Commerce Reports Extraordinary Recruitment Levels Through Third Quarter of 2008

October 20, 2008

On track for another record-breaking year, thousands of new jobs announced

COLUMBIA, SC– October 20, 2008 – The South Carolina Department of Commerce continued to set a record-breaking pace for job and capital investment recruitment through the third quarter of 2008. Commerce and local economic development entities have announced thousands of new jobs and billions in new capital investment so far this year, with investments from new and existing businesses going to urban and rural areas alike.

In 2007, the Department of Commerce and its allies had a record-breaking year for investment and job recruitment, bringing in $4.045 billion in capital investment and nearly 16,000 jobs. Last year followed a record-breaking year in 2006 and these jobs and investments announced in previous years continue to come online. Earlier this month, Google celebrated the grand opening of its $600 million data center in Berkeley County. That facility will employ 200 people. This year, Commerce is on pace to exceed its previous records. Through the third quarter of 2008, Commerce is over 30 percent ahead in capital investment recruitment and over 20 percent ahead in job recruitment when compared to the same period last year.

Commerce’s allies from across the state are also reporting record recruitment levels. The Greenville Area Development Corp. announced that it is “faring well” for the first half of the year, having announced “hundreds of jobs and millions in capital investment” headed to the Greenville area. Spartanburg County has also announced a banner year, touting efforts during the first six months of 2008 that have brought $851 million in capital investment and 1,181 new jobs to the county. The Greer Development Corp. announced that it eclipsed last year’s $45 million in capital investment recruitment by more than $12 million. Sixteen projects facilitated by the Greer Development Corp. represent an estimated $57.4 million in capital investment and will result in 360 new jobs. In addition, Florence County has witnessed record recruitment of jobs and capital investment. Recruitment efforts in Florence County so far this year have exceeded capital investment last year by more than $42 million and exceeded job recruitment by more than 1,000 jobs. To date, Commerce and Florence County have announced $135 million in capital investment and 1,152 new jobs.

Over the past two weeks alone, Commerce and its allies have made major announcements totaling more than $312 million in capital investments and over 300 permanent jobs plus an estimated over 500 construction jobs. Those recent announcements include: Rollcast Energy’s new facility in Newberry County, Olympic Steel’s groundbreaking in Sumter County, West Star Aviation’s new facility in Lexington County and FITESA’s new facility in Laurens County.
Looking at the state’s broader economic picture, the state Bureau of Economic Advisors has reported that individual withholding revenues are up 3.3 percent fiscal year to date.

“Despite what you hear about the state of the national economy, recruitment efforts at Commerce continue to be very strong. Our state budget situation should not be confused with the state of South Carolina’s economy. While revenue shortfalls exist, it is important to note that withholding tax collections are up indicating that more people are working and/or making more money. Furthermore, the foreclosure rates in South Carolina are among the lowest in the nation while our homeownership rates are among the highest in the nation,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce.

“Again this year, South Carolina has proven itself to be a preferred location to do business. Governor Sanford’s focus on improving business fundamentals in South Carolina is yielding positive returns. Efforts to make regulatory improvements like tort reform, workers’ comp reform and tax relief have made South Carolina’s business climate more attractive for new investment and have encouraged growth among our existing businesses. Looking ahead it is critical that the state continues to focus on furthering these efforts as well as looking to new measures that will increase our competitiveness. We need to finish workers’ comp and tort reform, look at real property tax reform, ensure that the Port of Charleston expansion moves forward and ensure reliable and affordable energy will be available for the future.”

Some highlights from the first three quarters of 2008 include the following announcements:

  • Lear Corporation will establish a new facility in Spartanburg County with plans to create 140 new jobs and invest $10.8 million.
  • Cummins Turbo Technologies announced an expansion in Charleston County with plans to create 100 new jobs and invest of $11 million.
  • Cross Country Home Services announced a new facility in Anderson County with plans to create 350 new jobs and invest $3 million.
  • H.J. Heinz announced an investment in Florence County with plans to create 350 new jobs.
  • Home Depot announced plans to add 300 jobs and invest $25 million in Lexington County.
  • Horsehead Corporation announced a new facility in Barnwell County with plans to create 65 new jobs and invest $87 million.
  • Master Precision Global announced a new facility in Spartanburg County with plans to create 120 new jobs and invest $7.25 million.
  • Target announced an expansion in Kershaw County with an investment of $73 million.
  • Urban Outfitters announced an expansion in Edgefield County with plans to add up to 100 new jobs.
  • URS Corporation’s Washington Division announced the opening of a new facility in Lancaster County with plans to create more than 400 new jobs.
  • Synnex Corp. announced it will expand its distribution and sales headquarters in Greenville County by 40,000 square feet and add 300 associates.
  • Shaw Industries announced the expansion of its Irmo facility investing $60 million with plans to create 350 new jobs.
  • BMW announced an expansion in Spartanburg County with plans to create 500 new jobs and invest $750 million.
  • Monster will invest $28 million and bring 750 jobs over five years to its new customer-service facility in Florence County.


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