Area Development magazine, a national economic development publication, has awarded South Carolina with its 2011 Gold Shovel award for the state’s economic development efforts last year. In addition, South Carolina also received the magazine’s “Project of the Year” award for the First Quality Tissue project in Anderson County.
Each year, the magazine recognizes states in three population categories that have recruited the highest-quality and most jobs per capita, in projects that have broken ground in the previous year. This year marks the sixth year of the awards. South Carolina was the Gold Shovel winner this year in the 4 million to 9 million population category. The state was previously awarded a silver shovel in 2009 and 2010.
Some of the projects cited by Area Development in its decision to award South Carolina the Gold Shovel included First Quality Tissue in Anderson County, ZF Group in Laurens County, Caterpillar in Newberry County, Robert Bosch in Dorchester County, S.C. Tissue in Barnwell County, Boeing Fabrication Interiors in Charleston County, Dixie Narco (Crane Co.) in Barnwell County and Johnson Controls in Florence County.
South Carolina also received Area Development’s Project of the Year award for work on the First Quality Tissue project. Last May, First Quality Tissue selected Anderson County for its new manufacturing operations. The $1 billion investment is expected to create 1,000 new jobs. The company chose Anderson County after an extensive site selection process and credited the state’s proximity to the growing Southeastern market, quality infrastructure and low energy costs among other factors in helping make the choice.
“It is quite an honor for Anderson County to be named in a very prestigious list of projects that brought Area Development’s Gold Shovel award to South Carolina,” said Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn. “Anderson County Council is motivated by a unified vision to create high-paying jobs for our residents by attracting quality industry to our county. We have a firm foundation of infrastructure to support industry, many and diverse site locations, a well-equipped workforce and competitive incentives. Anderson County’s team scored a home run with First Quality Tissue.
“First Quality’s decision to bring an $1 billion investment and 1,000 jobs to Anderson County represents the successful collaboration of our legislative delegation, county council and administration, economic development professionals and the S.C. Department of Commerce to bring prospective industry home to South Carolina.”