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South Carolina's Global Network

South Carolina's Global Network

More than 1,200 international firms have facilities in South Carolina, and this number continues to grow. Foreign-affiliated companies (majority-owned) employ more than 104,300 South Carolinians - seven percent of the state's private industry employment.

What's more, South Carolina Department of Commerce has offices  in Germany, China, and Japan to help companies establish, relocate and expand business operations in the U.S. and North American markets. Read More

Comporium Expands Zipstream to Five Area Business Parks

Comporium Expands Zipstream to Five Area Business Parks

ROCK HILL, S.C. – (July 25, 2014) – Businesses in five local business parks will soon enjoy the availability of Comporium’s new gigabit broadband service, known as Zipstream, according to Matthew Dosch, executive vice president – customer operations and external affairs. “When we announced the launch of Zipstream earlier this year for the City of Rock Hill’s Knowledge Park, we were also putting our plans in place to expand into the surrounding business clusters where fiber optics facilities existed,” said Dosch. “Businesses that need to transmit very large data files will see amazing reductions in downloading and uploading times, which is particularly helpful for services related to website and software development and 3D printing.” Comporium is aligning equipment and resources to enable the ultra fast broadband connectivity in the following locations around Rock Hill: Waterford Business Park, Airport Industrial Park, Rock Hill Industrial, Riverwalk Business Park, and Southcross Corporate Center. According to the York County Economic Development directory, these represent nearly 50 manufacturers, distribution centers and other businesses. Comporium’s Zipstream is almost 85 times faster than the company’s standard internet service by providing speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second. Zipstream will be available to business accounts for $299 per month. For that price, business accounts will receive additional services such as service level agreements and additional email storage space. The company said the upgrade project began in early June and will take a couple of months to complete before bringing the business parks online. Zipstream is dependent upon a state-of-the-art network that contains the following: 1) all-fiber delivery, 2) cutting-edge network equipment, and 3) a robust path to the internet backbone that can carry significantly larger amounts of data than is carried today. To support the fast gigabit speeds needed currently and to provide the scalability needed for future bandwidth growth, Comporium turned to ADTRAN, a global leader in next generation broadband infrastructure, and its Total Access® 5004, which is designed to deliver higher rate premium services over the fiber network. The ADTRAN portfolio leverages its advanced services architecture to offer next-generation residential and business services onto a converged infrastructure.

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Growth of women-owned businesses in S.C. picks up speed

South Carolina ranks sixth in the nation over the past 17 years in the growth of women-owned businesses, according to American Express Open, which publishes an annual State of Women-Owned Business Report. The 2014 edition reports that the number of women-owned businesses in South Carolina has increased by 78 percent since 1997. No. 1 Georgia has grown at a rate of 118 percent, followed by Texas (98 percent) and North Carolina (91 percent). The report estimates that there are 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. That is up from 8.6 million in 2013. In the 2013 report, South Carolina was 11th in terms of women-owned business growth, at 68.6 percent. Therefore, the growth trend in the Palmetto State is accelerating. There is another State of Women-Owned Business Report out there as well. This one is an annual survey produced by Web.com and the National Association of Women Business Owners. The NAWBO report examines attitudes and doesn’t rank states. Here are some of its findings:

  • 80 percent of respondents said they are concerned with business tax issues, up from 68 percent in 2013
  • 51 percent are concerned about fuel/energy costs, up from 41 percent last year.
  • 41 percent plan to add jobs in 2014, compared to 31 percent the year before.  

There are a number of South Carolina manufacturers who seek out women-owned businesses as part of their supplier diversity programs. There are also federal tax breaks for companies that use minority and women-owned suppliers

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Piedmont Medical Center Expands

Patients to Piedmont Medical Center’s new emergency department will find wide halls, bright lights and an array of equipment including ergonomic wheelchairs.  The new space stands in contrast to Piedmont’s current emergency department which opened in 1996. No longer will gurneys be stacked against corridor walls. There is dedicated alcove space to store carts with medical equipment. The new patient rooms are almost twice the size of the existing ones. Piedmont officials, however, hope the newness will be secondary. They hope that patients will foremost notice the quality of care they receive.  That’s the No. 1 goal, offering, “consistent, exceptional health care,” said Bill Masterton, Piedmont’s chief executive officer. Next, he said, is offering timely service with “dignity and compassion.”  Piedmont spent $20 million, doubling its emergency department from 21,113 square feet to 42,251 square feet.  Phase one of the project was unveiled Thursday and will be open to patients July 1. Phase two, the renovation of the current emergency department, will begin soon and is expected to finished by the end of the year. The expansion comes as demand for PMC’s emergency services rises. In 2010, PMC saw 57,000 emergency department patients. Last year, it was 68,500. The expansion will increase PMC’s patient capacity by about 10,000 for the year, officials said. For each of the past three months, emergency department usage has been more 200 patients. The expansion and implementing new procedures for patient treatment should help the hospital meet its goals of timely service, PMC officials said Thursday. PMC’s current “door-to-doc” time is 42 minutes, 12 minutes more than the hospital’s goal. With new treatment procedures, the goal is to have patients with “minor” needs be treated and released within two hours. For more serious cases, the goal is to have them admitted to the hospital within three hours. The basis of PMC’s new “open door” treatment plan is a philosophy that a “patient doesn’t own the room,” said Teresa O’Neill, a registered nurse and emergency department director.  After meeting with doctors and getting treatment, patients with minor conditions will be sent to a waiting room where they can rest in recliners while waiting for test results or to be discharged, O’Neill said.  Patients with more serious conditions will be sent to a waiting area where their health can be monitored.  “We have to be ready for the next patient,” O’Neill said. There is also a protocol for how treatment is given in a room. All of the medical staff will be on the patients’ right side. Family members, if allowed, will be positioned on the left side. Patient monitors, connections to oxygen, and other medical equipment are positioned based on this protocol.  The new emergency department also has several specialty rooms.  There is a two-bed trauma room that is filled with surgical-grade equipment, allowing doctors to perform surgery there if needed, O’Neill said. There are four rooms dedicated for patients with behavioral problems and one room where law enforcement can bring a patient and keep that person separated from the general emergency room population. PMC’s staff has grown to meet the needs of the expanded department. The hospital has hired 30 more workers, including 20 nurses, bringing the emergency department staff to 140 people Read more here. Read More

Governor Haley announces 7,100 new jobs, $800 million in capital investment

Governor Haley announces 7,100 new jobs, $800 million in capital investment

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today joined elected officials, economic development professionals and company representatives to announce plans for three businesses to establish facilities in South Carolina, creating 7,100 new jobs and investing $800 million in their respective projects. The three separate announcements combine to mark the most jobs announced in a single day in South Carolina’s history.

Giti Tire announced its plans to establish a new manufacturing plant in Chester County and to create 1,700 new jobs. The Lash Group, Inc. plans to bring 2,400 jobs to the area by establishing their national headquarters in York County, and LPL Financial LLC will also establish a headquarters in York County, resulting in an additional 3,000 new jobs. The 3,000 jobs announced by LPL Financial represent the single biggest announcement in York County’s history.

“It doesn’t get any bigger or better for South Carolina than having the ability to announce a record-breaking 7,100 new jobs in one day,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “This is a huge deal for our state, the hardworking people who live here, and one more reason why it's a great day in South Carolina.”

With today’s announcements, a total of 56,239 jobs and $13.6 billion in capital investment has been announced by Gov. Nikki Haley since taking office in January of 2011.

Further details of the individual announcements and economic development totals are included below:

Highlights From Today’s Announcements:

· Giti Tire – 1,700 jobs, $560 million, Richburg, South Carolina

· The Lash Group – 2,400 jobs, $90 million, Fort Mill, South Carolina

· LPL Financial – 3,000 jobs, $150 million, Fort Mill, South Carolina

Job Creation Continues – Focus On Economic Development Delivering Results

· $13.6 Billion – Economic development investment announced in South Carolina since 2011.

· 56,239 – New jobs announced by Governor Haley since January 2011.

· 31,220 – New manufacturing jobs announced by Governor Haley since January 2011.

· 374 – Projects announced statewide since January 2011.

· 290 – Manufacturing expansions and openings announced since January 2011.

· 216 – Expansions announced since January 2011.

· 158 – New facility projects announced since January 2011. Read More

Chester County deal would be 4th largest in SC for job creation

CHESTER — If Chester County lands a manufacturing prospect the deal would be the fourth largest in terms of job creation for South Carolina since 2011. Only Boeing in Charleston County, at 2,000 jobs, BMW in Spartanburg County, at 1,800 jobs, and Continental Tire in Sumter County, at 1,600 jobs, have proposed creating more jobs than the unidentified company negotiating with Chester County that plans to create 1,500 jobs. The project, named “Summer” by Chester County officials, with proposed investment of $560 million would be among the top 10 in the state since 2011, according to the S.C. Department of Commerce.  Chester County officials have released few details, but have consistently said it would be a “game-changer” for a county that has struggled with high unemployment after the collapse of the state’s textile economy. Chester County’s unemployment rate is 7.4 percent, 11th highest in the state out of 46 counties.  “This means jobs, jobs, jobs,” County Council member Mary A. Guy said Wednesday. “The people should be happy.”   State Sen. Creighton Coleman, D-Winnsboro, said the company would bring a mix of blue- and white-collar jobs.  The council is scheduled to hold a second reading on an ordinance giving the prospective company tax breaks on May 19. A final vote could come June 2.  If that schedule doesn’t change a groundbreaking for the project could be held as early as the fall, said Coleman, who represents Chester and Fairfield counties and a portion of York County.  “This will be a great start to moving the I-77 corridor alliance forward,” Coleman said Wednesday. The alliance, which is in its infancy, is designed to help economic development efforts in Chester, Fairfield and York counties. The project could have additional benefits beyond job creation. Education, housing, health care and other manufacturers are expected to be affected if project Summer happens, said Jim Fuller, president of the Chester County Chamber of Commerce. Fuller said a project of this scope should result in construction of more apartments and homes in the $150,000 to $200,000 price range in the county.  The project could also positively change the health care offered in the county. Chester Regional Medical Center budgets $1 million in charity care every month. Al Reid, plant manager for PPG Industries of Chester, said the prospect would be a “huge boost to the economic recovery, but also a challenge to current manufacturers.”  The project “could create a lot of churn,” in the manufacturing job market as companies are trying to stabilize their pool of workers, Reid said. The number of currently employed workers who would seek new jobs would depend on the wages the new company would offer, he said.  PPG Industries employs about 150 workers and is hiring, Reid said. The plant, which makes fiberglass, is operating at capacity, he said.  “Overall, it should improve the quality of life in Chester County,” he said, with an increase “in the social things such as shopping and entertainment.” The project would “help people who have been struggling for a long time,” said John Williams, director of The Turning Point in Chester.  Turning Point operates a number of services to the unemployed and those needing help, including a food pantry, a thrift store and a men’s shelter. It has seen the need for assistance rise dramatically since 2004 when the county’s textile mills were closing, Williams said. In 2004, its pantry served food to seven to 10 families a month. “Now we serve between 650 and 700,” Williams said.  Those who use Turning Point’s services “don’t see hope,” Williams said. Employment would “cut down on the stress” that leads to a variety of social problems such as alcohol and drug abuse, he said. Read more Read More

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