Laurens County was one of four Upstate communities to make the “Small Towns, Big Deals” list


Southern Business & Development list recognizes investment, job creation from 2010-2016

Four Upstate South Carolina communities are named in Southern Business & Development’s “Dixie Dozen: Small Towns, Big Deals” feature, which recognizes successful economic development efforts among communities with a population of 200,000 or less.

Cherokee, Laurens, Oconee, and Pickens counties were among the 14 South Carolina communities highlighted in the current edition of the publication, which covers economic development in the American South.

The feature “is a salute to 12 parishes or counties in a state that continue to attract manufacturing jobs.” Each featured area has a population of 200,000 or less and attracted multiple projects between 2010 and 2016, leading to creation of 50 or more jobs.

“Having Cherokee, Laurens, Oconee and Pickens counties recognized for their industrial recruitment successes and economic growth demonstrates that the Upstate is a great place to do business, with communities of various sizes and strengths,” said John Lummus, President & CEO of the Upstate SC Alliance. “We are proud the Upstate has such a strong presence in this feature.”

Overall, the Upstate saw $13.3 billion in capital investment from 2010-2016, with more than 37,515 jobs created.

Recent announcements of Belgium-based Moderna Products investing $6.5 million in Cherokee County,
ZF Transmission’s largest North American investment in Laurens County with $400 million, BASF’s $60 million facility expansion in Oconee County, and the $13 million invested by Taylor Made in Pickens County were among the projects highlighted by the publication.


“It is indeed an honor for Cherokee County to be recognized by Southern Business & Development Magazine. Many people here have worked hard to make our community a strong location for manufacturing and distribution operations.” -Jim Cook, Executive Director, Cherokee County Development Board

“From 2010-2016, Laurens County experienced great industrial recruitment success. It shows that Laurens County is a great place to do business, no matter the size of the industry. We have built upon those successes to make our environment even better for business. We continue to make strides in the right direction and hope the next six years will be even better.” -Jonathan A. Coleman, Executive Director, Laurens County Development Corporation

“We are delighted to see Oconee County showcased in this regional economic development magazine as a community having continued economic development successes; it is a testament to being well-positioned in Upstate South Carolina along the Interstate 85 corridor paired up with a deep skilled talent pool to go with our three new industrial parks,” said Richard K. Blackwell, Executive Director, Oconee Economic Alliance.

“While we are pleased with the recognition by Southern Business Development Magazine of our efforts in Pickens County, we are perhaps most pleased with our community’s actions that resulted in these announcements. Our Scholar Technician® initiative directed towards increasing the volume and velocity of Pickens County students preparing for STEM Manufacturing careers in our schools, combined with a county leadership committed to developing pad ready industrial sites, have collectively helped cause our recent project announcements. As we are home to Clemson University, we are very happy to say that Pickens County.South Carolina.USA is home to National Championships, Scholar Technician®, and Class A sites.” – Ray Farley, Executive Director, Alliance Pickens


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