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Planting Seeds for Countywide Success

March 16, 2020 by David Britt | 2020news

Spartanburg downtown photo
Spartanburg, SC

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Spartanburg County is coming off a decade of unprecedented economic growth, capped off by a 2019 that featured strong capital investment and job creation across the county.

The leadership of County Council and a host of others have planted the seeds for success countywide, and those seeds are bearing fruit in many areas.

Spartanburg’s industrial market emerged from the Great Recession with a trajectory for growth. Over the years, economic development has brought tremendous investment to our county, but more importantly has brought thousands of jobs for our people.

The past decade saw 14,888 jobs created countywide from more than $6 billion in capital investment.

We’ve seen near-equal growth between new investment and expansion projects over the past decade, a sign that companies want to do business here, and that the companies doing business here are succeeding. In 2019, new business accounted for 59% of investment and expansions were the other 41%.

The year brought $354,126,687 in total investment, with 27 projects and 811 new jobs coming to our county. Industries that have traditionally performed well, such as advanced manufacturing, continued to be strong, but industries like aerospace and life sciences also grew, giving Spartanburg the chance to flex its economic development muscle in new ways.

As outlined by the OneSpartanburg corporate development strategy, work is ongoing to encourage office development and determine the incentives that make companies more likely to bring office jobs to Spartanburg.

The work to bring high-paying jobs to Spartanburg is a crucial piece of our county’s future. And OneSpartanburg has doubled down on its efforts to ensure that strong future.

Thanks to the work of the Spartanburg Academic Movement, our county recently saw a 4.6% increase in the number of people 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree. Every time that number increases, it strengthens our already impressive workforce.

And our talent pool is only getting deeper. Spartanburg was the eighth-fastest growing small city among millennials between 2012-2017, and from 2017-2018, 7,256 new residents came to Spartanburg County, outpacing Charleston and Dorchester counties combined. That made the Spartanburg County metro area the 19th-fastest growing in the U.S.

Spartanburg’s workforce has proven it can produce world-class products across multiple industries. With a strong K-12 system, seven colleges and universities churning out highly qualified talent each year, and career centers like Swofford, R.D. Anderson and the Daniel Morgan Technology Center, we’ve got a solid pipeline from education to employment in Spartanburg County.

Our allies, such as Upstate Alliance, ReadySC and Apprenticeship Carolina, among many more, give us a leg up when it comes to connecting our talent and our jobs. And Spartanburg Community College’s Spark Center gives our community an asset that lets new businesses work from an existing space while setting up Spartanburg operations.

The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Talent Toolkit puts a host of resources in one place so your business can better attract, develop and retain talent. And See Yourself in Spartanburg, another Chamber effort, is available to connect employees to Spartanburg, making them more likely to stay with Spartanburg employers.

We’ve got plenty of reasons to believe the 2020s will be an even brighter spot in Spartanburg County’s economic development history.

Spartanburg was just named No. 15 on the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities in 2020 list. Kevin Klowden, executive director of the Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics, said this about the top 25 communities: “The top-performing cities have cohesive strategies that allow them to weather economic storms and leverage their assets for sustained growth.”

OneSpartanburg is that strategy for our community, and the growth our county has seen wouldn’t be possible without dedication and persistence.

With a decade of success behind us, we are preparing for the future so that Spartanburg has the real estate, incentive and talent solutions in place to continue our strong record of attracting new business and supporting business expansion. We know our business and economic success is the golden goose for our entire county, and we prove it every day.

To see just how successful Spartanburg County has been, visit

David Britt, vice president and general manager of Tindall Corp., is Spartanburg County Council’s vice chairman and the council’s Economic Recruitment and Development Committee chairman.