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The new Economic Development Director brings global trade experience and a world of contacts

Brian Fulk
Brian Fulk, Economic Development Director, Lancaster County, SC

Brian Fulk sees a lot of potential for Lancaster County and is looking forward to building on the considerable success the county already has seen in recent years as one of the fastest-growing areas in South Carolina.

Fulk took the reins as the county’s Economic Development Director in October, bringing with him more than three decades of international and domestic trade and business development experience. He’s relocated from Richmond, where he was principal consultant for The Fulk Group, specializing in economic development and trade finance advising.

He also had been senior vice president for business development with the Greater Richmond Partnership. Before that, he spent more than 30 years with Wells Fargo and Wachovia Bank in trade financing and business development roles in England, Brazil, and Switzerland.  

Here Fulk shares his ideas and vision for Lancaster County:


Q. What made the Lancaster County Economic Development Director role an attractive opportunity for you?

Brian Fulk: My career plan was always to find an economic development leadership opportunity, preferably in a largely rural location, in order to give back to the community. Lancaster County offered the perfect opportunity. The county has so many things going for it and has already found success in attracting new corporations to the area.


Q. You have extensive international finance and trade experience as well as economic development experience in Virginia. How will that help you in your new role with Lancaster County?

Brian Fulk: I plan to use my international prospecting experience and worldwide contacts to elevate Lancaster County on the world stage as a great place to locate a new manufacturing facility or office. For example, while demand for new headquarters buildings may not be as strong in the U.S. today versus five years ago (given the work-from-home phenomenon), many overseas corporations are still likely to want a central U.S. headquarters operation with employees located on-site.

Founders Federal Credit Union Headquarters in Lancaster County SC

Q. What are your immediate and long-term goals for Lancaster County?

Brian Fulk: My immediate goal is to meet with all of our stakeholders and listen carefully to understand the desires and concerns of the community. Longer term, I hope to work with community leaders, the region, and with the South Carolina Department of Commerce to bring Lancaster a number of right-fitting companies to offer new and interesting employment opportunities, as well as to build a solid and diverse tax base for the county.


What is your vision for Lancaster County and what can you and your department do to fulfill that vision?

Brian Fulk:  I would like to see Lancaster known worldwide as a pro-business and welcoming area for new companies, and for companies already here looking to expand. I want to do my part to improve the economic livelihood of all citizens. Good-paying jobs are key to achieving this. Ideally, I would like to see Lancaster known as an innovation hub, helping to support new technologies.

My vision also includes, importantly, providing access to various resources for start-up companies, entrepreneurs, and those wishing to export their products abroad. We want to do our part to keep and attract talented individuals by helping to provide the resources, to include working space, they need.

Compucom Lancaster County SC

Q. What are the county’s strengths right now in terms of attractiveness to new and expanding industries?

Brian Fulk: Lancaster County is fortunate to have several successful industry clusters. These will continue to expand and create job opportunities in future years. Healthcare and Biomedical, Finance and Professional Services, Advanced Manufacturing (including Metalworking, Textiles and Advanced Fibers), Mining and Agricultural Solutions are thriving here now.

We’re also well-positioned to attract new industries. For example, we have seen recent interest from the Electric (or alternative energy) Vehicle space, especially those supplying the larger OEM manufacturers.

Here is a list of some of Lancaster County’s strengths as I see them today.

  1. First, its citizens. Lancaster is a welcoming community and almost everyone I have met shares a vision to see the county prosper and grow in a balanced way without overtaxing our infrastructure. Having nearly 100,000 county residents of all ages promoting Lancaster as a good place to live, learn, work and play is a nice, large salesforce to have.
  2. Highway and air service. Lancaster County is located close to major interstate highways. A company located and producing here can reach over 45% of the U.S. population within a day’s truck drive. Lancaster County also has superior air service with the local executive airfield (and nearby Air-Rail Park) and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport less than an hour away. 
  3. Rail access. For those importing or exporting, rail access is often essential. Lancaster provides access to two major service providers, CSX and Norfolk Southern.
  4. Workforce and training. Unlike many rural areas, Lancaster County can easily draw employees from the Charlotte area. We have access to a talented workforce. I’ve met with local educators who are very willing to help with specialized training for new companies coming here. Of course, we’re also fortunate to have some successful existing workforce programs and supporters, including readySC™.
  5. Land prices and leasing costs. Those two key factors are lower here than in many areas of the country and this will continue to keep us on the radar for companies looking for a new location.
  6. High quality of life. Lancaster County offers access to a vast array of cultural and sports activities, and to many great eating establishments. One can golf, play tennis, ride a bike, ride a horse, or walk on a trail. Add to this some of the state’s top schools, and you have a great place to live, learn, work, and play.
Red Ventures World Headquarters in Lancaster County SC

Q. What do you see as the greatest economic development opportunities for the county and how do you foresee you and your department leveraging those opportunities?

Brian Fulk: There’s always room to improve. For example, I would like to see us enhance our tourism/visitor activities. We have a lot to offer in the area and we need to broadcast this fact. We have the largest commercial gold mine on the East Coast. There is soon to be a state-of-the-art whitewater center going in nearby on the Catawba River.

Also, the City of Lancaster has enormous potential as a destination. We may be lacking some basics now, but these will come as our collective visions are realized. I can imagine a day when people drive from outside the state to stay at a nice hotel, eat a world-class meal on Main Street or nearby, and stroll the downtown area for shopping and cultural entertainment. This will happen … I just want to do my part to help speed up the process.

As for our greatest challenge, we need to determine as a community how we want to grow in the future. We need to have the infrastructure for this growth. This includes adequate water and sewer capacity, as well as roads able to handle increasing traffic. It also includes having schools with space available for new students.

From my perspective, we also need more “on-site” utilities at our several industrial parks to accommodate the industrial growth we expect to attract. Supply chain and other issues now require as much as 24 months or more to bring services to our sites.


Q. How does participation in the S.C. I-77 Alliance bolster your economic development efforts and what does Lancaster County’s participation add to the whole?

Brian Fulk: Lancaster County is a member and financial supporter of both the S.C. I-77 Alliance and the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. These organizations help by marketing the region through various means, to include the organization of prospecting trips. We are stronger together, and I believe a win for one county or city is eventually a win for all. 

Nutramax Labs in Lancaster County SC

As the saying goes, we live in interesting times. While change is a constant, the kind of change certainly is not. The unique mix of rising interest rates and inflation, supply change disruption, and pandemic recovery creates unprecedented challenges for private and public stakeholders alike in the realm of economic recruitment and development.

Yet where lies challenges opportunity emerges, and those who respond quickly with smart strategies will lay the groundwork for long-term success for those companies and communities that are relying on them to create a prosperous future.

Of course, no company or county is an island, and collaboration among private and public players has been and continues to be a critical part of success in this arena. So is data, the kind that helps inform both those communicating the attributes of a community and those who need to understand the potential the community offers their expanding or relocating enterprises.

The South Carolina I-77 Alliance offers the mix of analytics and people needed to help attract capital investment and high-quality manufacturing, distribution, and office jobs to the five-county corridor between Charlotte and Columbia.

A Staff of Two, A Team of Dozens

We’re a staff of two – President/CEO Steven Pearce and Christopher Finn, our Director of Research & Marketing – however, we’re in fact a much larger team, with an impressive board and a growing list of partners contributing their expertise from such roles as energy, manufacturing, and bank executives, attorneys, private and public engineers, landowners and infrastructure providers, and government and education leaders.

Steven Pearce - I77 Alliance
Steven Pearce
Chris Finn - I77 Alliance
Chris Finn

Together, we’re executing a multi-faceted strategy to elevate the corridor’s visibility and reputation as a premier place to do business. This year, that includes growing our Alliance-sourced and external leads by 15% and 10% respectively while simultaneously growing online engagement and interaction by 10%.

Site-selection consultant visits also are a priority, and we keep our Economic Data Center – a dynamic database of key demographic and site availability information – as current as possible. Importantly, too, we’ll continue to build on incorporating the experience and commitment of our region’s business community into the recruitment effort.

A Whole Greater Than Its Parts

I-77 Alliance 11 Hour Drive Time

York, Lancaster, Chester, Fairfield, and Richland counties already are enjoying an impressive run of new projects and expansions by international and domestic firms alike, companies from across the industrial spectrum who recognize the area’s ideal mix of location, logistics, workforce, and living options from urban to suburban to rural.

We encourage you to consider joining the effort. The Alliance offers four levels of direct investor opportunity, with a list of benefits that grows with the financial commitment. Your participation helps ensure that rather than duplicating marketing efforts, we build on a synergy – a whole greater than its parts – that already has produced notable progress and the expectation of much more in the years ahead.

Check out our 2021-2022 annual plan here. Contact us to find out more about investing in the Alliance and the economic future of South Carolina’s I-77 Corridor. Together we can leverage those opportunities as together we invest locally and compete globally.

What a difference a decade can make. When the Great Recession hit, Lancaster County was already reeling from the loss of Springs Industries and its thousands of textile jobs that had sustained generations of local families.

Unemployment skyrocketed and income levels dropped to among the lowest in the state. “We had become a poster child for what can happen to communities overly dependent on one industry or employer,” says county Economic Development Director Jamie Gilbert. “Lancaster County was so distressed that Forbes called us ‘the most vulnerable community in America.’”

A decade later, Lancaster County is enjoying an economic boom that has seen its economy diversify across multiple industries while also becoming one of the premier office markets in the booming Charlotte region.

Movement Mortgage Headquarters in Lancaster

Gilbert says that boom began when county leaders began actively leveraging their ideal location — a mix of rural, small town and suburban — to aggressively recruit corporate offices to the northern end of the county, comprising the Fort Mill and Indian Land communities just south of Charlotte.

Digital marketing leader Red Ventures, Sharonview Federal Credit Union and Continental Tire of the Americas paved the way in 2010, followed soon by other corporate brand names such as CompuCom, Honeywell, Movement Mortgage and ServiceMac.

White- and Blue-Collar Growth

There now are more than 6,400 employees in the professional & business service sectors in Lancaster County, primarily clustered in the county’s northern panhandle, a number expected to grow by 50 percent over the next several years. That white-collar explosion is occurring alongside the renaissance of goods-producing sectors in the county, a cluster of industries that has nearly doubled employment since cratering in 2010, now employing almost 4,700 people in Lancaster County.

“Lancaster County’s heart and soul has always been manufacturing and since 2010 we’ve attracted a number of new firms that have played a major role in reshaping our economy,” Gilbert says. They range from animal health products maker Nutramax Laboratories to Fab Fours, a maker of premium bumpers and truck accessories. Textiles also remain a player, including Keer America, a spinning mill that plays a key role in the cotton yarn supply chain. In the southern end of the county, there’s even a new gold mine, operated by OceanaGold.

The numbers also tell the story. Since 2012, Lancaster County has facilitated 59 new and expanding industrial projects that represent a $1.52 billion investment and nearly 11,200 expected jobs. In the past year alone, the county ranked first in the Palmetto State for new jobs, sixth for announced new investments (excluding solar farms), and second for announced new jobs and investment combined.

“Per capita income is now third-highest in the state and we’ve moved from being a tier four county to tier two. Smart Asset has just ranked us as the third-best county in South Carolina for new investment,” Gilbert says. “To call it remarkable is an understatement.”

More People, Places, Possibilities

Commercial, retail and residential growth has accompanied that manufacturing and office expansion. The county’s population was 76,972 in 2010. It’s expected to surpass 100,000 in 2020. That makes Lancaster County the second-fastest growing county in the state (behind only Horry County/Myrtle Beach on the coast) and the 32nd fastest in the country among counties with populations of more than 10,000.

“Our growth boom has brought new shopping centers, service businesses, restaurants, subdivisions and apartments that support the needs of our residents and businesses. This keeps spending local and generates additional tax revenue for our schools and county services,” Gilbert says.

Red Ventures World Headquarters

The development of new areas and redevelopment of the town of Lancaster aims to attract both knowledge and trade workers, which are so crucial to companies facing a tight labor market and national competition for talented people who have a lot of options.

Along with smoothing the way for multiple infrastructure, industrial/office/commercial and residential lifestyle projects, county leaders are working closely with companies and local institutions of higher learning to close the loop on all that’s needed to ensure Lancaster County remains a compelling choice for those looking to choose a new home for their enterprise of the future.

$5 million investment will bring approximately 100 new jobs to Fort Mill

FORT MILL, S.C.Element Designs, one of the leading North American manufacturers of custom aluminum frame glass cabinet doors, today announced plans to relocate its headquarters and manufacturing operations to York County. The company’s $5 million investment will bring approximately 100 new jobs to Fort Mill over the next five years.

Founded in 2003 and currently headquartered in Charlotte, Element Designs’ product offerings have expanded to include custom glass and acrylic surfacing solutions and components. All products are made and fabricated in the United States, with manufacturing processes that use water-based coatings and recycled materials to create products for customers across North America.

Located at 7107 Logistics Lane, Suite 101 in Fort Mill, Element Designs’ new 112,840-square-foot facility will serve as the company’s joint headquarters and manufacturing operations, allowing the company to efficiently serve its international customers, including many well-known manufacturers in the kitchen, bath and office furniture industries.

Operations are expected to be online in the second quarter of 2023. Individuals interested in joining the Element Designs team can submit resumes to the company

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project.

QUOTES

“We are very excited to move our headquarters to Fort Mill, S.C. We already feel very welcomed and can’t wait to call it our new home. It will be a transformational move for our company. This new location and state of the art facility will not only provide us with the necessary room to grow, but it will also be a testament to what we as a company want to be recognized for: an innovative industry leader that produces beautiful products in a sustainable way. Its proximity to our current location was also very important as we want our incredible team to move with us and enjoy the benefits of this new space to call home.”

Element Designs President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Uebersax

“We eagerly welcome Element Designs to South Carolina. Our state is proud to be home to companies producing some of the most unique, high-quality goods in the world, and we’re proud to add Element Designs to that roster. We’re grateful for the skilled jobs this company will bring to our state and the Fort Mill community.”

Gov. Henry McMaster 

“On behalf of the South Carolina business community, we congratulate and welcome the entire Element Designs team to York County. Manufacturers of all sizes and industries have found long-term success in communities throughout South Carolina, and we’re eager to support Element Designs to continue that commitment.”

Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“We celebrate today’s announcement by Element Designs. We are pleased to see that they have found an ideal location in York County to continue to grow their manufacturing operations as well as establish their headquarters. Congratulations to this industry leader. We welcome your growing team to our community.”

-York County Council Chairwoman Christi Cox

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Element Designs is relocating its headquarters and manufacturing operations to York County.
  • The company’s $5 million investment will bring approximately 100 new jobs to Fort Mill over the next five years.
  • Element Designs is one of the leading North American manufacturers of custom aluminum frame glass cabinet doors.
  • Located at 7107 Logistics Lane, Suite 101 in Fort Mill, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the Element Designs team can submit resumes to the company

About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, the Palmetto State has consistently been among the top in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign direct investment on a per capita basis – recognized by multiple economic development publications for its pro-business climate. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kelly Coakley
Director of Marketing and Communications
South Carolina Department of Commerce
(803) 737-1998
kcoakley@sccommerce.com
www.SCcommerce.com

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$81 million investment will create 94 new jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. The Ritedose Corporation, a locally owned and operated pharmaceutical manufacturer, today announced plans to expand operations in Richland County. The company’s $81 million investment will create 94 new jobs.

Founded in 1995, The Ritedose Corporation operates a state-of-the-art “blow-fill-seal” (BFS) facility, where liquid-pharmaceuticals are formulated, filled and packaged for distribution. For over 25 years, The Ritedose Corporation has been an industry leader in the aseptic production of sterile, single-dose medication, serving the contract development manufacturing, generics and 503B outsourcing markets. The company’s customers range from small startups and retail pharmacies to large pharmaceutical companies, wholesalers and hospital systems.

Located at Carolina Research Park in Columbia, The Ritedose Corporation’s first phase of expansion includes adding square footage to its existing facility. The expansion will also involve internal renovations to the existing structures of the facility. When complete, the expansion will allow the company to manufacture an additional 400 million doses of pharmaceuticals.

Phase one of the expansion and the addition of approximately 50 of the 94 total jobs will be completed in early 2024. Individuals interested in joining The Ritedose Corporation should visit the company’s careers page.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project. The council also awarded a $500,000 Set-Aside grant to Richland County to assist with the costs of building improvements.

QUOTES

“This initial phase of the expansion project will allow The Ritedose Corporation to continue to deliver over 1 billion doses of respiratory maintenance drugs to the U.S. population, while providing the runway for multiple drugs in various stages of development to be commercialized in the coming years.” 

The Ritedose Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Jody Chastain

“South Carolina’s life sciences industry continues to flourish with the expansion of The Ritedose Corporation. By strengthening our life sciences industry, like we are today, we bring good-paying jobs to our people and ensure that vital medical supplies are being made right here in South Carolina. Congratulations to The Ritedose Corporation, and we look forward to your continued success.”

Gov. Henry McMaster

“Today, South Carolina celebrates The Ritedose Corporation, a homegrown pharmaceutical leader whose expansion signals the strength of our state’s growing life sciences industry. This investment also expands STEM career pathways for all South Carolinians, nurturing the highly skilled workforce within our state. We’re proud of the continued success of yet another South Carolina-based company.”

Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“The Ritedose Corporation’s expansion is a major win for Richland County. Council sees The Ritedose Corporation’s continued investment in its facility here as an investment in our community, and we are excited about this project bringing many well-paying jobs to Richland County.”

Richland County Council Chair Overture Walker

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • The Ritedose Corporation is expanding operations in Richland County.
  • The company’s $81 million investment will create 94 new jobs.
  • The Ritedose Corporation is a locally owned and operated pharmaceutical manufacturer.
  • Located at Carolina Research Park in Columbia, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining The Ritedose Corporation team should visit the company’s careers page

About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, the Palmetto State has consistently been among the top in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign direct investment on a per capita basis – recognized by multiple economic development publications for its pro-business climate. For more information,

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kelly Coakley
Director of Marketing and Communications
South Carolina Department of Commerce
(803) 737-1998
kcoakley@sccommerce.com
www.SCcommerce.com

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$30 million investment will create 48 new jobs over the next five years

ROCK HILL, S.C.STIWA US, Inc., a company of the STIWA Group, today announced plans to expand and relocate its new North American headquarters in York County. The company’s $30 million investment will create 48 new jobs over the next five years.

Headquartered in Austria, STIWA US, Inc. is an advanced automation company, specializing in high performance automation with a focus on individual customer and product requirements. The company’s expertise in serving the automotive, fittings and medical markets contributed to its growth over the last 50 years.

Relocating its headquarters, to include manufacturing operations, from Fort Mill to Rock Hill at Porter and Long Meadow roads, STIWA US, Inc.’s expansion includes a new facility which will serve as the company’s new North American headquarters. From this location, the company will be able to readily engage with U.S.-based companies on their specific needs, including new mobility and electrical equipment markets.

The relocation is expected to be complete by September 2024. Individuals interested in joining the STIWA US, Inc. team should visit the company’s careers page. The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project. The council also awarded a $250,000 Set-Aside grant to York County to assist with site preparation and building construction.

QUOTES

“STIWA US, Inc. has been in the greater Charlotte area since 2016. We are excited that with our future new North American headquarters in Rock Hill we will be able to lift our abilities and services to a new level. The site and the city of Rock Hill also offer us enough opportunities to continue on our planned path to grow and to be able to supply our North American customers with excellent products in automation and parts manufacturing.”

STIWA US, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Andreas Prokesch

“With the expansion of STIWA US, Inc., South Carolina’s manufacturing industry continues to lead our state’s thriving economy. We are proud to be home to this growing company’s new North American headquarters and look forward to their continued success in York County and beyond.”

Gov. Henry McMaster 

“More and more, international companies are discovering that South Carolina provides the pro-business climate where they can find ongoing success. Congratulations to STIWA US, Inc. for their continued growth in South Carolina, and our state proudly welcomes the international manufacturer’s new North American headquarters to York County.”

Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“The city of Rock Hill is excited to see additional investment in the city of Rock Hill’s Interstate-77 Commerce Corridor. Manufacturing jobs are the backbone of sustainable growth and opportunities in our community. This commitment by STIWA US, Inc. serves as a testament to others looking to locate in Rock Hill of our business-friendly environment and the city’s continuous investments in infrastructure necessary for businesses to succeed in today’s world.”

-Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys

“Today’s announcement by STIWA US, Inc. is exciting, as they will not only provide quality new jobs for our area, but also add to our expanding manufacturing footprint here. We are proud they chose to establish and now grow their specialized operations here in York County. We look forward to watching them grow and succeed.”

York County Council Chairwoman Christi Cox

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • STIWA US, Inc. is expanding and relocating its new North American headquarters in York County.
  • The company’s $30 million investment will create 48 new jobs over the next five years.
  • STIWA US, Inc., a company of the STIWA Group, is an advanced automation company.
  • Located at Porter and Long Meadow roads in Rock Hill, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the STIWA US, Inc. team should visit the company’s careers page.

About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, the Palmetto State has consistently been among the top in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign direct investment on a per capita basis – recognized by multiple economic development publications for its pro-business climate. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kelly Coakley
Director of Marketing and Communications
South Carolina Department of Commerce
(803) 737-1998
kcoakley@sccommerce.com
www.SCcommerce.com

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$5.5 million investment will create 47 new jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Palmetto Millworks of the Carolinas, LLC, a locally owned and operated polyvinyl chloride (PVC) column manufacturer, today announced plans to expand operations in Richland County. The company is investing $5.5 million and creating 47 new jobs.

Founded in 2021, Palmetto Millworks of the Carolinas, LLC provides high-quality products, designing every column around a structural aluminum core to provide enhanced quality, safety and durability. In addition to columns, the company produces porch arches, gable brackets, garage trellises and flower boxes.

Relocating its existing Richland County operations to Lightwood Industrial Park at Interstate 20 and Farrow Road in Columbia, Palmetto Millworks of the Carolinas, LLC’s new facility will accommodate additional capacity due to increased demand.

The expansion is expected to be complete in 2023. Individuals interested in joining the Palmetto Millworks of the Carolinas, LLC team should visit the company’s contact page.


Quotes

“Palmetto Millworks of the Carolinas, LLC is excited to announce that we will be breaking ground on a new facility which will be in the Lightwood Industrial Park here in Richland County. We are looking forward to expanding our current operations with our new facility while continuing to provide Richland County residents with additional job opportunities.”

– Palmetto Millworks of the Carolinas, LLC Co-Owner Rich McKenrick

“Today, we celebrate yet another win as Palmetto Millworks of the Carolinas, LLC continues to invest $5.5 million and creates 47 new jobs in the Richland County community. Congratulations on your success, and we look forward to the impact this expansion will have in Richland County.”

– Gov. Henry McMaster

“Palmetto Millworks of the Carolinas, LLC’s expansion in Richland County further proves that South Carolina has the business-friendly environment and workforce in place where companies find success. We are proud of their growth in Richland County and look forward to continuing our strong business partnership.”

– Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“Palmetto Millworks of the Carolinas, LLC’s growth demonstrates how new businesses can quickly find success in Richland County’s business climate. The company will continue to benefit from our community’s strong workforce as they hire for these new positions.”

– Richland County Council Chair Overture Walker

Five Fast Facts

  • Palmetto Millworks of the Carolinas, LLC is expanding operations in Richland County. 
  • The company’s $5.5 million investment will create 47 new jobs.
  • Palmetto Millworks of the Carolinas, LLC is a locally owned and operated polyvinyl chloride (PVC) column manufacturer.
  • Relocating to Lightwood Industrial Park at Interstate 20 and Farrow Road in Columbia, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the Palmetto Millworks of the Carolinas, LLC team should visit the company’s contact page.

About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, the Palmetto State has consistently been among the top in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign direct investment on a per capita basis – recognized by multiple economic development publications for its pro-business climate. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kelly Coakley
Director of Marketing and Communications
South Carolina Department of Commerce
(803) 737-1998
kcoakley@sccommerce.com
www.SCcommerce.com

$3 million investment will create 12 new jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – M.G.S., LLC, a military procurement company, today announced plans to expand in Richland County. The company’s $3 million investment will create 12 new jobs.

Based in the United States, M.G.S., LLC is an international procurement and distribution company that assists the government in the acquisition of police and military equipment and services. The company offers an abundance of products and services including ammunition and components, law enforcement and security, weapon systems and more.

Located at 213 Dawson Road in Columbia, M.G.S., LLC’s expansion includes the construction of a new facility which will accommodate additional office and warehousing space.

The expansion is expected to be online by April 2023. Individuals interested in joining the M.G.S., LLC team should visit the company’s contact page.


Quotes

“We are extremely grateful at the support received from our community and partners in the industry. We look forward to serving in our beloved state of South Carolina.”

– M.G.S., LLC Chief Executive Officer Robert Suber

“South Carolina’s proud military community has helped us to attract and grow businesses in our military sector, and this expansion by M.G.S., LLC is further proof of that. Congratulations to M.G.S., LLC on their expansion, and we thank them for their investment in the state.”

– Gov. Henry McMaster

“The military is integral to South Carolina’s economy, and M.G.S., LLC’s expansion will continue to support and grow this sector not only in Richland County, but across the state. We look forward to the opportunities that result from this investment.”

– Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“M.G.S., LLC is not only a long-standing employer in Richland County, but it has also been an essential partner to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department by providing equipment, facilities and training. Council supports M.G.S., LLC’s commitment to more than double its workforce over the next few years and is happy to help facilitate this company’s growth.”

– Richland County Council Chair Overture Walker

Five Fast Facts

  • M.G.S., LLC is expanding operations in Richland County.
  • The company’s $3 million investment will create 12 new jobs.
  • M.G.S., LLC is a military procurement company.
  • Located at 213 Dawson Road in Columbia, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the M.G.S., LLC team should visit the company’s contact page.

About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, the Palmetto State has consistently been among the top in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign direct investment on a per capita basis – recognized by multiple economic development publications for its pro-business climate. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.

Media Contact

Kelly Coakley
Director of Marketing and Communications
South Carolina Department of Commerce
(803) 737-1998
kcoakley@sccommerce.com
www.SCcommerce.com

The I-77 Megasite and plans of the I-77 Corridor county’s new director

M. Anne Broadwater, Economic Development Director for Fairfield County SC
M. Ann Broadwater, Economic Development Director for Fairfield County SC

M. Ann Broadwater has big plans in her new role as Economic Development Director for Fairfield County, and she has the connections and experience to successfully execute on her county’s ambitious goals.

Broadwater assumed the post in August with 25 years of experience that includes key development and investor relations roles statewide with the S.C. Department of Commerce and regionally with the Central South Carolina Alliance.

Broadwater says she’s excited about the potential progress she sees unfolding in Fairfield County, one of the five S.C. I-77 Corridor counties.

Here she explains:


What made taking on the role of Fairfield Economic Development Director an attractive opportunity for you?

M. Ann Broadwater: Close to both Columbia and Charlotte, Fairfield County is uniquely positioned to be a key driver in the region’s future economic growth. I’m excited to be at the forefront of helping our state move forward.

Personally, having been raised in the Columbia area, the Economic Development Director position for Fairfield County was the perfect fit that allows me to continue to utilize my specialized education, talents, and decades-long experiences to the benefit of the area I call home.

Midlands Tech Campus - Fairfield County, SC


The county’s announcement says you’ll be leading a “new Economic Development Department.” Can you describe the department’s structure now and how it’s positioned to encourage future growth in Fairfield County?

M. Ann Broadwater: The Economic Development Department currently consists of myself and Zechariah Willoughby as Project Manager. I couldn’t have asked for a better teammate in Zechariah.

While he is new to the industry, his youthful exuberance and passion for the job are unparalleled. He brings energy and the ability to absorb details required to respond successfully to today’s fast-track processes.

Importantly, too, our efforts are being supported by a proactive administration and a County Council that believes in what we do.


What are your immediate and long-term goals for Fairfield County?

M. Ann Broadwater: The mission of Fairfield County Economic Development is to increase economic opportunities and enhance the quality of life for all citizens, workers, and visitors. Everything we do centers around that mission.

Long-term, our goal for the county and region is to recruit a significant anchor industry at the I-77 International Megasite. My immediate goal for Fairfield County is to be as ready as possible for that anchor industry.

We’ve upgraded the roadway infrastructure to the I-77 Megasite by expanding an existing bridge to accommodate the traffic from a large industrial user. We’re also commissioning an Interchange Justification Report to prepare for the future construction of a new interchange to serve the site. Additionally, we’re mass-grading a 26-acre building pad at the Megasite to prepare it for future development.

We’re also completing mass-grading and building a speculative building in the Fairfield Commerce Center and developing a new industrial park alongside Peach Road.

The I-77 Megasite

What is your overall vision for Fairfield County and what can you and your department do to meet those goals?

M. Ann Broadwater: My vision is for Fairfield County to be a great place to live, work, and play. We plan to foster and encourage responsible and sustainable development activities that promote job creation, support existing businesses, and increase and diversify the county’s tax base.

Oldcastle APG establishing operations in Fairfield County

How will your experience and contacts help you meet those goals?

M. Ann Broadwater: My lifelong career in economic development includes working at the state and regional levels in the Midlands. I have firsthand knowledge of the key players and assets needed to win. Throughout my career, I’ve developed relationships with national and international consultants. I plan to leverage all of those relationships to ensure Fairfield County is always front of mind when companies are looking to build new facilities or expand their operations.


What are the county’s strengths right now in terms of attractiveness to new and expanding industries?

M. Ann Broadwater: We’re strategically located in the direct growth path of both Columbia and Charlotte, an hour from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, a half-hour from downtown Columbia, and two hours from Charleston and its major seaport.

We boast a labor force of 850,000 people in a 45-minute drive time from us, and 92% of our industrial sites are within one-day ground access of 70% of the U.S. market. With a competitive tax structure and picturesque small-town southern charm, we offer companies a low cost of operation and excellent quality of life while still having access to the benefits provided in more urban areas.

Manufacturing & Distribution Center in Fairfield County, SC

What do you see as the greatest economic development opportunities for the County, and how do you foresee you and your department leveraging those opportunities?

M. Ann Broadwater: The manufacturing landscape is changing. We see growing interest in Fairfield County by highly technical companies operating in the electric vehicle, semiconductor, and food manufacturing industries.

These companies need highly skilled workers. We plan to promote our graduating high school students as a ready, adaptable, and entrepreneurial workforce to existing and prospective companies, along with those graduating from our outstanding technical colleges and nationally ranked universities.

BizJournal - BMW in Fairfield County, SC

What do you see as the greatest economic development challenges for the county, and how do you foresee mitigating those challenges and working to turn them into opportunities?

M. Ann Broadwater: A few of the challenges the county faces are:

— Limited sewer capacity
— Available inventory of existing available industrial buildings
— A shortage of attainable entry-level housing in Fairfield County

We’re currently working to address each of these issues so we can stay competitive. Fairfield County has $47 million allocated for a new wastewater treatment plant which will significantly increase our ability to recruit industrial and residential development.

With an emphasis on product development, we’ve also got $7.7 million allocated for site preparation and construction of a 100,000-square-foot spec building in the Fairfield Commerce Center. We also just completed a 450,000-square-foot pre-graded pad there.

In addition, we are developing a new 500-acre industrial park for future use, and we’re initiating a robust residential development plan to address the shortage of available housing.


How does participation in the SC I-77 Alliance bolster your economic development efforts, and what does Fairfield County’s participation add to the whole?

M. Ann Broadwater: The Alliance gives us greater reach than what we, as an individual county, could accomplish on our own. We can take a collaborative approach to economic development through mutually beneficial marketing initiatives and shared research services.

Fairfield County is excited about the future of the I-77 International Megasite and the impact it will have on our region. Designed to accommodate a single mega-user, we believe that the success of the mega site will directly translate into success in other counties through supplier recruitment.

With all our counties interconnected by I-77 and having an overlapping labor force, when one county wins, we all win.

Affordability, Pro-Business Environment, and Robust Infrastructure Are Still Our Calling Card

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That old saying holds true for the S.C. I-
77 Alliance and the five counties we serve between Charlotte and Columbia. Despite high fuel
prices, high inflation, and lingering supply chain issues that are roiling the global economy, we
remain an ideal location to start a new enterprise, relocate, or expand.

Giti Tire

Many of those factors that are hindering growth in so many parts of our nation in this latest
economic cycle – and it’s always cyclical – highlight just how solid an opportunity we continue
to present for industrial development. That hasn’t changed.

First, there’s the cost of land and buildings. Real estate is typically one of the more inflation-
resistant sectors and developable land remains relatively inexpensive in the corridor, in, and
outside the ready-to-roll industrial parks we can offer.

Arrival Microfactory in York County

Then, let’s consider supply chain issues. Proximity to major markets and ports has taken on
increased importance, and that’s also one of our strengths as approximately 45% of the U.S.
population is within a single day’s drive to us. Our transportation infrastructure is robust, with
easy proximity to Charleston’s seaport and crisscrossed by major interstates, rail lines, and air
service (Charlotte Douglas International Airport and the thriving air freight hub at Columbia
Metropolitan Airport).

With the I-77 Region seeing a daily population growth of 35 people per day, these new
residents are finding the right mix of good jobs, affordable living and amenities to fit their own
families’ needs and preferences, adding to a labor shed that stands at about 1.2 million people
on its own, and nearly 2.5 million people if you include the entire Charlotte metro.

A Growing Workforce

We also continue to occupy spots at the top of lists for such areas as workforce development
and other business incentive programs, and favorable regulatory environments such as speed
of permitting. In fact, South Carolina was recently ranked overall 3rd in Area Development’s 13th Annual Site Consultants Survey, “2022 Top States for Doing Business.” In addition, South Carolina ranked in the top 10 in numerous individual categories, including ranking #1 for Favorable Regulatory Environment and #2 in Business Incentives Programs, plus tying for #2 for Available Real Estate and Speed of Project Permitting. These high rankings are the result of a long-nurtured tradition of positive, mutually beneficial relationships between business interests and local and state governments that continues to deepen.

No one knows exactly what will happen with inflation, interest rates, consumer and industrial
demand as well as all those other factors that make up an economy. However, we can be
confident that change will continue, as will the I-77 Region’s capacity to respond to all these
variables with a foundation built on people and places ready to work and grow together with
new industries and long-standing partners alike.

$4.4 million investment will create 60 new jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – City Roots, a family-owned urban farm and agribusiness destination, today announced plans to expand operations in Richland County. The company’s $4.4 million investment will create 60 new jobs over the next five years.

Established in 2009, City Roots serves top restaurants, chefs, grocery retailers and food distributors across the Southeast. From microgreens to baby herbs, City Roots produces fresh, organic vegetables locally. Known for sustainable farming, City Roots strives to educate the community through farm tours – incorporating the benefits of environmentally friendly farming practices.

Located at 1630 Longwood Road in Columbia, City Roots’ expansion to a new site will allow the company to create a microgreen-integrated production facility. The operation will include a state-of-the-art greenhouse structure, which will be open for agricultural tours and workshops for new and beginning farmers. The site will also include a solar farm that will provide energy for the facility’s needs.

The expansion is expected to be complete by spring 2023. Individuals interested in joining the City Roots team should visit the company’s contact page.

Quotes

“City Roots is excited to expand its organic farm and greenhouse production in Richland County. The new facility will be highly efficient, sustainable and will continue to employ and feed people here in our local community.”

– City Roots Co-Founder Eric McClam

“City Roots is another testament that agribusiness in South Carolina continues to flourish. We are proud that a family-owned business such as City Roots continues to grow in Richland County, and we congratulate them on their $4.4 million investment and the 60 new jobs that they will create.”

-Gov. Henry McMaster

“We are excited that City Roots continues to thrive throughout the Richland County community and beyond. City Roots’ innovative approach to urban farming and agribusiness education is to be commended, and we look forward to their continued positive impact.”

-Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“Since 2009, City Roots has been connecting South Carolinians to farming while also flourishing as an agribusiness. This next step in their development is a great step for the microgreen industry and for South Carolina. We’re proud of this homegrown talent.”

-Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers

“City Roots has left a wonderful impact on the Richland County community with its locally grown products going to restaurants and grocery retailers that serve our residents’ food needs. Council is pleased to see this family-owned business invest in new facilities and is excited for the additional growth and jobs this investment will bring.”

-Richland County Council Chairman Overture Walker

Five Fast Facts

  • City Roots is expanding operations in Richland County.
  • The company’s $4.4 million investment will create 60 new jobs over the next five years.
  • City Roots is a family-owned urban farm and agribusiness destination.
  • Located at 1630 Longwood Road in Columbia, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the City Roots team should visit the company’s contact page.

About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, the Palmetto State has consistently been among the top in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign direct investment on a per capita basis – recognized by multiple economic development publications for its pro-business climate. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Alex Clark, CMP
Director of Marketing & Communications
South Carolina Department of Commerce
(803) 737-1998
aclark@sccommerce.com
www.SCcommerce.com

$30 million investment to create approximately 200 new jobs

INDIAN LAND, S.C.Nutramax Laboratories, an industry-leading manufacturer and marketer of nutritional supplement products for people and pets, today announced plans to expand operations in Lancaster County. The company’s $30 million investment will create ­­­­approximately 200 new jobs.

For 30 years, Nutramax Laboratories has been researching and developing high-quality nutritional supplement products. In 2010, the company conducted a multi-state site search and moved its animal health business and corporate operations to Lancaster County and, since that time, has been actively engaged in the Lancaster community, providing support to local schools and churches, area law enforcement and fire services, numerous small businesses and many local charitable organizations. Nutramax Laboratories operates facilities in both South Carolina and Maryland and continues to be an industry leader in setting and adhering to high standards in research, manufacturing and quality control.   

In addition to three existing locations in Lancaster, Nutramax Laboratories’ new facility will be located at 785 Fort Mill Highway in Indian Land and will house additional warehousing, distribution and future manufacturing capabilities.

Individuals interested in joining the Nutramax Laboratories team should visit the company’s careers page.  The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project. The council has also awarded a $500,000 Set-Aside grant to Lancaster County to assist with costs related to this project.

QUOTES

“We are pleased to continue to grow in Lancaster County. With this newest expansion to the Indian Land area, we will continue providing a positive impact that goes beyond our economic development commitments. For 30 years, we have been blessed with a fantastic team of employees committed to delivering the very best to our consumers. Our values of glorifying God, serving our people, supporting our community and pursuing excellence have created an unwavering guide to fulfilling our mission.”

Nutramax Laboratories President and CEO Todd Henderson, DVM

“When leading companies like Nutramax Laboratories find long-term success in our state, it shows the business-friendly environment we have created allows companies to thrive. The approximately 200 new jobs this expansion will create will greatly benefit Lancaster County, and we look forward to Nutramax Laboratories’ continued success in South Carolina.” 

Gov. Henry McMaster

“Nutramax Laboratories’ expansion highlights the growth that life sciences companies are experiencing throughout South Carolina. We congratulate them on their expansion and look forward to a strong partnership for many years to come.”

Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“We are excited that Nutramax is adding a fourth location in Lancaster County. They are demonstrating how businesses not only can succeed, but thrive in Lancaster County. They are a great corporate citizen and embody our economic development tagline – where big ideas become reality.”

Lancaster County Council Chair Steve Harper

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Nutramax Laboratories is expanding operations in Lancaster County.
  • The company’s $30 million investment will create approximately 200 new jobs.
  • Nutramax Laboratories is an industry-leading manufacturer and marketer of nutritional supplement products for people and pets.
  • In addition to three existing locations in Lancaster, Nutramax Laboratories’ new facility will be located at 785 Fort Mill Highway in Indian Land, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the Nutramax Laboratories team should visit the company’s careers page.

About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, the Palmetto State has consistently been among the top in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign direct investment on a per capita basis – recognized by multiple economic development publications for its pro-business climate. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Alex Clark, CMP
Director of Marketing & Communications
South Carolina Department of Commerce
(803) 737-1998
aclark@sccommerce.com
www.SCcommerce.com

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