South Carolina has been named Business Facilities magazine’s 2017 state of the year.
The magazine, which has targeted corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years, cited Samsung’s new $380 million home appliance plant in Newberry County, along with BMW and Volvo expansions that “catapult South Carolina into the top tier of U.S. automotive manufacturing hubs,” said Business Facilities editor in chief Jack Rogers.
The 453,000-square-foot Samsung facility, the South Korea-based electronics giant’s first U.S.-based home appliance manufacturing site, is expected to create 954 jobs by 2020. The plant, which will also serve as a research and development facility, occupies the former Caterpillar site left vacant when that company closed its Newberry doors in 2016, eliminating 352 jobs.
“When Caterpillar closed two S.C. plants in 2016, the state didn’t waste any time wringing its hands over the loss. Instead, it quickly lined up a worthy successor that will support twice as many jobs,” Rogers said. “This can-do, proactive approach is a model that other states would be wise to emulate. South Carolina has proven it can punch well above its weight and hold its own with its larger neighbors.”
Volvo initially announced a $520 million investment in its new Berkeley County operations center, creating 1,910 jobs at a new manufacturing plant that will serve as the global production site for a new sedan model. It later announced an SUV will also be produced at the plant near Ridgeville. Before the first vehicle rolled off the line, the company doubled its investment to more than $1 billion and its expected job creation to 3,900 employees.
The company is also building an 88,000-square-foot training center that will house research and development.
A $600 million investment by BMW in its long-running Greer plant is expected to create 1,000 jobs during the next four years.
The magazine noted plans by CompuCom, a Texas-based information technology company, to build its 150,000-square-foot global headquarters in Lancaster County, a $41 million investment expected to create 1,500 jobs. The publication also highlighted medical device manufacturer Arthrex’s $69 million investment in a 200,000-square-foot Sandy Springs operation expected to create more than 1,000 jobs in Anderson County.
Business Facilities also lauded the work of the S.C. State Ports Authority and the Port of Charleston, which it called “the crown jewel of a thriving logistics network that makes South Carolina a prime location for new distribution and fulfillment centers.”