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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).

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.

Orangeburg planning for open-air market; downtown pavilion may be ready in 2019

This artist’s rendering shows the Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association’s plans for a 6,000-square-foot open-air market/pavilion.

Downtown Orangeburg could soon have its own 6,000-square-foot permanent, open-air market/pavilion.

The Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association unveiled its plans for the pavilion Wednesday during a One Orangeburg County Leadership Team meeting.

“This is our big baby for downtown,” DORA Executive Director Candice Roberson said. “We are ready to roll it out.”

The pavilion will be located at the site of the former Sifly furniture building at the corner of Church and Russell streets. The Sifly building was torn down in October 2015. The lot has been vacant since.

The pavilion will have 12-foot high ceilings with two climate-controlled, handicapped accessible, multi-stalled restrooms, storage and office space.

The open pavilion itself will have natural and mechanical ventilation. The facility will also be able to be closed during inclement weather.

The facility would be able to house 32 vendors. Power and water will be available for vendors and fans and lighting will be installed.

The pavilion, which will be built with timber, will be put out to bid within the next 30 days to 45 days with construction to begin in early spring, Roberson said.

DORA hopes to have the pavilion open by the end of summer 2019.

The pavilion will cost about $800,000, with Phase 1 to include the pavilion and Phase 2 to include a community commercial kitchen.

To date, DORA has commitments in the amount of approximately $400,000. The money has come from private donors, foundations and public entities, Roberson said.

Roberson said DORA will continue to try to find sponsors to make the market a reality.

“We just hope the community uses this facility and embraces it with open arms,” she said.

The permanent facility is needed due to the growth of the farmers’ market since its inception four years ago in front of First Baptist Church in downtown Orangeburg, Roberson said.

“With the continued growth of our market, we need this,” she said. “This pavilion provides us the opportunity to expand our market hours, access to a covered area in the case of inclement weather, the ability to offer high-speed internet connections for credit card payments and permanent restrooms.”

The farmer’s market started off with an average of about four to six vendors. Today, there are an average of 12 vendors every Tuesday from May through August. Public participation has also increased by 50 percent, Roberson said.

With each farmer/vendor averaging about $600 per week in sales, 2018 gross revenues for farmers exceeded $115,200. All the farmers who use the market are from Orangeburg County.

But the pavilion will not just be for farmers, Roberson said.

“This is for everyone in Orangeburg,” she said. “We want to see family reunions, wedding receptions, oyster roasts. If it rains at a street dance, we will move it under here.”

The pavilion could also host such things as arts and craft shows, flower symposiums and other community events.

“This project along with several projects looking to begin soon will complete the renovations of the core of Downtown Orangeburg,” Roberson said. “The mission of DORA is to encourage the development, redevelopment and improvement of downtown Orangeburg and to promote downtown merchants and businesses in order to create a strong economic base for our community.”

“This project falls right in line with our mission,” she continued. “We see this as a springboard for the development and revitalization of downtown buildings to house restaurants, retail spaces, business offices and downtown living spaces.”

“To make this project happen, our community has to support us,” Roberson said. “It takes a village to build a pavilion.”

Those interesting in helping to support and fund the pavilion are asked to contact Roberson at 803-531-6186.