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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

Leading customer care provider to bring $2.5 million investment and more than 400 jobs to Upstate
Sitel, a leading global customer care provider, today announced significant business growth resulting in a new customer experience center in South Carolina. The new facility will bring $2.5 million in capital investment and more than 400 new full-time career opportunities to Spartanburg County in the next five years.  
Sitel provides customer care services for some of the world's most recognized brands. The company's Spartanburg County operations will be housed in an existing 47,000-square-foot facility, located at 895 Springfield Road in Spartanburg, S.C. 

Sitel's new facility is expected to generate more than 400 new career opportunities in the Upstate. Providing exceptional training and ongoing professional development, career path development is a foundational building block for Sitel, with a long reputation for promoting team members through the ranks to management positions. Those interested in joining the Sitel team should visit the company's careers page online

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $200,000 Set Aside grant to Spartanburg County to assist with the costs of real property improvements related to the project. For additional information on Sitel, visit
"Spartanburg County is an ideal location for Sitel's newest world-class customer experience center. We appreciate the support from Governor Haley, Secretary Hitt and the Coordinating Council for Economic Development as we prepare to build and staff South Carolina's finest customer care center." -Sitel Senior Vice President of Global Real Estate and Development Kim Facer
"We welcome Sitel to South Carolina and celebrate their decision to do business in our state. By investing $2.5 million and creating 400 jobs in Spartanburg County, Sitel is making a real commitment to our entire Upstate community, and I look forward to watching them grow and thrive there for many years to come." -Gov. Nikki Haley 

"Today, we congratulate Sitel on the announcement of their first South Carolina operations. This $2.5 million investment and the creation of 400 new jobs is a tremendous win for Spartanburg County and our state as a whole." -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
"We are extremely pleased to have Sitel as part of our business community. Sitel collaborates with some of the best known global brands to help consistently deliver excellent customer experiences. The Spartanburg call center will provide outstanding career opportunities for the area." -David Britt, Chairman of the Spartanburg County Economic Recruitment Committee and Economic Futures Group Board Member

  • Sitel is establishing operations in Spartanburg County.
  • Company opening customer experience center, creating 400 new jobs over the next five years.
  • Established in 1985, Sitel is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. and employs more than 61,100 workers worldwide.
  • Sitel's Spartanburg County operations will be located in an existing 47,000-square-foot facility at 895 Springfield Road in Spartanburg.
  • Those interested in joining the Sitel team should visit the company's careers page online.

Company investing $10 million to relocate its corporate operations in Greenville County

The Marley Lilly, LLC or Marleylilly, an e-commerce business specializing in monogrammed gifts, accessories, and non-monogrammed boutique apparel, is expanding its Upstate operations with new corporate operations in Greenville County. The $10 million investment is expected to create 69 new jobs in Greer, S.C. over the next five years.

Established in 2010 and based in Greenville County, Marleylilly’s product line features a multitude of monogrammed and personalized merchandise, as well as non-personalized boutique apparel. With no physical storefronts, the exclusively online business is managed and staffed out of its Greer, S.C. production facility. Marleylilly spent much of 2013 and 2014 launching an online monogram preview feature and establishing a new product offering, boutique apparel available In 2015, the company’s focus is still on increasing its online footprint and thus increasing its production capacity.

Having outgrown its existing building, Marleylilly is relocating with the construction of a new 72,000-square-foot facility to house its production, processing and distribution operations. The facility, located at 300 W. Phillips Road in Greer, will also feature 12,000 square feet of office space, which will be integral to the company’s e-fulfillment service. Construction of the facility will begin immediately and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2016.

Hiring for some of the new positions is anticipated to begin in September 2015. For those interested in joining the Marleylilly team, please visit the company’s jobs page online. For more information on Marleylilly, visit


“When we began monogramming on a sewing machine in our living room five years ago we never dreamed we would be blessed with an opportunity like this expansion project. Moving every six months to accommodate unexpected growth is a struggle for any growing business, but it has been a reality for us since 2010. Our dedicated staff deserves this beautiful new facility, and we cannot wait to see the looks on their faces when we open the doors in 2016. We are excited for what this expansion means to the Upstate, but we are most excited to welcome new employees to the Marleylilly family.” –Marleylilly Owners Chad & Kelly Owens

“Marleylilly is a great example of how entrepreneurs can start and grow a successful business in South Carolina. This $10 million investment is a huge step for this great company and is a real reason to celebrate. We look forward to watching Marleylilly continue to thrive in the Upstate for many years to come.” –Gov. Nikki Haley

“Today, we celebrate Marleylilly’s decision to expand their operations in our state. Coming from one of South Carolina’s homegrown companies, this $10 million investment and the 69 new jobs it will create is a testament to the positive business climate we’ve cultivated in the Palmetto State.”–Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“Marleylilly is a thriving online company and another great Greenville success story. We are pleased to help facilitate growth and expansion in a wide range of industries because of the direct and long-lasting benefits for all involved parties.” –Dr. Bob Taylor, Board Member of the Greenville Area Development Corporation and Chairman of Greenville County Council

Earlier this month, iMAGINE Upstate, an activity of the South Carolina Coalition for Mathematics & Science, a unit of the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University, celebrated its first STEM-inspired festival in downtown Greenville.


The weeklong series of crowd-sourced programs and signature events successfully promoted cultural and economic development with a celebration and showcase of STEM, innovation and entrepreneurial activity in Upstate South Carolina. The program kicked off on March 28th, 2015 with the CU-ICAR 2nd Annual Millennium Drive Car & Cruise and capstoned with a family-friendly festival in downtown Greenville on Saturday, April 4th, 2015.



There was an incredible turnout for Imagine Upstate's STEM festival in Greenville.

Posted by Upstate SC Alliance on Sunday, April 5, 2015



iMAGINE Upstate Festival Inspires More than 14,000 to Take Charge of their Futures


GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 21, 2015) – The 2015 iMAGINE Upstate Festival exceeded expectations drawing in more than 14,000 attendees in its inaugural year. Families, children of all ages, entrepreneurs and industry leaders spent April 4 experiencing hands-on learning to elevate conversations around innovation, creativity and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).


The festival was created to help inspire Upstate students to take ownership of their future career paths. Beyond STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the downtown festival showcased creative, entrepreneurial and innovative happenings from across the Upstate.


“When we set out to plan the festival we wanted to create an experience that would impact a broad range of ages and interests,” said Ryan Heafy, executive director of iMAGINE Upstate. “In order for this program to make a lasting impact, we knew that we needed to showcase a variety of organizations on Main Street combined with a series of live shows throughout the day.”


iMAGINE Upstate partners including ScanSource, Duke Energy, Michelin North America, GE Power & Water, Bosch, Fluor and Greenville Technical College elevated the festival experience by running major festival tents. The festival hosted 61 organizations from across the Upstate, including:


  • 36 non-profit organizations
  • 10 start-up organizations
  • 18 educational institutions
  • 10 student organizations
  • 8 Upstate industry leaders


In addition to the tented experiences on Main Street, the festival showcased six stages and 14 shows throughout the day.


“Our partners made it possible to run live experiential shows on stage throughout the day,” said Jared Hartzell, director of development at iMAGINE Upstate. “The stages helped reinforce our core program tracks: learn, innovate, engage, create, launch and make.”


The festival had a steady stream of attendees from start to finish. Students from across the Upstate attended and volunteered at the festival. Social media played a major role in keeping students engaged. With more than 7,300 Twitter impressions, 14,500 Facebook impressions, 2,770 app status updates, the iMAGINE Upstate Festival successfully leveraged modern technology to enhance the attendee experience.


“Beyond the festival, we want iMAGINE Upstate to help foster student conversations around their futures,” said Sarah Arbogast, director of marketing and events at iMAGINE Upstate. “An ongoing goal for iMAGINE Upstate programming is to help facilitate peer-to-peer sharing and learning.”


For more information about iMAGINE Upstate visit


About iMAGINE Upstate


iMAGINE Upstate fueled by ScanSource is an activity of SCCMS, a unit of the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University. More than a festival, iMAGINE Upstate is a weeklong series of crowd-sourced programs and signature events designed to promote cultural and economic development with a celebration and showcase of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), innovation and entrepreneurial activity in Upstate South Carolina. The weeklong celebration will consist of STEM related programs including presentations, workshops, challenges and special events culminating into a festival on Saturday, April 4th, 2015. This festival is designed to inspire students, families, and young professionals while promoting workforce development across Upstate South Carolina. For more information visit and follow @imagineupstate on Twitter.

North Charleston-based company to set up cut and sew operation, expected to add 114 jobs over five years

Vapor Apparel, a leader in performance apparel manufacturing and digital print-on-demand services, is opening a 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Union County. This marks a major step for the company that focuses on sublimation printing solutions and performance fabrics. The facility will house the company's domestic cut and sew division, which is a rapidly expanding part of the company's product line. The $1.3 million investment is expected to create 114 new jobs over five years.

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in North Charleston, S.C., Vapor Apparel is experiencing rapid growth and has been named one of the 25 fastest-growing companies in South Carolina twice within the last five years. The establishment of this Union County facility will complement the company's existing production facility located in North Charleston, South Carolina and expand its ecommerce fulfillment and print-on-demand services.
Located on an 8.5 acre tract of land at 1243 Riley Road in Union, S.C., Vapor Apparel's Union County operations are expected to come on line in the first quarter of 2015. Hiring for some of the new positions is expected to begin in the spring.
readySC™, a division of the S.C. Technical College System, will be assisting with recruitment and training for the open positions at Vapor's Union County facility. To apply for these positions, please visit For more information on Vapor Apparel, please visit

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $100,000 Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to assist with the costs of real property improvements related to the project.

News Coverage:  Area Development  |  Spartanburg Herald Journal  |  GSA Business  |  Upstate Business Journal  |  Textile World  |  WSPA  |  Anderson Independent

Manufacturer of precision products investing $1.4 million to upgrade equipment in Spartanburg plant
A company that develops and manufactures precision products for machines, equipment and vehicles as well as in aviation and aerospace applications is expanding its operations in Spartanburg County. Schaeffler Group USA is investing $1.4 million to upgrade its manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, S.C. The local upgrades are one part of a larger capital improvement program at Schaeffler facilities in three South Carolina counties, totaling $163.8 million in new investment and more than 440 new jobs.
Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Schaeffler is a leading supplier to the automotive, industrial and aerospace industries. With more than 80,000 employees in 49 countries around the world, the firm truly possesses a global footprint. The North American operations, Schaeffler Group USA, is headquartered in Fort Mill, S.C. and is responsible for the engineering, production, sales and marketing of three major brands - INA, FAG and LuK.
Schaeffler currently operates their plant at 1298 New Cut Road in Spartanburg, S.C., specializing in the manufacturing of bearings, bearing components, and linear products. The investment in Schaeffler's Spartanburg County plant will result in new equipment for the facility. This Spartanburg County upgrade is part of the Schaeffler Group's effort to expand and increase productivity in its North American operations. 
In total, the firm is investing $163.8 million to expand and upgrade three of its existing South Carolina facilities. In addition to the upgrades to the company's Spartanburg County plant, operations in Cheraw and Fort Mill, S.C. will be expanded. Collectively, the investment is expected to create more than 440 new jobs in the Palmetto State. 
The upgrades are expected to be completed by the end 2016. For more information on Schaeffler, please visit

News Coverage: GSA Business  |  Upstate Business Journal


Michelin announced the world’s first-of-its-kind facility in the Upstate to build the Tweel, an airless radial tire that never goes flat.

The facility will open Nov. 20 on Griffin Road in Piedmont. It is the 10th Michelin plant in South Carolina and 16th in the United States.

Michelin representatives will hold a ceremony next Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

The Tweel was introduced last year for skid-steer loaders. Michelin announced a partnership with John Deere last month to produce the tire-wheel hybrid for the tractor company’s ZTRAK 900 model.

Read the full article from the Upstate Business Journal here.

CreatiVasc Medical to move manufacturing from Boston, merge with Brookhaven Medical and Texas firm | Upstate Business Journal

CreatiVasc, designer of a vascular device used for dialysis, announced at the SCBIO conference this week that it will design and manufacture its devices in South Carolina, moving from Boston.

Brookhaven Medical, which invested $5 million in CreatiVasc last year, will merge with CreatiVasc and Texas-based FutureMatrix Interventional in November, said Brookhaven CEO John Feltman. CreatiVasc and Brookhaven are set to merge initially by Nov. 7. FutureMatrix Interventional produces balloons used in catheters and other medical devices.

After FDA approval of CreatiVasc’s Hemoaccess Valve System, Brookhaven expects to have an initial public offering, probably in early 2016, said Feltman.

The Hemoaccess Valve System works as an on/off switch to provide blood flow to a graft needed during dialysis. The valve provides blood flow on demand rather than all the time, which often causes failure when a patient comes for dialysis.

CreatiVasc CEO Steve Johnson said that the device was one of three nationwide selected for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Innovation Pathway, speeding up the process of approval for use. It was also classified as a device “with no predicate in the world,” said Johnson.

There has been little innovation in the field of dialysis in the last three decades, said Johnson. “They [FDA] are intent on speeding this product to the market because of the need in the market.”

Research from Spartanburg's Wofford College was highlighted by Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes on October 5, 2014.

Anderson Cooper meets Chaser, a dog who can identify over a thousand toys, and the scientists who are studying the brain of man's best friend


Chaser the border collie to be featured on '60 Minutes' | Article

Chaser the border collie — famous for having the largest vocabulary of any known dog — and her owner, Wofford College professor John Pilley, will be featured on this Sunday's edition of “60 Minutes” with Anderson Cooper.

Chaser has learned the names of more than 1,000 objects through training and repetition with Pilley, who is professor emeritus of psychology at Wofford.

Chaser knows the difference between nouns and verbs, and can group similar items into categories like Frisbees and balls. The dog's 1,022-word vocabulary surpassed the vocabulary of Rico, a border collie from Germany that knew roughly 200 words.

Pilley and a research partner published findings about Chaser in a scientific journal, leading to a media frenzy surrounding the border collie and her word-recognition abilities.

Then, Pilley's book, “Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words,” was published in November 2013.

“We were interested in doing a story about research on dogs,” Cooper said during his visit to Wofford's campus in February. “Chaser's name pops up pretty quickly. Chaser is amazing. It's incredible what she's learned.”

Top States for Doing Business 2014: Georgia Unseats Texas, Industrial Midwest Rises

By Area Development

Sparking growth in business investment and jobs has proven more difficult than expected for states as they have emerged from the Great Recession. Capital spending and, especially, job creation have remained below par as corporate chiefs and business owners stick with a conservative philosophy until they perceive signs of a true boom. So the fight for the attention of site consultants and CFOs is more pitched than ever.

With that in mind, Area Development is publishing our fifth annual Top States for Doing Business survey of site consultants, ranking the states based on their number of mentions by the consultants in three overall categories and 18 subcategories:

Business Environment: overall cost of doing business, incentive programs, corporate tax environment, cooperative state government, access to capital and project funding, speed of permitting, most favorable regulatory environment

Labor Climate: availability of skilled labor, competitive labor costs, labor climate for right-to-work states, labor climate for non-right-to-work states, leading workforce-development programs

Infrastructure and Global Access: distribution and supply-chain hubs, rail and highway access, certified sites/shovel-ready programs, competitive utility rates, energy reliability and smart-grid deployment, water outlook, including availability and cost

Three major features of the list pop up. First, it continues to be dominated by states in the South and mid-South that have managed to extend the momentum in landing business development that they have enjoyed for some time (mostly, these states just switched positions within the top 10).

Second — and probably more intriguing because it is a new development — the list includes two states from the industrial Midwest. The presence of Indiana and Ohio on the 2014 list indicates that these states in particular, and the upper Midwest in general, are scratching their way back into position as major players in the U.S. economic-development derby.

And third, the state of California finally proved unable, in the new list, to hang on to its 10th place ranking in the 2013 survey. The state’s reputation with site consultants keeps taking hits — witness Toyota’s announcement earlier this year that it plans to move its corporate headquarters and 4,000 jobs to suburban Dallas from southern California. And so this year, California placed in the top states in only three of the 18 sub-categories, notably ranking third for access to capital and project funding, no doubt a legacy of the continued success of Silicon Valley.

The following profiles of each of the top 10 states provide insight into why each state is among the surveyed consultants’ top choices for new and expanded facilities.

3. South Carolina

The Palmetto State long has been held in high regard by the economic development community, but South Carolina picked up two huge new testimonials this year from a couple of the biggest names in global manufacturing. BMW and Boeing each announced crucial new and expanded roles for their South Carolina operations.

The companies could cite South Carolina advantages such as its low overall cost of doing business (site consultants ranked the state No. 1 in this regard). The state was also given especially high marks for its incentive programs, cooperative state government, and certified sites/shovel-readiness in the Area Development survey. Site consultants ranked South Carolina No. 2 for all three of the aforementioned factors.

Probably the most consistent advantage of South Carolina is the quality of its workforce. South Carolina is a right-to-work state with a low unionization rate of 3.3 percent overall, and — at 1.3 percent — the lowest unionization rate in the United States for the private sector.

The state’s ReadySC workforce-training system includes recruiting, screening, training, and other aspects of workforce preparation. ReadySC, for example, committed to help Boeing hire 3,600 people over the next several years. And that was even before Boeing committed to producing the new stretch version of the Dreamliner at its plant in North Charleston, S.C., which will become the first Boeing jetliner model to be built solely in a nonunion factory.

Meanwhile, BMW said it would expand its plant in Spartanburg County with a $1 billion investment that will create 800 new jobs and make the facility the biggest exporter of autos anywhere in the United States.

Read the full article from Area Development here.