South Carolina was awarded a 2016 Gold Shovel Award by Area Development for its continued employment and investment growth in 2015. The state’s 3.3 percent growth in employment and increased output from key industry sectors, particularly the aviation and automotive sectors, were two key factors in earning this award for the 3+ to 5 million population category.
Both Mercedes-Benz and Volvo plan to build $500 million manufacturing operations in Charleston. These two operations will employ 3,800 workers and has put the state’s more than 200 automotive suppliers in growth mode. Schaeffler Group USA is also investing $166.8 million to expand its ball and roller bearings manufacturing operations in Chesterfield, Spartanburg and York Counties, and Akenbono Brake Corporation is expanding its Lexington County operation by investing $40 million and creating 100 new jobs.
According to the information collected by Area Development, South Carolina is also a preferred location for logistics and distribution operations, thanks to its many highways, interstates and the Port of Charleston, the second largest container port on the U.S Atlantic Coast.
Target, Walgreens, Dollar General, Walmart and QVC all have distribution systems in South Carolina. Rite Aid recently celebrated the grand opening of its $90 million Spartanburg facility, employing 600 workers. Dollar Tree is also planning a $104.4 million distribution center near Spartanburg that will employ 400 workers over five years.
The Golden Shovel Award recognizes states for their achievements in attracting high-value investment projects that create a significant number of jobs. Info is collected from all 50 states on their top-10 job-creation and investment projects initiated in 2015. Only projects that had money invested, broke ground, began an expansion, started new hiring, etc., were considered. For more information, click here.