GADC Touts Strong Job Growth And Capital Investment
May 09, 2018 04:22PM
● By Kathleen Maris
Photo: John Sandfort of Honeywell Aerospace accepting the 2018 Chairman's Award from GADC Chair Debbie Nelson.
The Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC), charged with promoting and enhancing quality of life in Greenville County by facilitating job growth and investment, announced continuing strong job creation and capital investment for 2017-18 at its Annual Meeting on May 9, 2018.
GADC President and CEO Mark Farris and Board Chairman Debbie Nelson greeted the full house of elected officials, economic development leaders, and business executives attending the luncheon at The Westin Poinsett in downtown Greenville.
Michelin North America Chairman & President Scott Clark served as keynote speaker for the event, saluting the historical job and investment producing accomplishments of the GADC and its partners in economic development. Clark reviewed Michelin’s growth and commitment to South Carolina and Greenville County, and emphasized the importance of continuing to cultivate a business-friendly state at all levels. He stressed the continuing importance of workforce development initiatives and working together, along with improving infrastructure, as key to continuing the county’s state’s momentum and growth.
In reporting to the standing-room-only gathering, Farris noted that in 2017, the GADC worked with 21 relocating and existing companies to add 1,789 new jobs and attract new capital investment of $335.9 million. Wages for the new jobs are expected to pay significantly above existing county averages, Farris noted. Since its inception in mid-2001, the GADC has announced in excess of 23,000 new jobs and more than $4 billion in capital investment in Greenville County for projects they have managed.
Nelson presented the Chairman’s Award to John Sandfort, senior director of campus operations for HoneywellAerospace, for its significant impact on and contributions to the economic betterment and growth of Greenville County. Located in Greer and a member of the county’s business community for 35 years, Honeywell Aerospace has more than 280 employees in Greenville County and has invested in excess of $95 million in its local operations. A hub for aerospace manufacturing serving commercial, military, and government customers, Honeywell Aerospace produces aviation engine components, special advanced coating processes, and other aviation services to its customers. The Fortune 100 organization is investing more than $20 million over the next three years to further enhance turbine engine reliability, fuel economy, and customer operating costs.
Also recognized for their contributions were outgoing GADC board members Tim Justice, Angel King, and Dick Wilkerson. Farris acknowledged their contributions and leadership in helping Greenville County continue its positive growth and momentum in an “ever-more-competitive and challenging economic environment,” while lauding the departing board members for their “tireless commitment, strategic insights, and willingness to commit time and talent to help build better jobs and brighter futures in Greenville County.”
In other comments, Nelson noted that private sector support of the organization remains at an all-time high, thanking attendees from more than 130 investor organizations now contributing to the GADC’s success for their support.
“Without all of our investor companies, the Greenville Area Development Corporation’s ability to produce such great returns for the people of Greenville County – in quality jobs, increasing tax revenues and a robust and vital economy – would be severely restricted,” said Nelson. “Every penny our investors provide goes to our marketing budget, and every penny you invest is working hard and producing quality jobs and a bright future for our community.”