Kershaw County Economic Development Office | 80 Campus Dr. | P.O. Box 763 Camden, SC 29021 | Tel: 803-425-7685 | Fax: 803-425-7687 |

2016 Area Development Magazine Gold & Silver Shovel Awards

July 8, 2016

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine
Mark Crawford, Contributing Editor

South Carolina - 3+ to 5 Million Population Category

Employment grew 3.3 percent in South Carolina in 2015, thanks to increased output from key industry sectors, especially aviation and automotive. Both Volvo Car Group and Mercedes-Benz Vans plan to build $500 million manufacturing operations in the Charleston area that combined will employ nearly 3,800 workers.

This also means that many of the more than 200 automotive suppliers in the state are in growth mode. For example, Schaeffler Group USA is investing $166.8 million to expand its ball and roller bearings manufacturing plants in Chesterfield, Spartanburg, and York counties, eventually hiring 443 workers. Akebono Brake Corporation is expanding its existing Lexington County operations, investing more than $40 million in the project, which will create 100 new jobs in West Columbia, Lexington County.

Thanks to its interstates, rail systems, and the Port of Charleston, the second-largest container port on the U.S. Atlantic Coast, South Carolina is a preferred location for distribution and logistics operations. Target, Walgreens, Dollar General, Wal-Mart, and QVC all have distribution systems in South Carolina. Recent announcements include Rite Aid Corporation in Spartanburg ($90 million, 600 workers) and Dollar Tree's plans to build a $104.4 million distribution facility near Spartanburg that will hire 400 workers over the next five years.

"Dollar Tree has been extremely impressed with the South Carolina transportation infrastructure that will support our new distribution center," states Dollar Tree Chief Logistics Officer Stephen W. White. "The current Interstate 85 widening project and the efficiencies associated with the Greer Inland Port were instrumental in our site selection proecess."

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"When Suominen was choosing where to locate in 2011, there were three sites we were looking at and one factor was the cost of doing business and the business-friendly environment in Kershaw County. The Kershaw County Economic Development Office went out of their way to work with our management team working as an intermediary with the state; providing a fast turnaround and a clear desire to want us to come their community. In 2015, Suominen expanded our Kershaw County operation by adding 25 new jobs and $55.5 million in capital investment. "
-- Darryl Fournier, Plant Manager for Suominen Nonwovens