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Timken and Broad River Electric Cooperative were among four companies honored by Spartanburg Community College as “Economic Visionaries” for their contributions to economic growth in the Upstate.
In a statement released Friday, SCC annnounced that, in a ceremony at the Spartanburg Marriott Thursday it “recognized four outstanding companies who have made significant contributions in transforming the Upstate business community. Economic Visionary awards were presented to Atchinson Transportation Services, Broad River Electric Cooperative, Inc., The Timken Company-Tyger River Plant and BMW Manufacturing Company from Spartanburg and Cherokee counties at the College’s first annual Economic Visionary event.”
Among those addressing the ceremony was guest speaker James I. Newsome, III, president/CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority, and SCC President Henry C. Giles Jr. who spoke about the economic growth the Upstates has experienced in recent years and the impact that growth has had on the state’s economy and its reputation globally.
“The Upstate is the engine driving South Carolina’s new economy,” Giles said. “During the past seven years, companies have invested more than $9 billion in capital in the Upstate, creating nearly 35,000 jobs. And more than 375 companies, representing 32 countries, call this area home, fueling South Carolina’s reputation as a global economic leader. SCC’s inaugural Economic Visionaries is a wonderful opportunity for College to recognize and thank innovative companies for the work they do, their partnership with SCC, and their investment in our Upstate economy.”
The press release states that four companies were named SCC 2017 Economic Visionaries based on the number of employees at each organization.
“The competition was very keen, and all nominees were excellent,” said Giles. “Each business’s vision for their organization, their support of education, the environment and the community is impressive, and I am proud of each one of them.”
Giles presented the following awards with assistance from SCC’s new Executive Director of the College’s Foundation, Bea Walters Smith. SCC’s 2017 Economic Visionaries include the following:
Category: 1-50 Employees — Broad River Electric Cooperative, Inc., Gaffney, SC; accepting the award was Mr. Terry Mallard, president and CEO of the organization.
In a statement released Tuesday, Mallard said that BREC will continue working for the betterment of the Upstate in partnership with other organizations such as SCC.
“We are humbled and honored by this award, but it comes not just because of recent accomplishments, but because of the long-standing commitment our Board of Trustees and our staff have made to the communities we serve,” Giles said. “We will continue to partner with entities like Spartanburg Community College to improve the quality of life in the Upstate.”
Category 2: 51-100 Employees — Atchinson Transportation Services, Spartanburg, SC; accepting the award was Mr. Charles Atchinson, president of the organization.
Category 3: 101-299 Employees — The Timken Company, Tyger River Plant, Union, SC; accepting the award was Mr. Bob Hart, plant manager at the Tyger River Plant.
In a statement released Tuesday, Hart thanked SCC for the award and said it is another sign of Timken’s efforts to be a good corporate citizen and contributor to Union County and the Upstate.
Category 4: 300 or More Employees — BMW Manufacturing, Inc., Greer, SC; accepting the award was Mr. Max Metcalf, manager of government and community relations for the organization.
Giles went on to explain that SCC began planning for this event over a year ago in an effort to recognize business and industry that have created opportunities and have made a difference in our communities.
“You cannot have a great community if there is not a vision and strong leadership and Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties have both,” Giles added. “Our communities are blessed to have visionaries that display strong leadership. This is especially true for our business and industries — they are the heart of our community: They add wealth to goods and services; they provide jobs for our citizens; they support and encourage good government and quality education; and they are supportive of a healthy/clean environment. In summary, they enable us to live and work in a healthy prosperous community. We are delighted to celebrate the great business and industry we have, both big and small.”
In his address as guest speaker, Newsome, shared insights on the Palmetto State’s most significant strategic asset — the Ports Authority — and how its connectivity to the global marketplace influences economic development and job growth, and is one of the most critical economic drivers and key competitive advantages for SC.
“Our port is the best working port in the United States, and the Southeast is the best place to be in the import and export business,” Newsome said. “This is about growth; We are the ninth largest port in the US and the 78th largest port in the world. We have grown 45 percent in the last five years, from 2011-2016, and we have had a $53 billion economic impact to the state of SC.”
Newsome went on to share that the port is owned and operated by the state, it’s a public entity, and most people don’t know that. The state is a very important partner to the port. He explained the “major container port priorities now and through 2020 are cargo base grown, operational efficiency, infrastructure investment (which is the biggest challenge), and intermodal connectivity. This is an exciting time at the port.”
Giles added that “from the automotive industry to carbon fiber, heavy machinery to distribution, the Upstate manufactures, ships and innovates — and, in the process, changes the world. That level of investment and economic success, however, would not be possible without partnerships — people pulling in the same direction to achieve common goals.”
“We are grateful to the organizations that partnered with us as event sponsors. Tonight would not have been possible without their support.” said Giles. (Edited for space - see list on article website)