The Laurens County Development Corporation (LCDC) celebrated a historic 2023 year in which President/CEO Jonathan Coleman and his team, Vice President Lynn Finley and Director of Marketing Whitney Lagrange, spearheaded a series of achievements that marked a turning point for the County.
At the heart of the annual meeting was the undisputable data presented by Coleman, showcasing the remarkable success of 2023 and the promising outlook for continued growth. Coleman highlighted several key achievements that underscored the county’s economic prosperity.
Record-breaking Investments and Job Creation
In a groundbreaking year, five companies collectively invested an impressive $648.6 million in Laurens County, resulting in the creation of 503 jobs. This set a new record for the county, with the highest investment commitments and the third-largest job count in Laurens County history. The substantial investments signal a strong vote of confidence from businesses looking to establish a presence in the thriving and growing area.
Requests for Information (RFIs) Surge
The year 2023 witnessed a record number of Requests for Information (RFIs), reaching an all-time high of 81. Out of these RFIs, 69 aligned with available properties in the county, with notable concentrations in Clinton, Laurens, Gray Court, and Fountain Inn. The growing interest in the region posed challenges related to infrastructure, particularly in the areas of electric and water supply—a concern not unique to Laurens County but shared by other communities across the state.
Jonathan Coleman emphasized this shared challenge, stating, “The capital investment and overall project size are increasing, bringing with it challenges in infrastructure. This is not just a local issue but something others are facing across the state.”
Job Creation, Capital Investment, and Wage Growth
The job creation in 2023, totaling 503, marked the third-highest figure in Laurens County’s history. The capital investment of $648.6 million was a record for the county and demonstrated a significant surge compared to the $307.4 million invested in 2021. Moreover, the average wage saw a steady increase, reaching $21.36, up from $20.62 in 2022.
Jonathan Coleman noted, “2023 was a banner year for LCDC and Laurens County, and the support of local businesses played a significant role in this success.”
Insights from ZF Transmissions
The meeting also featured insights from Tobias Brugger, VP and Plant Manager at ZF Transmissions in Gray Court. ZF Gray Court, the company’s largest U.S. location, employs 2,200 individuals and specializes in producing 8-speed and 9-speed automatic transmissions.
Brugger’s informative presentation highlighted ZF’s recent innovations, including the newly launched eMobility Reducer Gears and 8-speed PowerLine CVS. ZF’s major clients, including Honda, JLR, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Paccar, and Stellantis, underscored the company’s pivotal role in the automotive industry.
“The vision for ZF and the innovation they bring to the automotive industry has been and will continue to be a tremendous asset to Laurens County,” remarked Coleman, acknowledging the significance of ZF’s contributions to the region’s economic landscape.
As Laurens County reflects on the achievements of 2023, the LCDC remains optimistic about the future, building on the momentum gained and fostering an environment conducive to sustained economic growth and prosperity.
Images in the photo gallery below provided by Laurens County Buzz and LCDC.