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Greenville, S.C. (March 24, 2015) –Upstate South Carolina announces today it is one of only six metropolitan areas selected to develop a regional plan to attract and leverage foreign direct investment, building off its existing Upstate SC Regional Export Plan, as part of the Global Cities Initiative – a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative helps business and civic leaders grow their metropolitan economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness. GCI activities include producing data and research to guide decisions, fostering practice and policy innovations, and facilitating a peer‐learning network. This opportunity is part of the next phase of the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange, a network that assists metropolitan areas as they create strategies to support sustainable economic growth, first addressing exports and then foreign direct investment.

The Upstate will join Atlanta; Des Moines, Iowa; Los Angeles; Milwaukee and Syracuse, N.Y. in developing their foreign direct investment plan. Brookings selected these six metro areas after an extensive application process. The Upstate was selected for its readiness and commitment to strategically pursue foreign direct investment such as greenfield expansions, mergers and acquisitions, and other types of foreign investment including EB‐5, private equity, joint ventures and sovereign wealth funds.

“For this next phase, we selected metro areas that are committed to attracting and leveraging foreign direct investment as part of a comprehensive global trade and investment strategy,” said Brad
McDearman
, Brookings fellow and director of global special projects. “The six metro areas selected for this round will be strong role models for other regions and represent a growing group of leaders who understand the need to embrace the global market to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”

Foreign direct investment has long supported regional economies, not only by infusing capital, but also by investing in workers, strengthening global connections and sharing best business practices. As the world’s largest economy with a stable investment environment, the United States has been a top destination for foreign direct investment. Yet in the world’s increasingly competitive investment market America’s global share of foreign direct investment has fallen.

For America to regain its standing, cities and metropolitan regions must capitalize on their competitive advantages. Metropolitan leaders, in partnership with their states, are best equipped to attract and retain foreign direct investment by promoting their areas’ unique specializations and establishing strategic and mutually beneficial relationships. The Upstate is well positioned to make foreign direct investment a central component of broader regional economic development strategies.

“The selection of Upstate South Carolina to develop a global trade and investment plan – with the guidance from a world‐class think tank – is exactly the kind of innovative planning that will ensure our community’s long‐term economic success,” said Jeff Henry, executive director of Middle Market banking for JPMorgan Chase in South Carolina. “We have a history of helping businesses connect to global markets and the Global Cities Initiative’s foreign direct investment work brings another level of depth to our region’s efforts to further create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy.”

A team of local leaders will join the Upstate SC Alliance in developing the plan including Dave Edwards, GSP International Airport; the Honorable David Britt, Spartanburg County Council; Dr. Robert Carey, Clemson University; and David Shellhorse, Appalachian Council of Governments.

“As the global economy changes, so must we,” said Dave Edwards, president/CEO of the GSP International Airport and champion of the Upstate FDI Plan. “Throughout our work with the Global Cities
Initiative, the goal is to transition the Upstate region from a player to a leader in the global economy. To make the shift, we must be prepared to expand the traditional role of economic development in whatever direction the global economy demands. The FDI plan, along with the recently released Upstate SC Regional Export Plan, will provide the roadmap for this transition.”

“The Upstate region has always excelled in the recruitment of FDI, as evidenced by having double the national average of jobs supported by foreign owned enterprises. By broadening our definition of
foreign direct investment, the Upstate can leverage its solid foundation in international recruitment to strengthen our global competitiveness,“ said John Lummus, president/CEO of the Upstate SC Alliance.

As part of this phase, the Upstate will develop a foreign direct investment market assessment and plan, along with an implementation plan and a policy memo. This work, added to the region’s existing regional export plan, forms the second core component of a global engagement strategy that will strengthen the region's global economic connections and competitiveness.

For more information on the Global Cities Initiative please visit www.brookings.edu/projects/globalcities.aspx or www.jpmorganchase.com/globalcities.

The Upstate SC Alliance is the regional economic development organization designed to market and brand the 10‐county region for global business. The Alliance is supported by 150+ public and private investors. For more information on the Upstate SC Alliance, please visit www.upstateSCalliance.com. To learn more about the Upstate’s participation in the Global Cities Initiative, go to www.upstateSCalliance.com/goglobal.

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Media Contact:
Jennifer Miller
jmiller@upstatealliance.com
864-283-2316

 

Rite Aid's first new distribution facility in 15 years set to open in 2016, expected to create nearly 600 new jobs

Rite Aid Corporation announced today plans to build a 900,000-square-foot distribution center in Spartanburg, S.C. The new distribution center is expected to employ nearly 600 people after it becomes fully operational and will support the inventory and fulfillment needs of approximately 1,000 Rite Aid stores in the southeastern United States. The Spartanburg distribution center, a $90 million project, will be Rite Aid’s first new distribution facility in 15 years.

In April 2014, after a comprehensive review of its supply chain and logistics network, Rite Aid announced its plan to consolidate three of its existing distribution centers, located in Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Poca, W.Va., into one new facility, as part of its ongoing efforts to improve operating efficiency across the company. The new site’s convenient location along the I-85 corridor offers easy access to markets across the Southeast.

Information on employment opportunities at Rite Aid’s new facility in Spartanburg will be made available in the second half of 2015. Currently, Rite Aid employs nearly 1,400 and operates 95 stores in South Carolina.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to the project. Additionally, the South Carolina Power Team, in conjunction with Broad River Electric Cooperative, committed a $520,000 grant for infrastructure in support of the project.

“Connectivity is important to all facets of business and Rite Aid's decision to locate their distribution center in the Upstate is a testament to our ability to support continued growth in the Southeast. We welcome Rite Aid to the region and congratulate the economic development team in South Carolina on another great win.” 
–Upstate S.C. Alliance President and CEO John Lummus

News Coverage: Spartanburg Herald Journal  |  MarketWatch  |  Upstate Business Journal  | GSA Business  |  FoxCarolina

Construction and transportation machinery manufacturer investing $41 million to create an expected 131 new jobs
  
Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd., a company that specializes in the manufacture, sale and service of construction and transport machinery, is establishing operations in Spartanburg County. The $41 million investment is expected to generate 131 new jobs in Moore, S.C.
 
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Japan, Kobelco Construction Machinery is one of nine business domains of the Kobe Steel Group. Globally, the group, which was first established in 1905, employs close to 40,000 workers worldwide. Included among the main products and services provided by the Kobelco Construction Machinery are hydraulic excavators, mini excavators, wheel loaders and road construction equipment. 
 
Kobelco's Spartanburg County operations will specialize in the manufacturing of hydraulic excavators. Located off of the Moore-Duncan Highway in Moore, S.C, the approximately 156,000-square-foot production facility and stand-alone office building will be positioned in close proximity to both I-26 and I-85. The facility will allow Kobelco to reduce the production lead time of machineries for its North American customers and improve capability for meeting market needs. The new factory will be incorporated into the company's North American subsidiary, Kobelco Construction Machinery U.S.A. Inc., which is headquartered in Katy, Texas.
 
Kobelco Construction Machinery reentered the U.S. market in 2013. Since that time, the firm has concluded dealer agreements with 62 companies, 52 of which are based in North America. Until now, the entire sales volume has been shipped from the company's Hiroshima Itsukaichi factory in Japan. The establishment of this Spartanburg County facility will reduce operational burden on Hiroshima plant while also allowing for the creation of an optimal group-wide production system.
 
Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in December 2015. Hiring for most of the new positions is anticipated to take place in July 2015. Interested candidates should contact Norma Sanchez, Human Resource Manager of Kobelco Construction Machinery U.S.A., Inc., at SCFactoryEmployment@kobelconet.com. For more information on Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. please visit www.kobelco-kenki.co.jp and for Kobelco Construction Machinery U.S.A., Inc. please visit www.kobelco-usa.com.
 
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $750,000 set aside grant to assist with the costs of real property improvements as well as job development credits related to the project.

News Coverage: Equipment World Magazine  |  International Construction  |  ForConstructionPros.com  |  GSA Business  |  Upstate Business Journal

$2 million investment by automotive supplier to bring new jobs

PecTec Corporation, a supplier of top-quality semi-finished and finished metal products for the automotive industry, is establishing its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Spartanburg County. The $2 million investment is expected to create 15 new jobs in Spartanburg, S.C.
 
Founded in the summer of 2014 in Spartanburg, S.C., PecTec Corporation operates under the Braun GmbH umbrella. Braun, a German-based firm, was founded in 1992 to provide customers with a wide range of non-ferrous metals. PecTec is Braun's first international production operation. 
 
Located at 130 Corporate Drive in Spartanburg, PecTec will provide customers with a line-up of non-ferrous metals finished in a variety of different types and designs. Included in the company's offerings are foils, strips and sheets of aluminum, aluminum alloy, copper, copper alloy and stainless steel. Once it's fully operational, the 11,600-square-foot Spartanburg facility is expected to produce more than six million linear meters of product annually.
 
Hiring for the new positions is expected to begin this month. Those interested in applying may contact info@pectec.us. For more information on PecTec Corporation, please visit www.pectec.us

News Coverage:  Area Development  |  Upstate Business Journal  |  GSA Business  |  GoUpstate.com

Suminoe Textile of America Corporation, a supplier of textile products for the North American automotive market, is investing $5 million to expand its needle punch automotive carpet facility in Cherokee County, South Carolina, with plans to create 100 jobs.

Read the full article from Area Development online.

CRR Carbon Resources Recovery SC LLC, which uses recycled tires to manufacture renewable energy products, plans to invest $20 million in a new Anderson County facility that will employ 30 people, the S.C. Department of Commerce announced Friday.

The Commerce Department said CRR would work in a joint venture with an unnamed partner that can design, finance, develop, construct, operate and manage large-scale energy projects. Additional details about the joint venture and CRR were unavailable.

Read the full article from GSA Business.

The Upstate SC Alliance would like to congratulate Greenville Area Development Corporation and the City of Mauldin on the following project: 

Company investing $3.5 million and creating 260 new jobs in City of Mauldin

Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest provider of telecommunications products and services, is expanding its existing operations in Greenville County. To accommodate its continued growth, the company is investing $3.5 million and creating 260 new jobs.

Employing a diverse workforce of more than 160,000 and headquartered in New York, Verizon Wireless and its industry-leading network provide a variety of products and services to consumers and businesses nationwide. In addition to its wireless services, Verizon Wireless offers a premiere, all-fiber network, which helps the company deliver integrated solutions to millions of consumers and businesses around the world.

Located at 700 Brookfield Parkway in Mauldin, S.C., Verizon Wireless plans to consolidate services in its customer service and telesales divisions at its existing Greenville County operations. Hiring for the new positions is projected to begin immediately, and interested applicants should visit the company's careers page online for more information.

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

QUOTES

"With access to an outstanding workforce and an 'open for business' policy by state and local officials, we are truly looking forward to expanding our presence in Greenville. As we work to streamline our national operations and improve the total customer experience, our center in Greenville has a proven track record of providing outstanding results and delivers great service to our customers nationwide." -Verizon Wireless Customer Care Senior Vice President Christine Baron

"Today, we congratulate Verizon Wireless on the announcement of its latest South Carolina expansion. By creating 260 new jobs in Greenville County, Verizon Wireless is making a real commitment to the community and to our state as a whole, and we are excited for the continued success we know this partnership will bring." -Gov. Henry McMaster

"It's wonderful to see such a world-renowned company like Verizon Wireless not just locate in South Carolina, but grow and thrive as well. This expansion announcement is a tremendous win for Greenville County, and it shows the world that South Carolina continues to be 'Just right' for business." -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

"The City of Mauldin is always pleased to see the expansion of yet another existing business within our city.  Verizon has been a great business partner in Mauldin for many years and their expansion showcases the strong business opportunities they have created.  Their expansion exhibits another great example of the health of our business community and why it makes sense to set up shop or expand operations in our great City.  Congratulations team Verizon and the City of Mauldin wishes you much continued success." -Dennis Raines, Mayor of City of Mauldin

"Verizon is a world-class leader in wireless technology as well as broadband and fiber. The Mauldin community has called them a good neighbor for over 14 years, and we congratulate their continued growth and appreciate their dedication to our community." -Greenville County Council Chairman H.G. (Butch) Kirven Jr.

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Verizon Wireless is expanding Greenville County operations.
  • $3.5 million investment to create 260 new jobs.
  • Headquartered in New York, Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless telecommunications provider in the United States.
  • Located at 700 Brookfield Parkway in Mauldin, S.C. the company will be consolidating services in its customer service and telesales divisions. 
  • Hiring for the new positions is expected to begin immediately, and interested applicants should visit the company's careers page online

The Upstate SC Alliance would like to congratulate Greenville Area Development Corporation on the following project: 
 

Technology firm investing $3.5 million in new equipment

Sencorables LLC, a developer of diversified IoT (Internet of Things) products, today announced its plans for an expansion of its Greenville County operations. The company is expected to invest $3.5 million and create 25 jobs over the next three years.
 
Incorporated in 2015, Sencorables' principle objective is to use its patented and fundamentally-unique way of digital sensing to develop, in close cooperation with industry partners, a variety of IoT products. The company's current focus is on its flagship products, Sencorfloors™ and Sencormats™, which detect presence, movement and direction of individual people in real-time.
 
Located at 1040 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Greenville, S.C., Sencorables will add 25 jobs in the IoT development fields over the next three years and invest in new equipment at its Greenville research and development center. Hiring is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2017, and interested applicants should visit the company's website for more information.
 
QUOTES
 
"Our unique way of sensing enables us to use the floor, the most natural and central data source, as a competitive sensor for the first time, at a very attractive cost point. The data generated is more accurate and comprehensive than other sources and can replace many sensors currently in use. The same technology can be embedded and used in a variety of other products, industries and verticals, such as healthcare, bedding or automotive industries. Our vision is to, in close cooperation with specialized industry partners, develop unique products for those that make use of our technology. We found some of our partners right here in Greenville County." -Sencorables CEO Willem Biesheuvel
 
"South Carolina continues to lead the way in innovation, and Sencorables' latest investment in Greenville County is further proof of that. Our state is a place where companies of all kinds can find success, and we're excited to see what the future holds for Sencorables." -Gov. Henry McMaster
 
"The technology sector represents a vital part of South Carolina's economic present and future, and we are excited to see a great company like Sencorables continue its growth. This $3.5 million investment and the 25 new jobs they are creating will make a big difference in Greenville County, and I look forward to watching them succeed for years to come." -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
 
"Greenville, South Carolina is a hotbed for innovation with its talented workforce and community resources. We are grateful to have Sencorables expand its operations here, and look forward to the company's future success." -Greenville County Councilman Fred Payne
 
FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Sencorables LLC is expanding its Greenville County operations.
  • $3.5 million investment to create 25 new jobs.
  • Sencorables is a developer of diversified Internet of Things (IoT) products. 
  • The company is located at 1040 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Greenville, S.C. 
  • Hiring is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2017, and interested applicants should visit the company's website for more information

Chemical manufacturing operation will bring $13 million of new investment

PIDC (Pacific Industrial Development Corporation), a specialty chemicals manufacturer, intends to open a manufacturing facility in Spartanburg County. The development is projected to bring at least $13 million of capital investment and create 53 new jobs over the next five years.
 
With operations in five countries, PIDC is a chemical company focused on innovative research and development of advanced materials, including specialty alumina materials, rare earth powders, aqueous solutions and a variety of proprietary, formulated powders.
 
Located at 5396 N. Blackstock Road in Spartanburg, S.C., the company will be moving into two buildings totaling approximately 110,000 square feet. Hiring for the new positions is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2017, and interested applicants should visit the company's careers page online.
 
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project.
 
QUOTES

 
"We couldn't be happier that we have decided to expand our company to Spartanburg County in South Carolina. From our first visit there last July, the community has opened their arms to welcome us. We are excited to bring jobs and manufacturing to South Carolina." -PIDC CEO Wei Wu
 
"We're proud to welcome PIDC to the South Carolina business community and look forward to seeing all that we know they will achieve in the Upstate. With a workforce at its disposal that is second to none and one of the most competitive business environments in the world, we know that PIDC will have the tools necessary for success." -Gov. Henry McMaster
 
"Congratulations to PIDC for deciding to launch this new facility in Spartanburg. With today's announcement, PIDC joins an impressive roster of globally-respected manufacturing firms that operate here, advancing South Carolina's pro-business reputation." -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
 
"PIDC's announcement represents another indicator that this is an exciting time for industry in Spartanburg County. PIDC's plan to repurpose an existing manufacturing facility and expand the workforce opportunities underscore that Spartanburg is a great place for businesses to build their future." -David Britt, Spartanburg County Economic Development Committee Chairman and Economic Futures Group Board Member

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • PIDC is establishing a new manufacturing facility in Spartanburg County.
  • $13 million investment to create 53 new jobs.
  • PIDC is a specialty chemicals manufacturer with existing operations in five countries.
  • The company's new facility will be located at 5396 N. Blackstock Road in Spartanburg, S.C. 
  • Interested applicants for the new jobs should visit the company's careers page online. 

Fortune 500 company investing $7.7 million in manufacturing growth

Lear Corporation, a leading global supplier of automotive seating, is expanding its existing operations in Spartanburg County to accommodate its continued growth. The company will be adding equipment and upgrading existing infrastructure, bringing more than $7.7 million in new capital investment.
 
With 240 locations in 36 countries around the world, Lear Corporation is a Fortune 500 provider of automotive seating, electrical distribution and electronic products. Headquartered in Southfield, Mich., the company employs approximately 140,000 associates and serves major automakers around the world.
 
Located at 1200 Woods Chapel Road in Duncan, S.C., Lear Corporation will be investing in real property improvements and purchasing new manufacturing equipment to support the launch of automotive seating programs for Volvo Cars' Berkeley County assembly plant, as well as BMW's Spartanburg County assembly plant.
 
For more information on Lear Corporation, visit www.lear.com.
 
QUOTES
 
"We have a world-class seating facility in Duncan, South Carolina, with an outstanding workforce. We are very pleased to be able to invest in future growth at this location. We appreciate the support of Spartanburg County and their partners at the South Carolina Department of Commerce, and look forward to continued success at our Duncan facility." -Lear President and CEO Matt Simoncini
 
"To see a company like Lear Corporation choose to continue investing in our state and our people are important signs to the business community around the world that South Carolina is the place to be. We look forward to seeing the new heights the relationship between our state and this company will reach in the years to come." -Gov. Henry McMaster
 
"Today, we celebrate yet another success story for a company that supports our booming automotive sector. I offer my congratulations to Lear Corporation for all that they've achieved in the Upstate and around the world." -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
 
"We are extremely pleased that Lear Corporation is expanding and growing its operations in Spartanburg County. Lear's decision to expand here represents our commitment to our existing industries. Spartanburg County will benefit from this expansion now and in the future." -David Britt, Spartanburg County Economic Development Committee Chairman and Economic Futures Group Board Member

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Lear Corporation is expanding operations in Spartanburg County.
  • The company is investing $7.7 million in the project. 
  • Lear Corporation is a Fortune 500 provider of automotive seating, electrical distribution and electronic products.
  • Located at 1200 Woods Chapel Road in Duncan, S.C., the company will be investing in real property improvements and purchasing new manufacturing equipment.
  • Lear Corporation is a supplier to both BMW and Volvo Cars.

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