Thursday, November 17, 2016
Three economic development wins that have come to fruition in the past year are being rolled into Greenwood Partnership Alliance marketing materials in a move officials hope will separate the county from its peers in attracting new investors.
On Wednesday, Greenwood Partnership Alliance Business Development Manager James Bateman said The Greenwood Promise campaign, adoption of a penny sales tax to pay for 27 capital improvement projects across the county and Teijin’s arrival are being viewed as catalysts for even more growth.
“Teijin’s consumption of utilities is now a factor in our response to these RFIs (requests for information), as is the capital project initiative and The Greenwood Promise and how it ties into other educational initiatives.” Bateman told the alliance’s board of directors. “We want them to hear that message.”
Bateman said the Alliance – which serves as the county’s economic development arm – has 53 total projects in the pipeline, up from 48 in September.
Bateman said several projects included in the capital projects sales tax portfolio – particularly construction of the Upstate Center for Manufacturing Excellence at Piedmont Technical College, the widening of Highway 246 and implementation of a fire services master plan – should have favorable, long-term benefits for the county’s economy.
“Whether it be the fire master plan to widening of 246 and improving that truck corridor for existing industries and prospective industries,” Bateman said. “On these prospect visits, (Greenwood Partnership Alliance CEO) Heather (Simmons Jones) or myself will be asked, ‘what’s the labor force like? That’s one of the first questions out of the gate.”
Jones said the alliance is also using its marketing resources to interface with site management firms and other entities that have direct contact with potential business leads.
“As much as we want to have that conversation with the companies and the prospects, it’s important to have that conversation with those that are meeting with those companies in that decision-making process,” she said.
Earlier this month, Teijin, a Japanese chemical technology company, announced it was making the largest single-day investment in the county’s history, spending $600 million to build a facility on more than 454 acres of land off Highway 246 that will create 220 jobs.
Contact staff writer Adam Benson at 864-943-5650 or on Twitter@ABensonIJ.