The Greenville (SC) Area Development Corporation, charged with promoting and enhancing quality of life in Greenville County by facilitating job growth and investment, announced strong job creation and capital investment for 2012, and a 7-to-1 return in county revenues for each dollar invested, at its Annual Meeting on Thursday.
GADC President & CEO Jerry Howard and Board Chairman Chris Riley honored South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley with the Greenville Area Development Corporation’s ninth annual William D. Workman III Buffalo Hunter Award, its highest honor. The award has been presented since 2004 to the individual or organization that has had the most significant positive impact on the local economy. Governor Haley is the first South Carolina governor to be recognized with the GADC award.
They also recognized Peter Waldschmidt, CEO of software developer Gnoso Inc. and a longtime advocate of economic development in the region, who was recently named as Greenville County’s Economic Development Ambassador for 2013 by Governor Haley. Waldschmidt was saluted for having spent countless hours in support of such key technology-driven and knowledge-economy-focused initiatives as TEDxGreenville, NEXT, UCAN, the NEXT Innovation Center and InternGreenville.com/.
Governor Haley served as keynote speaker for the event, saluting the historical job- and investment-producing accomplishments of the GADC and its partners in economic development. The Governor emphasized the importance of continuing to cultivate a business-friendly state at all levels, and stressed the continuing importance of workforce development initiatives and deepening the Port of Charleston and improving other statewide infrastructure as key to continued growth.
In reporting to a standing-room-only gathering of private and public sector leaders, Mr. Riley noted that in 2012 the GADC worked with relocating and existing companies to create 1,454 new jobs and attract new capital investment of $273 million. Since inception in mid-2001, the GADC has announced in excess of 16,500 new jobs and $2.8 billion in capital investment in the county for projects they have managed.
Greenville County revenues generated by GADC-assisted companies continue to grow, producing a 7:1 return on investment for public dollars invested in the organization since the GADC's inception.
As the 116th Governor of South Carolina, Governor Haley has emerged as a champion of smart, strategic economic development in the Palmetto State. Since assuming office in January 2011, her administration has announced more than 31,000 new jobs and in excess of $7.5 billion in investment in South Carolina both records for a Governor in such a brief period.
Among numerous economic development accomplishments during her administration have been announcements by Continental Tire in Sumter, adding 1,620 jobs and $500 million in investment; TD Bank’s regional hub in Greenville, including 1,400 jobs; BMW’s expansion, adding 1,000 new jobs and $900 million in new investment; and Bridgestone Americas’ Aiken expansion, representing $1.2 billion in investment and 850 jobs.
South Carolina and Gov. Haley have also received high ratings for recruiting foreign direct investment (FDI), with fDi Magazine naming her among the top ten Governors in the nation. IBM’s 2012 Global Location Trends report ranked South Carolina tops in the nation for jobs through foreign investment during 2011, while Area Development named South Carolina a 2012 Gold Shovel Award winner in recognition of economic development projects undertaken in 2011. South Carolina’s workforce training program, readySC™, was one of three state workforce training programs recognized by Business Facilities magazine with an Economic Development Achievement Award.
A strong fiscal conservative, Governor Haley has shown an unwavering commitment to the taxpayers’ bottom line -- fighting wasteful spending, pushing for more efficient government, and leading the fight for accountability and transparency. She has been named “Friend of the Taxpayer” by the S.C. Association of Taxpayers and earned lifetime “A” rating from the South Carolina Club for Growth, the Palmetto Family Council, and the National Rifle Association.
“Throughout her tenure as Governor, Governor Haley has gone above and beyond the call of duty in helping ensure that positive economic growth and the thousands of good jobs and billions of dollars in economic contribution and taxes that go with them are situated right here in South Carolina, with many of them right here in Greenville,” said Riley in making the presentation.
Past award honorees have included Tony Allen, senior project manager at the SC Department of Commerce for 2011; Nancy Whitworth, economic development director for the City of Greenville in 2010; Morgan Harrell, former Project Manager at the Department of Commerce in 2009; and Duke Energy’s grant-making AdvanceSC in 2008. Willson “Will” Williams of the South Carolina Department of Commerce received honors in 2007; Alan “Daniel” Young of the Department of Commerce in 2006; Dr. Wayne Bennett of the Clemson University Foundation in 2005; and Bob Marriott of the South Carolina Department of Commerce was the inaugural honoree in 2004.
The award is named for former Greenville mayor and South Carolina economic development advocate Bill Workman, and is presented annually to an individual who is an exceptional champion of economic development, and a standard bearer for public/private collaboration in marketing the Greenville community.
The Greenville Area Development Corporation (gogadc.com) is a non-profit organization established by Greenville County Council to promote and enhance the economic growth and development of Greenville County. Since its founding in 2001, GADC efforts have resulted in the creation of more than 16,500 new jobs and more than $2.8 billion in capital investment in Greenville County, SC.