2011 SC Biz Issue 1 - Orangeburg County
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ORANGEBURG(Photos/Courtesy of the city of Orangeburg)
When it comes to promise, Orangeburg County has been more blessed than most.The linchpin between the Midlands and
the Lowcountry, the community and its lead-ers believe in taking the countys economic fortunes into its own hands. In spite of the recent recession, leaders saw their dedication rewarded with deals involving both domestic and international companies.
The mission of OCDC, as codified by the Orangeburg County Development Com-mission, is to be the recognized leader in the South for recruitment of quality manufactur-ing, research and development, and distribu-tion firms, as well as those who may be con-sidering relocating their headquarters, said Jeannine Kees, OCDC chair.
Our philosophy really comes down to two things: value and profit, said Gregg Robinson, executive director of the Orangeburg County Development Commission since 2005. If we add value to our key manufacturing organiza-tions, they make a profit.
One is the mission, and the other is what we are targeting when we try to recruit new businesses to our county specifically, and the region in general, he continued.
The way we do that is by showcasing the amenities of our state and region, Robinson said. Once we have done that, we then get down to the business of showing them that Or-angeburg County is the best location within the region for them to locate their facility, and is the place where they will make the most profit.
Another aspect of the mission is position-ing the county as a value-added resource for a company considering relocation or opening a new plant.
Thats because if youre not adding value for the companies that we are sitting down to talk to, then you are wasting their time, Rob-inson said.
Many times the conversation boils down to problem solving: How can the county help solve problems or resolve challenges within the prospects business plan to make a differ-ence to their suppliers and their customers?
And while Robinson said it would be dif-ficult to pick just one example, he said as a general rule, the problem solving comes down to helping the firm with three fundamental is-sues: qualified labor, logistics and access to low-cost utilities.
Its all about making sure they can be as successful as they can be, Robinson said.
The payoff for the county is that successful companies will invest more in their location and pay their people a higher wage.
If they are a smart company, a good grow-ing company, they know that the best way to continue that profit for the shareholders is to reinvest in the building and its people, Rob-inson said. Therefore, its a mutually benefi-cial philosophy.
To understand the success Orangeburg County has enjoyed in recent years, a good place to start is a map of the eastern United States. South Carolina is located in the middle of the Interstate 95 corridor, and Orangeburg County is located in the center of the state at the intersection of I-95 and I-26. It is just 70
Well-positioned for success
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Great place to visit... AdS`YWTgdY5ag`fkTri-County Regional Chamber of Commerce
www.tri-crcc.com1-800-788-5646 or 1-888-568-5646
Orangeburg Chamber of Commercewww.orangeburgchamber.com
Husqvarna North America announced it will invest $105 million in its Orangeburg County plant over the next 13 years. (Photo/Provided)
miles from the bustling Port of Charleston and about 100 miles from the Port of Savan-nah. The locals refer to this area as the Global Logistics Triangle, where U.S. Highway 301 connects the two major interstates.
Our existing road infrastructure is a major asset to our county and region, Kees said. The ability to receive goods and ship product is why
our county has over 13 million square feet of industrial space and is home to close to 100 manufacturing and distribution companies.
Johnny Wright, chair of the Orangeburg County Council, said the legislative delega-tion and commitment of the municipal may-ors has been unprecedented in the county.
We have one team and all believe that
economic development is priority No. 1, Wright said.
County Administrator Bill Clark said U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, state Sen. John Matthews and the Orangeburg Legislative delegation have been dedicated to rural South Carolina and improving the quality of life along the I-95 corridor.
Our leadership has been key to position-ing us for available opportunities in rural South Carolina, Clark said.
Recruitment toolsOrangeburg County leaders also under-
stand that the quality of the local roads, the utility network, the people and the incentives that come back to companies on a perfor-mance-based basis all contribute to a com-panys success.
It comes down to being realistic, being honest and really, relying on our strengths of what we know we can deliver, Robinson said. If we recruited a company and they failed, then we really wouldnt have done ourselves or the company a service.
Like I said earlier, in business, if you are not adding value to their process and to their product, you are truly wasting their time and
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O r a n g e b u r gSpecial Advertising Section
As a breast cancer survivor, Betty Riley credits the Breast Health Center and the Mabry Center for Cancer Care with giving her an opportunity to live again.
Nurse midwife Kristen Bonavilla has helped mothers give birth at hospitals across the Midlands. When it came time to add to her own family, Regional Medical Center was my first choice.
After joint replacement surgery to repair his arthritic hip, Coach Willie Jeffries was walking the very next day. In fact, he was going so fast they said, Slow down Coach, slow down.
Throughout the Midlands,
people are complimenting
the Regional Medical
Centers advanced care,
expertise and capabilities.
Learn more about what
people are saying, or
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3000 St. Matthews RoadOrangeburg, SC 29118
Were changing how you think about health care.
Jafza recently completed the first building on its more than 1,300-acre site along I-95. (Photo/Provided)
money, as well as our own, he said.
Working togetherFor years, Orangeburg County has mar-
keted its Global Logistics Triangle (I-26, U.S. 301 and I-95) as the regions premier trans-portation hub. But businesses have found a lot to like throughout the county. They quickly discovered the Orangeburg difference that when you become a part of the Orangeburg business community, you literally become a part of the fabric of future growth efforts.
Its critical, Robinson said. Every com-pany we bring in talks to local businesses. We want to have a strong partnership with our existing industry and businesses.
A long time ago, companies wouldnt talk to each other because they were afraid they were going to steal their forklift operator, he continued. Now they see the importance of clustering more breeds more.
The Orangeburg County/City Industrial Park, which is located at I-26 and U.S. 301, is a good example. The park was first developed in 1998, and by 2010, 1 million square feet of space had been developed, resulting in the creation of more than 1,000 jobs, Robinson said.
Orangeburg Mayor Paul Miller said, The
partnership between the city and the county is essential in order to win projects. Our leader-ship is on the same page when it comes to jobs and economic development.
Let me tell you, the Development Com-mission is standing on the shoulders of a lot of great ladies and gentlemen that placed eco-nomic development at the forefront of what we do in Orangeburg County, Robinson said.
Robinson also said that economic devel-opment is not an overnight success story by any stretch. It is about creating a foundation the organizational structure that supports industry.
Its also about having the continued com-mitment, year-in and year-out, from county
council, from the cities, from the utilities, and from the community that understands we want to add more to the community, Robin-son said.
Even though the county faces unprece-dented challenges, we are very optimistic that a team approach to economic development is absolutely vital, Kees said.
Robinson added, ... Government doesnt create jobs. Government creates the ground-work, the infrastructure, the allocation of re-sources our tax dollars and an environ-ment that cultivates the ability of companies to be successful. Thats what creates jobs.
In turn, a strong business base helps provide for better the amenities, including schools. They also support what economic development leaders refer to as derived externalities things like restaurants, movie theaters, gas stations, grocery stores and other businesses that spring up to serve the work force and their families.
Work force strategyWhen it comes to work force develop-
ment, Orangeburg County has placed an em-phasis on working with primary and second-ary educational professionals to try to create
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