An analysis by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce estimated that the gross domestic product of the Columbia metro area (which includes Richland and neighboring counties) grew by 5.4 percent between 2009-13.
From a South Carolina-grown solar farm to a global aerospace company, investments appear to be shining on the Midlands county.
Like the quieter, next-generation Samsung washing machines soon to be produced in Newberry County, officials have been conducting discreet outreach for the projected 950 jobs to be filled when Samsung’s new $380 million manufacturing plant is fully operational in 2018.
“You want to be diversified, and Lexington County has that,” says Otis Rawl, president and chief executive of the Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitor Center.
The county is growing in both people and businesses. In 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau pegged its population at 286,196, up 9.1 percent from 2010. Sixty-six percent of those folks were in the labor force, the second highest rate in South Carolina behind York County.
Over the past five years, Kershaw County has seen more than $243 million in new capital investment and more than 600 new jobs. And that’s not even the best news.
Like many counties in South Carolina, Fairfield County has developed what some call “shovel-ready sites.” These are parcels of land that have been surveyed, zoned, and environmentally qualified in advance and are ready for companies to come in and develop without delay.
Corporations interested in taking Clarendon County out for a spin needn’t look any further than Arnold Kamler. The CEO and president of Kent International, billed as the nation’s largest bicycle manufacturer, is something of a spokesman for one of the county’s most publicized expansions in the last few years.
Actual food comes from somewhere, right? Plenty of that somewhere happens to be Calhoun County.
A recent study commissioned by the S.C. Research Authority and SCBIO pegs the industry as having an annual economic impact of $11.4 billion. Statewide, the industry has more than 400 companies and employs more than 15,000.
Food manufacturers have quite an appetite for the Midlands; the area is home to such household names as Kraft/Heinz and Starbucks. But what’s encouraging these companies to take a bite out of the Midlands?