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.

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.

$55 million investment will create 330 new jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein, today announced plans to reestablish operations in Richland County. The company’s total investment of $55 million over the next three to five years will create 330 jobs, including 160 positions associated with the company’s former operations.

Located at 1970 Bluff Road in Columbia, Tyson plans to transform the facility into a meat portioning and packing operation. The company will initially invest $42 million, and over the next three to five years, it plans to invest in additional improvements and production equipment, with a total investment of $55 million. The new operations will employ 330 people, more than double the number of team members who previously worked at the facility.

Operations are expected to begin in May 2021. Individuals interested in joining the Tyson Foods, Inc. team should visit the company’s careers website for more information.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a $500,000 Set-Aside grant for costs related to this project.

 QUOTES

“We’re pleased to bring operations back to Columbia and are very grateful for the strong state and local support we’ve received for this project. Once operational, this new facility will help us meet growing demand from our retail customers with high-quality, pre-cut, pre-packaged fresh beef and pork.” -Tyson Fresh Meats (the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods) Senior Vice President and General Manager, Portioned Protein Innovation Team, Nate Hodne 

“Tyson Foods’ $55 million investment, and the 330 jobs that will result from it, will help continue South Carolina’s tremendous economic growth. We look forward to continuing our state’s fruitful partnership with Tyson and to their continued commitment to South Carolina and our people.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“When a company decides to invest in South Carolina, it speaks volumes about our business environment and workforce. I am excited to see what the future has in store for Tyson Foods and their revamped operations in Richland County.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“Tyson Foods, Inc.’s reinvestment in the Columbia plant highlights South Carolina’s strategic and geographic importance to agribusiness. As we continue to grow the agribusiness industry in the Palmetto State, we’re happy to have Tyson as our partner.” -Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers

“County council is delighted to welcome Tyson Foods back to Richland County this year. The 330 jobs created by their new operations will be crucially important to residents in our community, especially in the face of the national economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” -Richland County Council Chairman Paul Livingston

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Tyson Foods, Inc. is reestablishing operations in Richland County.
  • The company’s $55 million total investment over the next three to five years will create 330 jobs.
  • Tyson Foods, Inc. is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein.
  • Located at 1970 Bluff Road in Columbia, S.C.

Individuals interested in joining the Tyson Foods, Inc. team should visit the company’s careers website 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. 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 $7.1 million investment will create 43 new jobs

FORT MILL, S.C. Studio Displays, Inc., a custom exhibit manufacturer, today announced plans to establish operations in Lancaster County. The more than $7.1 million investment will create 43 new jobs.

Founded in 1980, Studio Displays, Inc. is a design company that specializes in the production and management of tradeshow displays, interior casework, museum exhibits and other custom events.

Located at 9081 Northfield Drive in Indian Land, Studio Displays, Inc.’s new 82,000-square-foot facility will increase the company’s capacity with innovative equipment and technology for future projects. 

The expansion is expected to be completed by October 2021. Individuals interested in joining the Studio Displays, Inc. team should visit the company’s contact page.

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

 QUOTES

“It has been wonderful working with the Lancaster County and South Carolina economic development teams to make this move. I honestly don’t know that this venture would have been possible without their support. Consolidating our operation into one facility is critical to our success and profitability in the future. I personally want to thank Jamie Gilbert with Lancaster County as he has guided me through the process and has been our advocate from the beginning. We are looking forward to growing within our community and the state of South Carolina.” -Studio Displays, Inc. President Lori Pope Rosso

“Studio Display’s decision to establish operations in South Carolina is proof that our pro-business climate attracts companies nationwide. We look forward to them finding success in South Carolina and becoming a staple of the Lancaster County community for years to come.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“Congratulations to Studio Displays, Inc. for selecting South Carolina for their newest facility. I look forward to watching them succeed in Lancaster County and the Palmetto State for many years to come.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“It’s another golden day in Lancaster County as we welcome Studio Displays, Inc. to our community! We couldn’t be more excited to have this strong, high-energy, well-respected and family-owned manufacturer expand to Indian Land. For over 40 years, Studio Displays, Inc. has been making exceptional exhibit space that brings to life businesses and history. Their fine tradition continues now in Lancaster County.” -Lancaster County Department of Economic Development Executive Director Jamie Gilbert

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Studio Displays, Inc. is establishing operations in Lancaster County.
  • The more than $7.1 million investment will create 43 new jobs.
  • Studio Displays, Inc. is an exhibit designer and producer for tradeshows, museums and interiors.
  • Located at 9081 Northfield Drive in Indian Land, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the Studio Displays, Inc. 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. 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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Expansion will create approximately 15 new jobs over the next three years

FORT MILL, S.C. Basware, a Finland-based e-invoicing solutions provider for enterprises, today announced plans to expand the company’s North American headquarters in Lancaster County. The expansion will create approximately 15 new jobs over the next three years.

Founded in 1985, Basware is a procure-to-pay and e-invoicing solutions provider that has a presence in 14 countries worldwide.

The Basware North American headquarters, located at 1245 Rosemont Drive in Indian Land, will expand operations to increase the company’s capacity to meet growing demand. 

The expansion is expected to be completed in 2023. Individuals interested in joining the Basware team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

 QUOTES

“Basware is pleased to extend our partnership with Lancaster County at our Indian Land, S.C. location for an additional term. Our commitment to the region and the growth potential in this location are some of the many reasons we’ve chosen to remain in South Carolina. The ability to attract talent from both the Charlotte Metro and South Carolina regions is key to our success as we look toward the future expansion potential for Basware.” -Basware National Director of Human Resources Susan Gardner

“We’re proud of our existing industries in the Palmetto State, and Basware is a great example of Team South Carolina’s strength. Congratulations to Lancaster County on this wonderful announcement, and we look forward to what the future has in store for this great company.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“Today, we celebrate another win for Team South Carolina as Basware expands its operations in Lancaster County. This announcement is further testament that South Carolina is a business-friendly state where companies can grow.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“Basware is one of Lancaster County’s premier corporations. Their fintech solutions that enable organizations to fully manage their spend, mitigate financial risk and reduce the cost of operations is impressive and shows how attractive the Indian Land area is for supporting corporations that are changing the way in which companies automate their processes. We are very excited that they have committed to remaining in Indian Land and expanding the operations.” -Lancaster County Department of Economic Development Executive Director Jamie Gilbert

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Basware is expanding North American headquarters in Lancaster County.
  • The company’s expansion will create approximately 15 new jobs over the next three years.
  • Basware is a procure-to-pay and e-invoicing solutions provider for enterprises.
  • Located at 1245 Rosemont Drive in Indian Land, S.C.

Individuals interested in joining the Basware 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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More than $6 million investment will create over 200 new jobs in the first year

ROCK HILL, S.C. Scentsy, a scented product distributor, today announced plans to establish operations in York County. The more than $6 million investment will create over 200 new jobs in the first year.

Founded in 2004, Scentsy distributes scented products such as wickless candle warmers, aromatic diffusers, all-natural oils and other fragrance-related products.

Located at 2104 Williams Industrial Boulevard in Rock Hill, Scentsy’s new location will increase the company’s storage and distribution capacity to meet growing demand.

The new location is expected to be operational by midsummer 2021. Individuals interested in joining the Scentsy team should visit the company’s careers website for more information.

QUOTES

“Scentsy is thrilled to open up a new distribution center in Rock Hill, South Carolina. We believe that all of our consultants, employees and customers are part of the Scentsy family, and we are so excited to add this community to our family. We have felt so welcomed by the community already as we have prepared for this facility’s opening, and we’re looking forward to being operational this summer.” -Scentsy President Dan Orchard

“We welcome Scentsy to South Carolina and celebrate the company’s decision to invest and create more than 200 new jobs in York County. Today’s announcement is another indication that we are doing the right things to attract job-creating investments to the Palmetto State.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“South Carolina is an ideal location for companies that depend on the ability to move products efficiently. With this new investment, Scentsy will have access to our state’s business-friendly resources and workforce. We look forward to seeing what’s in store for this great company and all they will do in the state.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“On behalf of York County Council, we are pleased to see these new jobs and investment being added by Scentsy in our area. Their decision is another example why York County is the location companies choose to locate to achieve their goals and serve the growing Southeast marketplace.” -York County Council Chairwoman Christi Cox

“Rock Hill welcomes Scentsy to our community. The fact that growing businesses choose Rock Hill is a testament to our infrastructure investments, quality of life and economic stability – even in the face of a pandemic. These additional job opportunities are a win for Rock Hill’s residents.” -Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Scentsy is establishing operations in York County.
  • The more than $6 million investment will create over 200 new jobs in the first year.
  • Scentsy is a scented product distributor.
  • Located at 2104 Williams Industrial Boulevard, Rock Hill, S.C.

Individuals interested in joining the Scentsy team should visit the company’s careers website 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. 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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$2 million investment will create 60 new jobs

RIDGEWAY, S.C. –  QuaLex Manufacturing, LLC, a sheet metal fabrication company, today announced plans to expand operations in Fairfield County. The $2 million investment will create 60 new jobs.

Founded in 1995, QuaLex Manufacturing, LLC manufactures and distributes sheet metal products. The company employs metal-working experts in stainless, aluminum, galvanized and raw steel and offers high-strength welding and fabrication. 

Located at 30 Commerce Boulevard in Ridgeway, QuaLex Manufacturing, LLC’s expansion will increase the company’s sheet metal operations for air conditioning clients.

The expansion is expected to be completed by August 2021. Individuals interested in joining the QuaLex Manufacturing, LLC team should call 803-233-7001.

QUOTES

“QuaLex Manufacturing, LLC is proud to be a member of the Fairfield County community. Our goal is to supply our customers with quality parts with 100% on-time delivery. We strive to create a stress-free work environment for our team members. We are excited by our continuing growth.” –QuaLex Manufacturing, LLC Operations Manager Pam Nemastil

“It is always great to see a company succeed in our state and decide to expand. QuaLex Manufacturing, LLC’s decision to invest $2 million and create 60 new jobs is great news for the Fairfield County community and the hardworking people who live there.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

“South Carolina’s world-class workforce and pro-business environment continue to promote the growth of businesses in all corners of our state, and today we celebrate QuaLex Manufacturing, LLC’s decision to expand their operations in Fairfield County.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“Fairfield County continues to attract outstanding companies like QuaLex Manufacturing, LLC. We are thrilled with the decision to grow their business in our community and are confident that our labor and strategic location will help them continue to succeed.” –Fairfield County Council Chairman Moses Bell

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • QuaLex Manufacturing, LLC is expanding operations in Fairfield County.
  • The $2 million investment will create 60 new jobs.
  • QuaLex Manufacturing, LLC is a sheet metal fabrication company.
  • Located at 30 Commerce Boulevard in Ridgeway, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the QuaLex Manufacturing, LLC team should call 803-233-7001. 

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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$13 million investment will create 50 new jobs

ROCK HILL, S.C. 3D Systems, a global additive manufacturing solutions company, today announced plans to expand operations in York County. The $13 million investment will create 50 new jobs.

Founded in 1986, 3D Systems brought the innovation of three-dimensional (3D) printing to the manufacturing industry through the invention of Stereolithography. The company provides additive manufacturing solutions comprising 3D printers, materials, software and services that empower customers to create products and business models. 3D Systems’ solutions address a variety of advanced applications in healthcare and industrial markets such as medical and dental, aerospace and defense and automotive and durable goods.

Located at 333 Three D Systems Circle in Rock Hill, 3D Systems’ expansion will include a 100,000-square-foot facility that will increase the company’s manufacturing capabilities.

The expansion is expected to be completed in early 2022. Individuals interested in joining the 3D Systems team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

 QUOTES

“We’re excited to expand 3D Systems’ presence here at our headquarters in York County. We look forward to enhancing our facilities and growing our workforce to not only accelerate our innovation but to contribute to the economic development of Rock Hill and South Carolina.” -3D Systems President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Graves

“3D Systems’ continued investment in South Carolina speaks to the strength of our workforce and our dynamic business climate. We applaud their decision to invest $13 million and create 50 new jobs in York County.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“Manufacturing growth continues to be a substantial piece of South Carolina’s economic development strategy. We are thrilled to welcome this continued investment by 3D Systems in York County and look forward to seeing what the future has in store for this great company.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“We are thrilled to see this long-standing industry leader continue to grow and evolve their advanced manufacturing operations. We are thankful to have 3D Systems in our community, not only providing quality jobs, but showcasing York County’s strong manufacturing presence. This is great news for our county and our state. We look forward to watching them succeed.” -York County Council Chairwoman Christi Cox

“The expansion of 3D Systems further emphasizes that Rock Hill fosters an atmosphere in which businesses can thrive. We strive to build business relationships that lead to success for the community as a whole, offering more opportunities to our citizens. 3D Systems is on the cutting edge of technology, and we are proud they call Rock Hill home.” -Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • 3D Systems is expanding operations in York County.
  • The $13 million investment will create 50 new jobs.
  • 3D Systems is a global additive manufacturing solutions company.
  • Located at 333 Three D Systems Circle in Rock Hill, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the 3D Systems 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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The year just past turned out to be quite a success for industrial recruiting in the five counties comprising the South Carolina I-77 Alliance and sets the stage for more to come during 2021.

Despite the pandemic, 2020 ended up yielding a string of notable announcements – 19 in all, including 12 from firms new to the area and seven expansions – that represent a commitment of $1.2 billion in capital investment and 2,580 new jobs.

A few highlights include the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and electric vehicle manufacturer ARRIVAL setting up shop in York County, Continental Tire expanding their Lancaster County headquarters for North American manufacturing operations, and Mark Anthony Brewing (White Claw and Mike’s Hard Lemonade) building a new production facility in Richland County. There’s many more and they’re in multiple industries, adding to the diversity of enterprises coming here.

Decisions Must Be Made: The Corridor Is a Great Choice

Our industrial prospecting work has continued through the pandemic via virtual platforms and we expect to continue that way for the immediate future until the Alliance and our county representatives are allowed to go back on the road later this year to meet company leaders in person.

In the meantime, we’re very optimistic about the economic development prospects for the corridor now and going forward. We’re going to continue to get in front of as many decision-makers as we can because we know they’re still making critical decisions about where to put down new stakes or expand their current operations.

Some industry segments will be doing that more than others, of course, as they go through their own cycles, however, there are always firms that have to decide now what and where to invest, and all those reasons to do that right here in the Corridor are good ones.

On a final note, we want to close by saying thanks to Rich Fletcher, our founding president and CEO, and wishing him the best of luck in his new role as CEO of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. Rich leaves behind an organization solidly positioned to help its stakeholders continue to build on the growing progress of the past few years.

$55 million investment will create 40 new jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. (SETi), a global leading supplier of ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV LEDs), today announced plans to expand operations in Richland County. The $55 million investment will create 40 new jobs.

Founded in 1999, SETi manufactures and sells UV LED products for applications in curing, sterilization, sensors, biomedical devices and home appliances. Over the last 20 years, SETi’s technology has evolved through continuous investment in the development of UV LEDs in the 200 nanometer (nm) to 400 nm range. Currently, the company’s UV LED products are being incorporated into HVAC units to disinfect the air and reduce allergens. The technology has been adopted by the company RGF in the United States and other HVAC manufacturers around the world. Through this application and others, SETi aims to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Located at 110 Atlas Court in Columbia, SETi’s expansion will be implemented in multiple phases. The first phase is in progress and will increase SETi’s production capacity tenfold, along with supporting the company’s near-term growth strategy. The second phase of expansion will upgrade the facility to include a much larger, automated cleanroom with state-of-the-art semiconductor equipment and will allow for continued capacity build-out.

The full expansion is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2022. Individuals interested in joining the SETi team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development awarded Richland County a $250,000 Set-Aside grant for costs related to the project.

QUOTES

“We are excited to celebrate the successes, innovations and developments that have afforded us an opportunity to expand our operations in Columbia, South Carolina. SETi would not be a world leader in the UV LED industry without the hard work and dedication of our employees. We look forward to expanding our talented team and are very optimistic about our future in South Carolina.” -SETi CEO Chae Kim

“We work every day not only to recruit new businesses to South Carolina, but to also take care of our existing companies like SETi. Richland County and our entire state have a real reason to celebrate today, as SETi’s growth and investment provide more opportunities for South Carolinians.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“It is always great to see a company like SETi build on its success in South Carolina. Announcements like this showcase the diversity of our business climate, and we couldn’t be happier for this company and their growth.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“County council is excited to see Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. investing in our community and adding new jobs after being an employer here since the early 2000s. Their growth demonstrates how businesses can succeed here in Richland County.” -Richland County Council Chair Paul Livingston

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. (SETi) is expanding operations in Richland County.
  • The $55 million investment will create 40 new jobs.
  • SETi is a world leading supplier of ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV LEDs).
  • Located at 110 Atlas Court in Columbia, S.C.

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

History is repeating itself as a leading-edge automotive manufacturer plans to start up its first U.S. electric vehicle (EV) production facility in York County.

Arrival plans to begin producing electric buses in 2021 in a 193,000-square-foot spec building, the second announcement at the Legacy Park East industrial park in Rock Hill.

The U.K.-based company is investing $46 million in the site, which will create 240 jobs and help Arrival execute on its plan to become a leading provider of emissions-free commercial trucks and buses.

After a regional search, the company landed on York County as the home for its “microfactory,” which will use innovative cell-based assembly methods rather than the traditional production line.

The microfactory concept is considered key to Arrival’s plan to accelerate mass adoption of zero-emission EVs by lowering costs and enabling the company to easily switch production among the vehicles in its portfolio.

A Ready Workforce and History of Innovation and Adaptation

A century earlier, the Anderson, a luxury automobile with some first-ever features like headlight foot dimmers and powered convertible tops, was produced in Rock Hill from 1916 to 1925.

Just as that early automotive innovator did, Arrival is relying on a skilled, ready workforce as it prepares to start operations in the second quarter of 2021 and production by the end of the year.

The proven experience of the readySC workforce-training program, presence of regional technical colleges and universities, as well as an attractive quality of life that draws thousands of new workers to the region each year, combined to ensure the availability of a committed, skilled workforce ready to take on this new way of manufacturing.

In fact, the region’s deep history in textiles and successful transition to diverse advanced materials manufacturing and distribution played a key role in Arrival’s decision to locate here. As did the cooperation of local economic development and government agencies in providing incentives to ensure the project could launch on sound financial footing.

Other factors included the availability of several industrial buildings, the proximity of Charlotte Douglas International Airport and uptown Charlotte, and South Carolina’s strength in the transportation equipment sector.

Working Together to Help Each Business Thrive

The company’s vertically integrated approach will use in-house developed components, materials and software while sourcing materials from surrounding regions through a localized supply chain.

Arrival is not alone. Manufacturers in multiple industries are also finding York County and the I-77 corridor an ideal setting to put in motion their unique visions of how to thrive in a challenging new global environment that calls for innovation, agility and efficiency.

Along with suppliers, local partners are essential to that success.  Arrival’s “arrival” on the scene here on the I-77 corridor builds on the impressive record that our public and private stakeholders are building – creating a setting for success for innovators like Arrival.

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