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Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: More Jobs

Dec 09, 2022 01:09PM ● By David Dykes

Kontrolmatik Technologies Establishing Operations In Colleton County

Kontrolmatik Technologies, via its subsidiary Pomega Energy Storage Technologies, announced plans to build a 3 gigawatt-hour (GWh) capacity lithium-ion battery factory in Colleton County.

The company’s $279 million investment will create approximately 575 jobs, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

Founded by Kontrolmatik Technologies in 2022, Pomega Energy Storage Technologies is a manufacturer and integrator of battery energy storage systems (BESS). BESS can be paired with renewable energy installations or can serve as standalone systems to support existing energy grids.

BESS offers a variety of existing grid support functions including increasing grid efficiency, providing grid stabilization, lowering the cost of electricity to consumers or supplying backup power during outages. 

Located in the Colleton Industrial Campus, near Walterboro, Pomega Energy Storage Technologies’ new facility will not only manufacture lithium-ion battery cells, but will also produce the modules and other elements of the company’s containerized energy storage solutions, Commerce officials said.

The factory’s 3GWh capacity will exclusively target the grid-scale energy storage market.

Operations are expected to begin in 2024. Those interested in joining Pomega Energy Storage Technologies should go to the company’s website

The state’s Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to the project.

Gov. McMaster, DEW Executive Director Ellzey Announce Ellzey’s Upcoming Retirement

At a statehouse news conference Thursday Dec. 8, 2022, Gov. Henry McMaster announced the upcoming retirement of S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) Executive Director Dan Ellzey.

Ellzey, who has led the agency since April of 2019, will resign Feb. 28, 2023.

“Director Ellzey has been a crucial part of the team that helped South Carolina successfully navigate the unprecedented economic challenges caused by the pandemic, and come out stronger on the other side,” McMaster said.

“His innovative leadership has been an important part of the economic success we continue to experience – working to match employers with employees and training South Carolinians so they can take advantage of the plentiful opportunities available in our great state. His leadership will be missed, but he’s leaving a strong agency, with an impressive track record.” 

“I will retire in February with a deep appreciation and knowledge of the important role public servants play in strengthening our labor force,” Ellzey said. “The Department of Employment and Workforce professional services are not just helpful, but are critical to the health of the state’s economy.

"We saw this during the height of the pandemic when unemployment insurance claims rose to an all-time high as our agency administered unemployment insurance benefits. We see this now when our focus is on connecting businesses with the right workers and encouraging more people to join the labor force. I am proud to leave the agency at a time when the number of employed individuals is higher than it was pre-pandemic and our state is making great strides.”

Prior to working at DEW, Ellzey was a partner in Fisher Phillips’ Columbia law office specializing in labor law. He was appointed to lead the agency in the spring of 2019 by Gov. McMaster.

During his tenure, Ellzey oversaw countless projects, including the Workforce Reemployment Assistance Program and Enhanced Referrals that helped unemployed individuals connect with employers and find work faster; created personalized employment plans for South Carolina businesses struggling to hire and upskill employees; developed the Labor Force Participation Rate Task Force; and co-launched Workforce Development Month in the state in September.

According to state law, the next executive director will be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the South Carolina Senate from a group of three nominees found qualified to serve by the DEW Review Committee.

USPTO China IP Road Show coming December 15

9am - 4:30pm

Greenville Technical College (Barton Campus) Student Success Center

506 Pleasantburg Dr., Greenville, SC

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s China Intellectual Property (IP) Road Show comes to Greenville, South Carolina, with a free one-day program bringing together experts from the U.S. government, academics, IP attorneys, and local business people to share insights on China and IP issues that will benefit U.S. IP rights holders. Join us to hear from these experts about how to protect and enforce your IP rights in China and the United States. To register CLICK HERE.

Augusta-Based Virgo Gambill Architects Merges With McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture

McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture announced that Virgo Gambill Architects became part of McMillan Pazdan Smith (MPS) effective Dec. 7, 2022.

Terms weren’t disclosed.

The acquisition makes the eighth Southeast office and second in Georgia for McMillan Pazdan Smith, a regional, studio-based architecture, planning, and advisory services firm headquartered in South Carolina.

Virgo Gambill Architects has served the Augusta, Evans, North Augusta, Aiken and surrounding communities since 1984.

Notable portfolio work includes the Augusta - Richmond County Municipal Building, Augusta Back, Wheeless Road Elementary School and the Augusta Technical College Columbia County Campus.

Officials said integration of Virgo Gambill into McMillan Pazdan Smith further bolsters MPS’ existing ties to many of the communities and clients in the area, while expanding its regional practice supporting health care, higher education, K-12, commercial, mixed-use, industrial development and government, civic and community spaces. 

“We plan to invest in the VGA team, and will add resources, design depth, and new architectural services for the region’s institutional, public, and private-sector clients,” said Chad Cousins, McMillan Pazdan Smith CEO.

Since 1955, McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture has served the Southeast through a collaborative approach built on purposeful design excellence, genuine client relationships and earned community trust.

Second Annual Children’s Business Fair Set for Sunday in Mauldin

Many entrepreneurs say they got their start early in life — perhaps with a lemonade stand or another small business.

This weekend, Greenville area residents can help support approximately 50 young people who will start marketing their products and ideas at the second annual Children’s Business Fair, set for 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Vedic Center, 520 Bethel Drive, in Mauldin.

Organized by volunteers from the Kannada Association of Greenville and the Vedic Center, the event allows kids to develop a brand, devise a strategy and open for customers in a one-day marketplace.

“The first discovery for a young entrepreneur is the joy of making something with his or her own hands, the joy of creating. We want to create such opportunities for our kids and help them discover their potential through this journey of entrepreneurship,” said Shivakumar Basavanahally, Ph.D., president of the association.

“Whether an entrepreneur is famous like Elon Musk or Oprah Winfrey or they are one of thousands of unsung business owners across this country, these are the people who make sacrifices to innovate, create jobs and serve their communities.”

The event is sponsored by Acton Academy, Blue Space and Next Great Adventure.

Currently participating in the New Mexico Lab-Embedded Entrepreneur Program (LEEP), Srikanth Kodeboyina, managing partner of Blue Space and a recipient of the South Carolina Minority Small Businessperson of the Year Award, said, “I certainly would not be where I am today without so many people who have who have believed in me and in what I am trying to achieve. It’s an honor to help encourage these young entrepreneurs.”

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