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Greenville Business Magazine

Victories Continue for Team Upstate Region Saw $1.9 Billion of Capital Investment & 6,202 New Jobs in 2017

Apr 06, 2018 03:18PM ● By Makayla Gay

By John Lummus

President & CEO, Upstate SC Alliance

    Spartanburg automotive supplier AWL-Techniek invested $2.53 million in a 33,000-square-foot facility last year after finding a welcoming workspace at the Spartanburg Community College Spark Center SC and in partnership with the Spartanburg Economic Futures Group.

In Greenville, aerospace heat treat company Solar Atmospheres continued to create jobs at the $15 million, 54,000-square-foot facility it established in 2014 with help from Greenville Area Development Corp. The Boeing supplier has successfully worked with community partners to find talented graduates of Greenville Technical College programs and connect them with career opportunities.

As last month drew to a close, we shared these stories at the Upstate SC Alliance Annual Meeting, where we also announced that 2017 saw $1.9 billion in capital investment and 6,202 new jobs.

Five-year cumulative investment in the region has reached $10.35 billion in capital investment and creation of 27,967 new jobs.

Economic growth of that magnitude is only achieved through collaboration, and our ability to work together is one of our key selling points when speaking with companies considering doing business in the Upstate.

Take, for example, the Clemson Vehicle Assembly Center announced in February. An asset for our region as BMW grows and while students train in an environment that mirrors the real world, that resource unites major industries in BMW Manufacturing Co. and Siemens with Clemson University and Greenville Technical College.

The fact that students from multiple institutions and studying at different levels will work side by side at Center for Manufacturing to apply automotive engineering and production skills is a first-of-its-kind practice. And the industry has taken notice.

Collocated educational facilities at the Oconee Industry & Technology Park are another example of our region’s partner approach to workforce challenges. In July 2017, Tri-County Technical College broke ground on its Oconee Campus, located in the Westminster industrial park across from Baxter Enterprises. The 37,000-square-foot campus will support manufacturing through CNC Programming and Operations, Manufacturing Management and Leadership, and more.

The Upstate Corporate Park, which spans Spartanburg and Cherokee counties, is yet another example of our region’s partners coming together. The 500-acre park within one mile of Interstate 85 near Cowpens provides businesses with a strategic location between major Southeast markets while qualifying for the maximum of competitive incentives.

The park drew a $104.4 million investment from Dollar Tree in 2015, when the company established a 1.5 million-square-foot facility there.

Each of these stories is one sample of the many ways our region’s public- and private-sector companies work together every day to meet challenges with solutions.

Each one shows how, together, our institutions connect students with their futures.

Or how, together, our utility, real estate, and engineering partners make way for tomorrow’s investments.

Together, we can carve opportunity paths for both today and tomorrow.

Together, our 10-county region is greater than the sum of its parts.

Working together as a team, Upstate leaders and businesses create a region where dreams are made. And we’re just getting started.