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Gnotec Group locating new operations in Orangeburg County

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gnotec Group, a supplier to the automotive industry, is locating new operations in Orangeburg County. The company’s $5.9 million investment is projected to create 78 new jobs in the community.

Gnotec specializes in the engineering and manufacturing of metal components for automotive and commercial vehicles’ body-in-white and chassis structures. With operations in China, Slovakia and Sweden, the company utilizes state-of-the-art automated technology in metal stamping, welding and assembly to provide customers with premium-quality solutions.

The company will be establishing operations in a 30,000-square-foot production facility at 152 Regional Parkway in Orangeburg, S.C. and is expected to come online in the first quarter of 2019. Hiring is slated to begin later this quarter, and interested applicants should visit www.gnotec.com for more information.

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

QUOTES

“We at Gnotec Group are excited to take the next step in our development to support our global customers by adding operations in the United States. We are very satisfied with Orangeburg County’s great logistics position, as well as South Carolina’s growing automotive industry, skilled workforce and excellent support for our establishment.” –Gnotec Group CEO Jörgen Oldenstedt

“The talented workforce in South Carolina has established a reputation as one of the best in the world. Gnotec Group’s decision to locate here represents not only the strength of our automotive industry, but the strength of our state’s economy as a whole.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

“South Carolina features an automotive constellation that’s second to none, and Gnotec’s new facility in Orangeburg County is further proof of that. Our workforce has consistently demonstrated an ability to get the job done, and we look forward to watching Gnotec succeed here for years to come.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“We are grateful and honored that Orangeburg County has been selected by Gnotec for their first North American location. Gnotec is a leading Scandinavian company that will support nearby Volvo Cars. We welcome many more suppliers to Orangeburg County and the South Carolina Global Logistics Triangle. My fellow county council members, Orangeburg County Development Commission, Central S.C. Alliance as well as the S.C. Department of Commerce are to be commended for all their efforts in support of this project.” -Orangeburg County Council Chairman Johnnie Wright Sr.

“We are very excited to welcome a Swedish-based Volvo Cars supplier to Orangeburg County. Our Central S.C. Alliance staff has worked diligently over the past years to market our eight-county region to Scandinavian automobile suppliers, and Gnotec’s decision to locate in the area is a great start to a growing local Volvo supplier base. Congratulations to the company and our partners in Orangeburg County.” -Central S.C. Alliance Chairman Mike Brenan

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Gnotec Group is locating new operations in Orangeburg County.
  • $5.9 million investment to create 78 new jobs.
  • Gnotec is a supplier to the automotive industry, specializing in the engineering and manufacturing of metal components.
  • The company will be establishing operations in a 30,000-square-foot production facility at 152 Regional Parkway in Orangeburg, S.C.
  • Hiring is slated to begin later this quarter, and interested applicants should visit www.gnotec.com for more information.

Calhoun, Orangeburg counties welcome I-26 widening plans; development official says, ‘It’s about time’

The S.C. Department of Transportation has approved plans to widen Interstate 26 from the Columbia area to the Charleston area.

The S.C. Department of Transportation’s decision to eventually widen Interstate 26 from the Columbia area to the Charleston area is being welcomed by development officials in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties.

“It is about time,” Calhoun County Development Commission Executive Director Pat Black said.

“We recommended this several years ago. I-26 and I-95, but especially I-26, is one of the main transportation arteries in this state and really the nation,” he said.

The SCDOT Commission approved the widening last week. It plans to direct $110 million annually toward widening projects on I-26 and the southern portion of I-95 beginning in 2023, once the fuel tax credit expires.

Widening I-26 is expected to cost $1.8 billion in today’s dollars.

SCDOT plans to widen I-26 from Old Sandy Run Road in Calhoun County (exit 125) to Ridgeville Road (exit 187) in Berkeley County. The work would be done in multiple phases, most likely beginning at Old Sandy Run Road and proceeding toward Charleston, according to SCDOT spokeswoman Lauren Rountree.

“Our plans are to complete the necessary preliminary work to have projects ready to go to contract as soon as possible once the funding becomes available,” Rountree said.

The South Carolina Economic Developers Association has been advocating for the widening of I-26 for at least a decade, Orangeburg County Development Commission Executive Director Gregg Robinson said.

Robinson said two major economic engines for the state are tourism and manufacturing.

“Road infrastructure is important for both,” he said.

He also noted that widening the interstate will help the Global Logistics Triangle, which is the name Orangeburg County uses to market the area bordered by I-26, I-95 and U.S. Highway 301.

Black said Interstate 26 was built in 1961 as a four-lane highway.

A lot has changed since then, he said.

“Traffic is nothing compared to what it was when it first started,” Black said. “It needs to be completed as quickly as possible.”

The average daily traffic count on I-26 in Calhoun County is 59,220 vehicles a day.

The average daily traffic count on I-26 in Orangeburg County is 51,614 vehicles a day, according to the SCDOT.

Black said widening I-26 would benefit Calhoun County.

An earlier project widening from Interstate 77 to Exit 125 has benefitted several Calhoun County industries such as Southeast Frozen Foods, Zeus Industrial Products, the Fitts Company and Thermo King. All the companies frequently use the interstate for transport.

“It gives several more lanes for commerce,” Black said. “It is crowded now. It is at full capacity.”

SCDOT’s plans for I-95 include widening 33 miles of Interstate 95 from the Georgia/South Carolina line to U.S. 17 (Exit 33).

CHS getting nonstop service to London in 2019

 

Charleston travelers will be able to fly nonstop to London aboard a 787-8 Dreamliner starting next year, marking the state’s first trans-Atlantic service.

British Airways plans to offer twice-weekly flights between London’s Heathrow Airport and Charleston International Airport beginning April 4. The seasonal service will run through October, at which point the airline will evaluate whether to continue, increase or halt the service.

A large cohort of airport and airline officials, business executives, economic developers and elected leaders gathered at Charleston International Airport today for the announcement. Many speakers called the flight “a game changer” for the airport and the Lowcountry.

“This is a historical day for this part of the world and the state of South Carolina. … This is huge for us and huge for South Carolina,” said state Sen. Paul Campbell, CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority. “Charleston is open to the world.”

As part of the recruitment effort, the state Commerce Department allocated $1.3 million toward costs associated with the airline’s launch in Charleston.

Simon Brooks, British Airways’ senior vice president of North America, said the Lowcountry’s internationally acclaimed charm, history, golf and beaches were a big part of the airline’s decision to include Charleston in its North American expansion plans. He said the flight will likely attract London tourists to visit Charleston and vice versa.

The Charleston region’s growth in international business was also part of the attraction. The Lowcountry has 183 companies that have international headquarters and operations; 16 of those are based in the United Kingdom, said Claire Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.

Officials lauded Helen Hill, an airport board member and CEO of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, for pursuing the airline.

Hill said that the airport has wanted an international flight since it opened in the 1980s. Talks with British Airways have been ongoing for several years.

Hill said the Lowcountry’s booming tourism sector brought the airline here, but she said it will be the region’s burgeoning international business community that will induce the airline to expand its initial offerings.

Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt and David Ginn, CEO of the CRDA, said the nonstop flights to London offer business travelers better connectivity between Europe and South Carolina. The nonstop flights will help market South Carolina as a place for international companies to grow or expand, several officials said.

Duane Parrish, director of the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, said he will no longer have to mention traveling through Georgia or North Carolina during overseas recruitment trips; London and European travelers can now come directly to Charleston.

The flight will operate on Thursdays and Sundays. Outbound flights will depart from Charleston at 10:50 p.m. and arrive in London the next morning at 11:50 a.m. Return flights will leave London at 5:20 p.m. and arrive in Charleston at 9:20 p.m.

British Airways will use a 787-8 Dreamliner for the flights. The Commerce Department said the airline will use a 787-8 built at Boeing South Carolina’s North Charleston Dreamliner manufacturing site.

British Airways will also take delivery of 12 new Boeing 787-10s built in North Charleston between 2020 and 2023, according to a news release from the airline.

Longleaf Packaging, LLC locating new operations in Orangeburg County

Orangeburg, S.C. – Longleaf Packaging, LLC today announced plans to establish a new manufacturing facility in Orangeburg County. The company’s $6 million investment is projected to create 28 new jobs in the community.

Longleaf Packaging will analyze and produce dry mix products for professional trade and retail end users. Manufacturing materials such as mortar mix, concrete mix and more, the company will also produce specialty items, including non-shrink grout and colored mortar mixes.

Located at 621 Good Farm Road in Holly Hill, S.C., Longleaf Packaging’s new, 18,700-square-foot facility is expected to come online in the fourth quarter of 2018 and will package and distribute bagged, pre-blended, dry mix products. Those looking to join the Longleaf Packaging team should contact lmarchant@longleafpackaging.com for job inquiries.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $100,000 Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Orangeburg County to assist with the costs of site preparation and infrastructure improvements.

QUOTES

“With its abundant natural resources and well-established workforce, Orangeburg County has proven to be a great fit for our first packaging facility. We are excited to be in one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation and look forward to an exciting future.” –Longleaf Packaging President Ray Love

“Today, we welcome Longleaf Packaging to the impressive roster of manufacturing companies that have decided to call our state home. This new plant and the 28 jobs it will create will have a significant impact on Orangeburg County, and I look forward to watching it thrive there.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

“From cars to planes and everything in-between, it’s been proven that in South Carolina, we make things and make them well. Congratulations to Longleaf Packaging, and we look forward to watching our world-class workforce succeed in producing quality products in Orangeburg County.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“Welcome Longleaf Packaging to South Carolina’s Global Logistics Triangle. We’re grateful that you selected Interstate 95 and the Holly Hill/Santee area for your first central South Carolina facility. The workforce and location will pay dividends to you and your customers with the ability to access such a strong growth market of the southeast. It’s indeed a great day in Orangeburg County thanks to Longleaf Packaging.” – Orangeburg County Council Chairman Johnnie Wright Sr.

“We extend a warm welcome to Longleaf Packaging, LLC and congratulate the company on the launch of its first Midlands-area facility. Longleaf Packaging’s selection of Orangeburg County for a dry mix packaging plant puts it in an ideal location to meet the needs of purchasers from around the state.” –Central S.C. Alliance Chairman Mike Brenan

FIVE FAST FACTS

  • Longleaf Packaging, LLC locating new operations in Orangeburg County
  • $6 million investment to create 28 new jobs.
  • Longleaf Packaging will manufacture, package and distribute a variety of dry-mix products.
  • The new facility will be located at 621 Good Farm Road in Holly Hill, S.C.
  • Operations are expected to come online in the fourth quarter of 2018.