Advanced Materials*

Across our five counties, approximately 270 establishments in the Advanced Materials cluster employ more than 12,100 workers.

* Includes primary manufacturers of advanced materials, downstream manufacturers, and supply chain. For a complete list of sectors, please review the Advanced Materials Target Industry Overview brochure.

Target Industry Workforce Metrics

Our five-county region draws workers from two labor sheds. York, Chester, and Lancaster County employers primarily source workers within the "Northern Labor Shed" while Fairfield and Richland County employers primarily source workers from the "Southern Labor Shed". Please see our 2018 Workforce Study to learn more about these geographies.

Jobs in Industry (2018)
Average Annual Earnings (I-77 Region, 2018)
Industry Job Growth (2010-2018)

* Labor sheds contain overlapping geographies and cannot be summed.

South Carolina and I-77 Region Advantages

  • Average annual earnings for this cluster in the I-77 region and South Carolina are 3% and 12% below the US rate, respectively (2018)
  • From 2013 to 2018, Chester County’s economy added 1,220 new jobs in primary, non-supply chain, sectors of this cluster. The most of any South Carolina county during this period
  • $4.3 billion capital investment announced by advanced materials firms from 2011-2018 in South Carolina
  • Significant research facilities invested in polymer and advanced composites technology
  • State-of-the-art workforce training facilities
  • In 2018, twenty-six institutions of higher education across South Carolina and nearby North Carolina counties awarded over 1,700 degrees in fields related to the fifteen occupations with highest projected demand in the Advanced Materials cluster

Advanced Materials Brochure

Existing Advanced Materials Cluster Employers

Company Location
Carolina PolyChester, SC
Sun Fiber, LLCRichburg, SC
Giti Tire USARichburg, SC
Mekra Lang N.A., LLCRidgeway, SC
Akzo Nobel Coatings, Inc.Lancaster, SC
Accutrex Products, Inc.Lancaster, SC
Company Location
Composite Resources, Inc.Rock Hill, SC
Composites OneFort Mill, SC
3D Systems Corp.Rock Hill, SC
Amcor Rigid Plastics USA, LLCBlythewood, SC
Intertape Polymer Corp.Blythewood, SC
Shakespeare Company, LLCColumbia, SC

Recent Expansion or Relocation Announcements

Announced Company Sector County Pledged Investment Pledged Jobs
2019 Miwon Specialty Chemical Co., USA Coatings & curing systems Richland $19,500,000 25
2018 ShayoNano USA, Inc. Nanomaterials Chester $14,700,000 40
2018 Owens Corning Non-woven materials & composites Richland $13,600,000 16
2017 China Hengshi Foundation Company Fiberglass fabrics Richland $11,100,000 48
2017 Next Gen Alloys (ATI & GE) Materials R&D Chester $28,800,000 29

Skilled Talent
Research + Innovation + Workforce Training Resources

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $600,000 over three years to establish the PNMP
  • A joint effort of the University of South Carolina (USC) and polymer manufacturing companies located in or near South Carolina
  • Research team has developed unique capabilities for synthesizing polymer nanocomposites containing custom-made, synthetic platelet materials
  • Aims to foster innovation in polymer manufacturing through basic research
  • Strives for joint University/industry development of polymer nanocomposite technology for near-term commercialization
  • Implements workforce development through student involvement in research, cross-disciplinary education, and industrial internships
  • USC’s investment in chemical research and development is one of the highest in the nation ranking 14th nationally
  • USC is one of just three schools in the southeast, public or private, to rank in the top 15
  • USC’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been consistently listed as one of the top 30 programs in the U.S., based on Ph.D. productivity, by the American Chemical Society
  • State-of-the-Art corporate and custom training for the most cutting edge technology available, including courses in Operation and Programming, Electrical Maintenance and Mechanical Maintenance
  • Offers Okuma distributors and customers hands-on training in machining practices using Okuma machines and tools
  • Students come from around the world to learn from industry-lead teams including General Motors, John Deere, Harley-Davidson, and many more
  • State-of-the-art, 111,000 square foot research laboratory facility that houses internationally recognized research programs in optoelectronics, chemistry and materials science
  • Internationally recognized for its work in advanced fibers, films, ceramics, plastics, optics, composites and nanomaterials
  • The National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense and NASA have all recognized the laboratory’s work and have offered funding to fuel future innovation
  • Scholars and entrepreneurs with expertise in natural and synthetic polymer-based advanced fibrous materials, with applications in the automotive, space, athletic equipment and medical markets
  • Develops advanced synthetic polymers and enhances natural fibrous materials, including wool, cotton and silk
  • Research unit of the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University which is uniquely positioned to support the research, workforce development and outreach needs of the industry
  • Conducts applied research in wide-ranging areas including organic LEDs, specialty optical fiber, light-emitting plastics, glasses and crystals
  • Focuses on application-specific synthesis, characterization and integration of optical materials and optoelectronic structures
  • Created to capitalize on the synergies that exist between the graphic communications and the packaging science departments
  • Only university program in the country with this multidisciplinary approach to packaging as a core competency
  • Houses the only research and development center of its kind in the nation

Dig Deeper into the Numbers. Visit the Economic Data Center