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Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: Manufacturer Headed to Lee County

Jan 13, 2023 03:58PM ● By David Dykes

Engineered Foam Packaging Coming to Lee County

Engineered Foam Packaging, a subsidiary of J.B. Poindexter & Co., Inc., announced plans to establish operations in Lee County. The company’s $15 million investment will create 53 jobs. 

Established in 1954, EFP is a leader in the design and manufacturing of custom protective packaging and cold chain solutions.

Located at 227 Browntown Road in Bishopville, EFP’s new operations will be the company’s first South Carolina location. The new facility will include the custom upfit of a 117,000-square-foot industrial building which will house the manufacturing and distribution operations.

The company anticipates an expansion to the facility of an additional 50,000 to 100,000 square feet in two to three years.

Operations are expected to be online by August 2023.

“South Carolina continues to diversify its manufacturing industry by adding innovative companies such as Engineered Foam Packaging,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “Investing in rural areas within the state is a winning strategy for businesses and the community.” 

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project. 

MLK Day Celebrations to be Held Around the State

Columbia native and Naismith Hall of Famer Alex English will be the keynote speaker at Columbia’s 35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, to be held at 4 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Park and Community Center, 2300 Greene St. in Columbia.

English, who graduated from Dreher High School, holds the career scoring record of 1,972 points for the University of South Carolina basketball team.

After retiring from his playing career, he was appointed Director of Player Programs for the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), and in 1996, he co-founded the sports marketing company Flick2 Ltd. Most recently he has worked as a basketball analyst for TV.

The event will also feature sponsors and winners from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dream Keeper Scholarship, and Harvest Hope Food Drive will be recognized during the ceremony. For more information, call 803-545-3020.

Other commemorations include: 

  • Charleston’s MLK Celebration will feature an ecumenical worship service at 4 p.m. Jan. 15 at Charity Missionary Baptist Church, and an MLK Day Parade at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 16 in downtown Charleston.
  • In Greenville, the city is co-sponsoring the MLK Day of Service, from 9 a.m. to noon on Jan. 16, featuring neighborhood cleanups, followed by a Town Hall event led by the Greenville Racial Equity and Economic Mobility Commission. For info, go to
  • Spartanburg’s commemoration will feature Walk As One at 9 a.m. Jan. 14, and a Unity Celebration with Benedict College’s Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16. For details, visit

USC Named Finalist in Invent2Prevent Competition

The Department of Homeland Security Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (DHS CP3) selected the top three high school and top three collegiate finalists for the Fall 2022 iteration of Invent2Prevent, a national student competition to identify new, whole-of-society approaches to prevent targeted violence, hate, and terrorism. 

Invent2Prevent is run by the McCain Institute, EdVenture Partners, and Credence Management Solutions LLC. Out of the 24 university teams competing this semester, Duke University, Texas Tech University, and the University of South Carolina were named as finalists.

The six finalist teams will participate in a live competition to be held Jan. 25 in Washington, D.C. 

“The level of innovation, ingenuity, and creativity that we see each semester of Invent2Prevent is incredible, and the teams this semester have set the bar extremely high for the final competition,” said Dr. Rachel Nielsen, director for preventing targeted violence at the McCain Institute.

“The caliber of the work created by both our high school and collegiate finalists shows a mastery of understanding, both of topic and target audience, that rivals work produced by professional organizations in this space.”

 As part of this semester-long project, each university team evaluated a current threat facing the nation and identified an opportunity to create a program or tool to better educate a specific target audience on the potential vulnerabilities that could lead individuals to consider targeted violence or terrorist acts.

Each team had a budget of $2,000. Each finalist identified a different topic and will provide a 15-minute overview of their specific effort during the in-person final. 

The University of South Carolina team created the “No name, no fame” initiative, which aims to prevent the negative effects of revealing the names of mass shooters in the media. Studies show that an excess of news coverage on mass shooters increases the chance of similar shootings occurring.

By calling on media organizations to change how they report mass shootings, the goal of “No name, no fame” is to mitigate the media contagion and copycat effects of sensationalizing these horrific crimes. Journalists are encouraged to focus on victims when reporting on a mass shooting. Visit the “no name no fame” project at

SCRA Shares 2022 Success Stories

South Carolina Research Authority had an outstanding year in 2022, making over a $1.15 billion impact on the state’s economy.

The total includes jobs created and supported, the salaries of its Member and Portfolio Companies, grants awarded to companies and academic institutions, and investments made by its affiliate, SC Launch Inc. SCRA’s economic impact is determined by an annual analysis conducted by the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business.

SCRA and SC Launch Inc.:  

  • Supported 5,608 South Carolina-based jobs.
  • Enabled an average salary of $81,111, 62 percent higher than the state’s average of $50,905.
  • Awarded $4.75 million in grants and investments to SCRA Member Companies, SC Launch Inc. Portfolio Companies, and South Carolina colleges and universities to advance research and development, commercialize technology, increase South Carolina-based new product offerings, and bring new businesses to the state.  
  • Generated $2.33 billion in additional investment capital since SC Launch Inc. started in 2006.  

“With an economic footprint of nearly $1.2 billion in 2022, the South Carolina Research Authority once again demonstrates its significant positive impact on our state’s economy,” said USC Darla Moore School of Business Research Economist Dr. Joseph Von Nessen. 

“Innovation-based industries are among the fastest growing nationwide, and SCRA is a leader in helping to drive the growth of these industries in South Carolina,. The innovation-based economy offers many advantages to the state’s economy, including the creation of high-skilled, high-wage positions that typically pay more than the average South Carolina job.”

Examples of SCRA’s funding and support success include Upstate-based 6AM City growing to 140 full-time jobs, with over 40 based in South Carolina; Midlands-based Integrated Micro-Chromatography Systems receiving a million-dollar NIH grant; and the Lowcountry-based Green River Spirits being acquired by Kentucky-based Bardstown Bourbon Company, producing a more than six-fold return on SC Launch Inc.’s investment, which will provide the resources for future investments in technology-based startups that are growing the state’s innovation economy.

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