailed from Edgefield County, while the vacation destination of Aiken County has hosted actors such as Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby and Paul Newman. A reflection of the affluence of its antebellum era greets newcomers to Edgefield and Aiken with nearly 100 buildings and property sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Row, Row, Row
Langley Pond holds the distinction of being the largest pond in the world, measuring a few square feet short of officially becoming a lake. Langley hosts all kinds of water recreation, including crew rowing competitions, and was a key training site for U.S. crew teams who competed in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta because Langley features the only Olympic-size rowing course in South Carolina.
Beautiful on the Outside
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby in 1925 and fashioned character Tom Buchanan after Fitzgerald’s friend Tommy Hitchcock, whose family ultimately purchased vacation land in Aiken County and called their property Hitchcock Woods. Today, the 2,100-acre, tree-laden Hitchcock Woods remains the largest, privately held urban forest in the United States.
Palace Malice, winner of the 2013 Belmont Stakes and Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga, was trained at Dogwood Stable in Aiken. Nearly 50 top polo professionals make their homes in Aiken and play the sport at nine separate clubs and 40 polo fields. As for thoroughbred racing, Aiken-trained horses have won the Kentucky Derby five times, and the city is home to a two-story Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum in the downtown district.
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• Department of Energy, Savannah River Site • Kimberly-Clark Beech Island • Bridgestone Americas Inc. • AGY • Shaw Industries • UPS Customhouse Brokerage • URS Safety Management Solutions • Mount Vernon/Riegel • ASCO Valve Manufacturing • Urban Outfitters
Diesel Dynamo Innovation for the Nation
The Applied Research Center in Aiken is an Economic Development Partnership initiative to advance and commercialize technology from the nearby Savannah River National Laboratory and global researchers. ARC leads the way in hydrogen technology in South Carolina along with energy materials, ceramics and microwave technology at its 60,000-square-foot advanced research facility. ARC was the first to have a hydrogen vehicle, the first hydrogen fueling facility and the first to produce hydrogen from renewable sources in South Carolina. MTU Detroit Diesel announced in 2010 that it would invest $45 million and create 250 jobs over five years at their Aiken engine manufacturing facility, and as of 2013, MTU invested $105 million and created 300 jobs by expanding their existing plant and adding an R&D department. MTU manufactures large diesel engines and propulsion systems for ships, heavy agriculture, rail and military, and the gas and oil industry.
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Just Plane Busy
Within proximity to Interstate 20 and five miles from the central business district is Aiken Municipal Airport, a busy corporate jet and private plane facility with two newly paved runways and a newly renovated terminal. Nearly 50 aircrafts are based at Aiken Municipal, and the airport oversees an average of 120 takeoffs and landings a day.
King of the Road
The largest capital investment in South Carolina history – $1.2 billion – continues to take place at the Bridgestone Americas tire manufacturing facility in Aiken County. First of all, the tiremaker announced a $346 million, 700,000-square-foot expansion of its existing plant in Graniteville so that Bridgestone could ultimately boost production by 13,000 radial tires a day. The completed expansion in 2013 allows the company to produce 37,750 tires daily or 13.4 million annually, and 300 added jobs increased the total workforce to 1,300. Additionally, Bridgestone is constructing a nearby 1.5 million-square-foot manufacturing plant to eventually build large off-road tires, with that facility scheduled to begin production in July 2015. Another 550 jobs will be created to staff the off-road tire plant. Once completed, the two-site Graniteville complex will be the largest facility operated by Japan-based Bridgestone Corp., which has 47 tire manufacturing plants around the world.
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Of Varying Degrees
The top public baccalaureate college in the south for 2013? It’s the University of South Carolina Aiken, according to U.S. News & World Report. USC Aiken provides a four-year curriculum to its 3,200 students, of which about 500 graduate each year. Students have access to the programs of a large university on a small, friendly campus with intimate class sizes, and the Aiken campus presently offers more than 30 academic programs. There are also 11 varsity men’s and women’s NCAA Division II sports teams. The USC Aiken Pacers (named for Aiken’s equestrian community) compete in the Peach Belt Conference.
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DuPont Planetarium hosts several astronomy programs, but also takes visitors on adventures such as exploring a living cell and viewing the wild world of weather. The Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at the University of South Carolina Aiken houses the 45-seat DuPont Planetarium, where its 30-foot tilted aluminum dome is ideal for conducting K-12 school programs, specialized showings for university classes, and general public and private events.
Preparing Children for the Real World
The Aiken County Public School System has 24,000 students attending 39 schools, and its high school graduates annually receive more than $41.3 million in college scholarships. The system’s South Aiken High School was recently recognized by Newsweek as one of America’s 2,000 Best Public High Schools, with South Aiken saluted for its long history of effectively turning out collegeready grads. In Edgefield County, the Edgefield County School District features eight schools that accommodate over 4,000 students.
Great Careers for Today & Tomorrow
Aiken Technical College and Piedmont Technical College train students for rewarding careers that will remain in demand for years to come, including high-paying fields such as advanced manufacturing, automotive technology, building construction, business and finance, diversified agriculture, electrical engineering, IT, nursing, and welding. ATC and PTC each offer more than 40 one- and two-year programs as well as transfer opportunities to colleges and universities throughout South Carolina.
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