News/Blog

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.

More than $3.6 million investment will create 17 new jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C.AVANTech, LLC, a wastewater and radioactive waste treatment solutions provider, today announced plans to expand operations in Richland County. The more than $3.6 million investment will create 17 new jobs.

Founded in 1999 in South Carolina, the company provides innovative technology and turnkey services for its custom, operator-friendly systems. AVANTech, LLC creates integrated solutions that improve operations in commercial nuclear, government and industrial applications – including numerous South Carolina facilities such as the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, nuclear power plants and other industrial customers, along with additional clients in the U.S. and around the world.

Located along 30 acres at 2050 American Italian Way in Columbia, AVANTech, LLC’s expansion will increase the company’s capacity to support growing demand for its integrated design, engineering and fabrication services. The expansion is expected to be completed in stages through 2025. Individuals interested in joining the AVANTech, LLC team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

QUOTES

“South Carolina is a great place to start a small business. Since Tracy Barker, my co-founder, and I started the business 22 years ago, we have grown to over 200 employees serving over 15 countries due to the support of the state. We have provided solutions to many of the world’s toughest problems including radioactive water treatment after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan and the U.S. Department of Energy high-level radioactive liquid waste tanks.”

AVANTech, LLC President Jim Braun

“Today’s announcement by AVANTech, LLC represents a tremendous win for the Midlands. South Carolina’s business-friendly climate continues to shine, and when great companies like this expand in our state, we know we are doing something right.”

Gov. Henry McMaster

“We congratulate AVANTech, LLC on its expansion in Richland County. This announcement is further proof that South Carolina is an ideal location for businesses to grow and thrive.”

Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“AVANTech’s expansion in Richland County is a testament to our community as a wonderful place to operate a business. Council is pleased with the company’s decision to continue growing here with support from our tremendous workforce.”

Richland County Council Chair Paul Livingston

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • AVANTech, LLC is expanding operations in Richland County.
  • The more than $3.6 million investment will create 17 new jobs.
  • AVANTech, LLC is a wastewater and radioactive waste treatment solutions provider.
  • Located along 30 acres at 2050 American Italian Way in Columbia, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the AVANTech, LLC team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

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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New President and Chief Executive Officer

Steven Pearce - I77 Alliance
Steven Pearce, CEO of the South Carolina I-77 Alliance

Steven Pearce has been named the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the South Carolina I-77 Alliance and will be responsible for directing the organization’s strategic economic development marketing efforts for the five-county corridor from Columbia to Charlotte.

Pearce joins the Alliance with 12 years of economic development experience, most recently as Senior Vice President of Business Recruitment at the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. There he oversaw lead generation, recruitment, business retention, and expansion efforts across a 15-county region that spans both North Carolina and South Carolina, and was instrumental in the organization earning industry recognition by being named the third-best regional economic development team in the country by the site selection community in 2020.

“We’re delighted to have Steven Pearce take the helm of the SC I-77 Alliance. He brings the experience and deep familiarity with the geography and the opportunities alike that makes the I-77 region such a compelling location for new and existing businesses to locate and expand,” said Matthew Dosch, Chief Operating Officer of Comporium and Chair of the SC I-77 Alliance Board of Directors.

“Economic development is a team effort, and it’s a privilege and pleasure to be part of the team that provides quality leads, timely research, branding, investor relations and more to our partners in the five-county region,” Pearce said. “Much has been accomplished already and I look forward to leading us to even more success.”

Pearce has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration, both from East Carolina University, and he was recognized in 2019 as a Top 50 Economic Developer in North America.


About South Carolina I-77 Alliance

Established by the counties’ economic development offices, the South Carolina I-77 Alliance is a non-profit economic development organization that seeks to position and market Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Richland, and York Counties as a world-class business location to attract investment, high quality jobs, entrepreneurs, and professional talent along the I-77 corridor of South Carolina. For more information on the Alliance, contact Steven Pearce at (803) 789-3530 or Steven.Pearce@I77Alliance.com

$46.4 million investment will create 50 new jobs

RICHBURG, S.C. – Last Step Recycling, LLC, an automotive shredder residue (ASR) company, today announced plans to establish operations in Chester County. The $46.4 million investment will create 50 new jobs.

Founded in 2019, Last Step Recycling, LLC processes ASR to capture metals such as copper, aluminum and other resources. These recycled metals are then used in appliances, automobiles and technology equipment across numerous industries.

Located in Chester Technology Park in Chester, Last Step Recycling, LLC’s new facility will recover sellable material from ASR that would normally go to a landfill. This green initiative will reduce waste and preserve natural resources.

The new facility is expected to be operational by July 2022. Last Step Recycling, LLC will begin hiring in the spring of 2022.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $200,000 Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Chester County to assist with costs related to the project.

QUOTES

“After looking at several states, we are excited to build our new facility in South Carolina. Both state and local officials stood out by showing us that they support our recycling initiative. The Last Step Recycling, LLC team is looking forward to bringing its long history of recycling to Chester County as we construct and operate our new proprietary processing facility.” -Last Step Recycling, LLC CEO Chip Shirley

“It’s exciting to see innovative companies continue to establish operations in our state. We congratulate Last Step Recycling, LLC for their new facility in Chester County through this $46.4 million investment and the 50 new jobs it will create.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“Companies like Last Step Recycling, LLC are attracted to South Carolina thanks to our top-notch business environment. I congratulate the company on this new project and look forward to the impact it will make in the Chester County community.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“We are delighted to welcome Last Step Recycling, LLC to Chester County. This is a green project. By utilizing new technology, this company is able to create recycled material streams to what otherwise would go into landfills.” -Chester County Supervisor Dr. Wylie Frederick

“Congratulations to Last Step Recycling, LLC for establishing in Chester Technology Park, a great location along the Highway 9 industrial corridor with easy access to Interstate 77. One of the drivers for this project is the L&C Railroad that will allow Last Step Recycling, LLC to do business with both CSX and Norfolk Southern.” -South Carolina I-77 Alliance Interim President & CEO Christopher Finn

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Last Step Recycling, LLC is establishing operations in Chester County.
  • The $46.4 million investment will create 50 new jobs.
  • Last Step Recycling, LLC is an automotive shredder residue (ASR) company.
  • Located in Chester Technology Park in Chester, S.C.

Hiring will begin in the spring of 2022.

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

E. & J. GALLO WINERY MEDIA CONTACT:

Natalie Henderson
(209) 341-6479
Natalie.Henderson@EJGallo.com

What many think may be the next big thing in manufacturing is already happening in the I-77 Corridor. It’s micromanufacturing, which is just what it sounds like: small- to medium-sized, agile operations that can quickly produce products that traditionally require massive capital and space to achieve anything close to the scale needed to make such a venture viable and profitable.

Vehicles are the perfect example. Rock Hill in York County was chosen by Arrival, a British startup that uses micromanufacturing techniques to produce, in this case, electric buses. Instead of a massive factory that covers acres, Arrival is setting up shop in a 193,000-square-foot spec building, with an estimated $46 million in CapEx and 240 new jobs.

Rather than a production line, Arrival will use a cell-based assembly method that will allow it to build the buses as ordered, and to quickly transition to any other vehicle it makes, and it plans to source materials from a localized supply chain, adding to efficiency and lowering environmental impact.

That modular approach taps into another trend that the I-77 Corridor is positioned to accommodate: onshoring. The pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of global supply lines in ways that, even when all is normal again, makes the ability to procure materials domestically more attractive going forward.

Especially when less of it is needed. Microfactories take the concept of just-in-time inventory that revolutionized auto production a generation ago to a new level. Customized, just-in-time production of exactly what a customer wants make one-offs possible at a scale previously unattainable.

This kind of innovative production lends itself to a high return on investment that extends well beyond vehicle manufacturing into realms such as textiles and electronics, including consumer goods and industrial products.

However, it still requires a skilled, motivated workforce, a traditional requirement that the Corridor continues to fill as companies and schools – including high schools and technical and four-year colleges – regularly adapt to provide the general and company-specific skills new and expanding firms need to succeed.

The Corridor already hosts a growing number of firms engaged in leading-edge manufacturing technologies, including some of the pioneers in 3D printing that also are revolutionizing manufacturing.

Meanwhile, the Charlotte and Columbia markets that anchor the I-77 corridor account for a workforce of about 1.3 million people, and nearly half the nation’s population lives within a day’s drive.

All these factors make the I-77 Corridor a strong candidate for microfactories to gain a foothold, in all their iterations, as the region and these technologies will continue to grow together.

Investment will create more than 220 new jobs

FORT MILL, S.C. Masonite International Corporation (Masonite) (NYSE: DOOR), a leading global designer, manufacturer, marketer and distributor of interior and exterior doors, today announced plans to establish operations in York County. The new facility will create more than 220 new jobs and service the company’s customers in North America.

Since 1925, Masonite has provided its customers with innovative products for the residential and commercial construction markets. Masonite currently serves approximately 7,600 customers in 60 countries.

Located at 160 Steele Point Drive in Fort Mill, the new Masonite facility will manufacture doors for the North American residential market. This will allow the company to better serve its customers by expanding capacity.

The new facility is expected to be operational in early 2022. Individuals interested in joining the Masonite team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

 QUOTES

“We’re excited about this opportunity to better serve our customers by expanding our capacity with an additional facility in the Southeast. The new plant’s location is ideally suited from a logistics standpoint to service some of our strongest markets. Leveraging state-of-the-art equipment and our Mvantage operating system, our Fort Mill facility will be a safe and efficient addition to our manufacturing network.” -Masonite President and CEO Howard Heckes

“Masonite’s investment is a significant commitment to South Carolina and our people. The more than 220 jobs created in Fort Mill will make a difference in the lives of South Carolinians, and we look forward to seeing the impact it will have on this community for years to come.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“South Carolina’s manufacturing sector continues to thrive, attracting businesses like Masonite. I applaud this global company on their investment and look forward to watching them succeed within our borders.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“On behalf of York County, we welcome Masonite and join in their excitement as they establish operations here. It is refreshing to continue to see manufacturers like Masonite better able to serve their customers in the Southeast by choosing York County’s prime location. We appreciate the significant jobs and opportunity it will bring to our community.” -York County Council Chairwoman Christi Cox

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Masonite International Corporation (Masonite) is establishing operations in York County.
  • The investment will create more than 220 new jobs.
  • Masonite is a global designer, manufacturer, marketer and distributor of interior and exterior doors.
  • Located at 160 Steele Point Drive in Fort Mill, S.C.

Individuals interested in joining the Masonite team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

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. Additionally, the state has won the Gold or Silver Shovel Award from Area Development magazine every year since 2011. 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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$423 million investment will create 496 new jobs over the next eight years

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster and the S.C. Department of Commerce today announced that E. & J. Gallo Winery (Gallo), a global wine and spirits company, will build a new state-of-the-art production facility and distribution center in Chester County to support future business growth and its long-term innovation plans. The $423 million investment will create 496 new jobs over the next eight years.

“Gallo’s investment will transform Chester County and contribute greatly to South Carolina’s economic prosperity. Creating a business environment in which world-class brands can grow and thrive is critical to South Carolina’s long-term economic success, especially in our rural communities,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “We are glad for their partnership and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”

Providing bottling and canning capacity as well as warehousing and distribution for the company’s growing portfolio of wine and spirit brands, the new South Carolina facility will allow Gallo to better meet customer demand on the East Coast, while reducing its overall carbon footprint. Given Chester County’s proximity to the Port of Charleston, this new location will also serve as a hub for Gallo’s import and export business.  

“We could not be more appreciative of the collaboration and support shown by the state of South Carolina, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, and those in Chester County along with all of the public and private entities who have embraced this project throughout the planning process and have welcomed us to the community,” said Gallo CEO, Ernest J. Gallo.

Construction on the new facility is set to begin almost immediately, with the first phase of the project on track to be completed in October of 2022. Gallo is working closely with readySC to prepare for hiring and various workforce training needs. Individuals interested in joining the Gallo team should visit  www.gallocareers.com/southcarolina for more information. 

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project. A $16 million Rural Infrastructure Fund grant was also awarded to Chester County to assist with costs of the project.

Last month, the S.C. Department of Commerce went before the Joint Bond Review Committee and the State Fiscal Accountability Authority and received authorization for $8 million in bonds to offset costs of off-site mitigation under the Economic Development Bond Act.

QUOTES

“Cheers to E. & J. Gallo Winery on today’s big announcement that the company is establishing operations in South Carolina. We often say economic development is a team sport in S.C., and this project demonstrates the true collaboration on the local and state levels and beyond. Gallo’s $423 million investment and the 496 new jobs in Chester County will transform the region. We take pride in our state’s business-friendly environment, and we welcome Gallo to our roster of world-class companies within our borders.” – Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“We are delighted that E. & J. Gallo selected Chester County as the home for their new East Coast operation. This is a project of regional significance, and Gallo selected us after an extensive search by J.M. Mullis Inc. They determined that our strong manufacturing base and proximity to talent were the key determining factors. Chester County is in a great strategic location along the I-77 corridor between two metros: Charlotte and Columbia. We are honored to have this company locate in Chester County.” -Chester County Council Chair Dr. Wylie Frederick

“E. & J. Gallo Winery is a first-rate, world-class, family-owned company. The city of Lancaster is thrilled to partner with E. & J. Gallo Winery and our across-the-river neighbors to bring good jobs, fine wines and spirits and economic vitality to our region.” – City of Lancaster Mayor Alston DeVenny 

“The town of Fort Lawn is very excited that E. & J. Gallo Winery has chosen our area for this expansion of their operations. We are looking forward to working with them as they continue to grow and develop this distribution network. Gallo’s rich family history and sense of community are just what we need here in Fort Lawn and Chester County. E. & J. Gallo Winery has shown that they are a great neighbor and supporter of their community, and they are making a substantial investment and commitment that will benefit Fort Lawn and the surrounding region. We are confident this will help attract other companies to join in what is sure to be great things for the Fort Lawn community.” – Town of Fort Lawn Mayor Carlton Martin

“South Carolina Ports is thrilled to be an integral part of E. & J. Gallo Winery’s global supply chain. This family-owned, California-based company has seen sustainable growth with both wine and spirits. Gallo’s $423 million investment to open a wine bottling and distribution plant in Chester County relies on the ability to import through the Port of Charleston. SC Ports’ efficient operations and reliable service meet the needs of this global wine industry leader.” – SC Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome

“The proposition of the I-77 region as an ideal location for corporate investment is truly validated when E. & J. Gallo, the nation’s largest winemaker, selects it for their East Coast operations hub. Distribution will be a priority component of this expansion and fortunately the I-77 region is within a single day’s truck drive of 42% of the U.S. market, including five of the 10 fastest-growing U.S. metro areas. This location, coupled with the region’s tremendous transportation infrastructure and South Carolina’s pro-business climate, creates a truly compelling opportunity for a company’s sustainable growth.” – I-77 Alliance Interim President and CEO Christopher Finn

“The Lancaster & Chester Railroad (L&C) is thrilled to partner with E. & J. Gallo Winery, supporting the continued growth of their impressive wine and spirits business. Knowing the selection criteria for this project required access to both Class I rail networks and excellent daily service, we were pleased to help them locate a great site. Celebrating its 125-year anniversary, L&C is honored that E. & J. Gallo Winery has chosen Chester County for this generational investment. As part of the Gulf & Ohio Railways family of short lines, L&C welcomes E. & J. Gallo Winery to one of the best economic development regions on the East Coast.” – Gulf & Ohio Railways Chief Business Development Officer Matt Gedney

“Duke Energy is happy to have played a pivotal role in helping E. & J. Gallo Winery understand everything Chester County and South Carolina have to offer. For more than a century, Duke Energy has powered the state and its economy through significant business recruitment and retention efforts, and we look forward to serving our new neighbors in Fort Lawn for many years to come.” – Duke Energy South Carolina President Mike Callahan

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • E. & J. Gallo Winery (Gallo) is establishing a new East Coast facility in Chester County.
  • The $423 million investment will create 496 new jobs over the next eight years.
  • Gallo is a global wine and spirits company.
  • This new location will also serve as a hub for Gallo’s import and export business.  
  • Individuals interested in joining the Gallo team should visit www.gallocareers.com/southcarolina for more information. 

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.

About E. & J. Gallo Winery

Founded in 1933 by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo, E. & J. Gallo Winery is a family-owned company and global wine and spirits industry leader. The hallmark of E. & J. Gallo Winery is their lasting commitment to sustainability and quality, and consistently providing wine and spirits for every occasion. Gallo’s range of offerings includes Apothic, Barefoot Wine, Black Box, J Vineyards and Winery, La Marca Prosecco, Orin Swift, New Amsterdam Vodka, RumChata, High Noon, along with partnerships with esteemed family-owned brands such as Allegrini, Argiano, The Dalmore, Diplomatico, Don Fulano, and Grupo Montenegro.

MEDIA CONTACT:

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

E. & J. GALLO WINERY MEDIA CONTACT:

Natalie Henderson
(209) 341-6479
Natalie.Henderson@EJGallo.com

More than $20 million investment will create approximately 135 new jobs over the next five years

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Intertape Polymer Group Inc. (IPG), a packaging and protective solutions company that supplies to resellers and a diverse group of commercial end users, today announced plans to expand operations in Richland County. The investment of more than $20 million is expected to create approximately 135 new jobs over the next five years.

Founded in 1981, IPG is a recognized leader in the development, manufacturing and sale of a variety of paper and film-based, pressure-sensitive and water-activated tapes; stretch and shrink films; protective packaging; woven and non-woven coated products; and packaging machinery for industrial and retail use.

Located at 1091 Carolina Pines Drive in Blythewood, IPG’s investment will expand the company’s current facility and curbside recyclable paper mailer operations.

The expansion is expected to be completed over the next five years. Individuals interested in joining the IPG team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $200,000 Set-Aside grant to Richland County to assist with costs related to the project.

 QUOTES

“This represents an exciting milestone for our operation in Richland County. The successes we have seen in recent years are fueled by the skilled and engaged labor force available to IPG in the surrounding community. The expansion of our facility is driven by both new and existing business for IPG and will foster further engagement with our state and local leaders to complete the project and deliver jobs to the local community.” -IPG Vice President of Operations Shane Betts

“It’s always exciting to see an existing company find success and continue to invest in our state and people. IPG’s expansion, and the approximately 135 jobs it will create in Richland County, speaks volumes of our business-friendly environment and the world-class workforce present in our state.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“IPG has been a longtime partner of the Richland County business community, and it is great to see the company’s footprint grow. We congratulate IPG on their success within our borders and look forward to our continued partnership for many years to come.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“County council is pleased to see IPG expand their operations in Richland County. The company’s success in our community is evidenced by this expansion project, and we are excited for the investment and new jobs their growth will bring.” -Richland County Council Chair Paul Livingston

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Intertape Polymer Group, Inc. (IPG) is expanding operations in Richland County.
  • The more than $20 million investment will create approximately 135 new jobs over the next five years.
  • IPG is a packaging and protective solutions company that supplies to resellers and a diverse group of commercial end users.
  • Located at 1091 Carolina Pines Drive in Blythewood, S.C.

Individuals interested in joining the IPG team should visit the company’s careers webpage

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. Additionally, the state has won the Gold or Silver Shovel Award from Area Development magazine every year since 2011. 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

More than $6.4 million investment will create 73 new jobs

ROCK HILL, S.C. SouthWood Corporation (SouthWood), a leading provider of signage products and services, today announced plans to establish operations in York County. The more than $6.4 million investment will create 73 new jobs.

The 51-year-old designated veteran-owned business is a full-service, design-build signage firm that provides in-house consultation, project management, design development, manufacturing and installation.

Located at Aspen Business Park in Rock Hill, SouthWood’s new facility will allow the company to expand capacity, push innovation and further modernize operations.

The new facility is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021. Individuals interested in joining the SouthWood team should email careers@southwoodcorp.com.

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

QUOTES

“When we began the process of identifying our future home, we took a look at where our teammates live, where we would have access to skilled tradespeople and where we could get the space that we need to continue thriving in our industry. When SouthWood’s new facility opens early next year, we will look to magnify a working environment that fosters collaboration and provides synergy between our front-of-house operations and our manufacturing team. The goal is to continue to cultivate one of the top workplaces in the area.” -SouthWood Corporation President and CEO John Petrone

“We’re excited to welcome SouthWood to the Palmetto State. This $6.4 million investment that will create 73 new jobs for South Carolinians is a real reason to celebrate. We value this new partnership with SouthWood and look forward to watching them grow and succeed here.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“When a company like SouthWood decides to locate in South Carolina, it’s a sign that the Palmetto State is ‘Just right’ for businesses of all types. This company’s investment will create jobs that will have an impact in York County and beyond.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“We are very excited about the addition of SouthWood Corporation. We appreciate their commitment to investing in our community and creating new jobs. We congratulate them and look forward to seeing them prosper in one of South Carolina’s fastest-growing counties.” -York County Council Chairwoman Christi Cox

“SouthWood Corporation is a leader in the signage industry, and is also leading the way by being the first business to locate in Aspen Business Park. SouthWood’s commitment to quality and customer service, $6.4 million investment and the creation of 73 new jobs is a strong start to Rock Hill’s newest business park. I’m proud to welcome them home to Rock Hill.” -City of Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • SouthWood Corporation (SouthWood) is establishing operations in York County.
  • The more than $6.4 million investment will create 73 new jobs.
  • SouthWood is a leading provider of signage products and services.
  • Located at Aspen Business Park in Rock Hill, S.C.

Individuals interested in joining the SouthWood team should email careers@southwoodcorp.com

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. Additionally, the state has won the Gold or Silver Shovel Award from Area Development magazine every year since 2011. 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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More than $3.2 million investment will create 15 new jobs

FORT MILL, S.C. – VOCO America, Inc. (VOCO), a subsidiary of VOCO GmbH, today announced plans to expand  the company’s North American headquarters in Lancaster County. The more than $3.2 million investment is expected to create 15 new jobs.

Founded in 1981, VOCO is a German-based manufacturer of dental materials. The company’s clinically customized and economical products are used by dentists and technicians in more than 110 countries around the world.

Currently located at 1245 Rosemont Drive at Rosemont Business Park in Indian Land, VOCO will construct a new, company owned 16,000 square foot headquarters building on an adjacent property at 1255 Rosemont Drive. The facility will include a state-of-the-art training center on dental materials and equipment.

The new headquarters is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021. Individuals interested in joining the VOCO team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

 QUOTES

“VOCO America Inc. has chosen to expand in Indian Land and Lancaster County for its access to a skilled workforce in the North and South Carolina metro-Charlotte area and the location’s excellent proximity to the Charlotte Douglas International airport, which makes travelling simple and economical. We are committed to our community and will work with several local companies to construct an attractive office building at Rosemont Business Park.” -VOCO America CEO Leif Ebert

“We’re always proud when a company chooses to invest in South Carolina, but it’s truly special when a company like VOCO decides to expand its headquarters here. I congratulate VOCO on this outstanding announcement, and I look forward to their continued growth.”-Gov. Henry McMaster

“South Carolina is not only a manufacturing powerhouse, but it is also a top choice for companies to establish their corporate headquarters. We congratulate VOCO on this announcement, and we look forward to continuing this remarkable partnership.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“Lancaster County couldn’t be happier that VOCO America is expanding its U.S. Headquarters in Indian Land. They are an excellent company and their decision is reflective of how our community is a strong, welcoming and supportive home for international, domestic and existing businesses.” Lancaster County Department of Economic Development Executive Director Jamie Gilbert

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • VOCO America, Inc. (VOCO) is establishing North American headquarters in Lancaster County.
  • The more than $3.2 million investment will create 15 new jobs.
  • VOCO America is a subsidiary of VOCO GmbH.
  • Expanding to 1255 Rosemont Drive in Indian Land, S.C.

Individuals interested in joining the VOCO team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

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. Additionally, the state has won the Gold or Silver Shovel Award from Area Development magazine every year since 2011. 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

Recently, when the New York Times profiled a report from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on revamped job-growth projections in a post-pandemic landscape, we took that opportunity to review what those numbers say about economic prospects here in the five counties comprising the South Carolina I-77 Region.

As it turns out, the sectors projected to employ these fast-growing occupations over the next few years have a strong presence in the region. Not surprisingly, they are a combination of science/medical professions and the IT industry, categorically network, database, and information security specialists.

Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina

More specifically, we crunched some numbers to create what are called location quotients, or LQs. An LQ is simply a ratio between the rate of local jobs and the rate of jobs nationally and a neat, clean way to measure if there is a unique cluster compared to the national rate. In this method, the index value for the nation is set to 1.0; therefore, LQ values between 0.80 and 1.20 imply a location’s job concentration is comparable to the nation; and, values exceeding 1.20 signal a unique cluster, likely attributable to a dynamic local industry sector and workforce, or similar assets. For manufacturing sectors, the likelihood of increased export demand/activity rises relative to a higher LQ value.

We combined the region’s Q3 2020 employment figures for the industries projected to create the jobs identified by the BLS report into a single value and used that to create the region’s first “post-pandemic economy” LQ. While the region’s LQ value of 1.17 is a strong showing, we found that two of our counties – Richland and Lancaster – had LQs of 1.33 and 1.25, respectively. That means the density of jobs in the county for the combined industry exceeds the national average by 33 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

How does this influence the future of our region’s economic trajectory? We interpret a favorable LQ value to mean that the economic sectors employing the specific occupations of the post-pandemic job market are already thriving in our region. Welcome to all you new epidemiologists and medical scientists we have!

Richland County is home to the University of South Carolina, two large hospital systems, and a large insurance IT (itscola) presence. Lancaster County has a fast-growing industrial base that includes sector leaders such as veterinary products manufacturer Nutramax Laboratories, online B2B marketing and sales leader Red Ventures, and Movement Mortgage in the finance space.

Red Ventures

Looking at the other counties within our region, York County has long been an economic development success story with its record of being a national leader for job growth, and like Lancaster County (aka, twelfth-fastest growing county east of the Mississippi River since 2010), is part of the dynamic Metro Charlotte market. Meanwhile, Chester and Fairfield counties are nestled in the middle of the corridor, offering proximity to two metro areas but with rural and small-town lifestyle options. These assets make those counties an ideal location for manufacturing plants, evidenced by the continued track record of success they’ve had in attracting significant capex investment from some of the world’s leading corporations.

The economic potential a post-pandemic reality has in store is shared across our counties. Research identified the robust economic sectors creating the jobs of the future are active in the I-77 Region and, coupled with an inventory of ready-to-occupy space and a massive labor force across two metro areas that is fueled by our state’s nationally regarded technical college and workforce development system, our five counties do represent one ideal opportunity.

We can only scratch the surface here about the diversity of the industries that already call the Corridor home, however, we were happy to see so many of the segments they belong to in the BLS database pegged as some of the fastest growing moving forward into a post-pandemic world.

For a more in-depth discussion, check out our online Economic Data Center or contact us at chris.finn@i77alliance.com or 803-789-3467.

Dig Deeper into the Numbers. Visit the Economic Data Center