South Carolina continues to be a national leader in economic development, as evidenced by its third straight Gold Shovel Award.
The awards, presented annually by Area development magazine, recognize states “for their large numbers of high-impact economic development projects.” In addition to the Palmetto State, Gold Shovel winners included California, Ohio, Tennessee, Nevada and Utah.
South Carolina won in the category of states with populations of 3-5 million. Its top projects included Volvo Car Group (Berkeley County), Red Ventures (Lancaster County), Mercedes Benz Vans (Charleston County) and Rite Aid (Spartanburg County).
“Both Volvo Car Group and Mercedes- Benz Vans plan to build $500 million manufacturing operations in the Charleston area that combined will employ nearly 3,800 workers,” the magazine noted. “This also means that many of the more than 200 automotive suppliers in the state are in growth mode.”
The Volvo and Mercedes projects also ranked nationally among Area Development’s top automotive projects of the year.
“Volvo expects to hire up to 2,500 workers over the next decade. The plant is expected to generate nearly $5 billion in total annual economic output,” the magazine writes. Mercedes-Benz Vans, meanwhile, “will become one of the largest industrial employers in the region.”
Area Development also pointed out that South Carolina’s road, rail and port infrastructure make it “a preferred location for distribution and logistics operations.”
South Carolina previously earned a Gold Shovel in 2014 and 2015 and a Silver Shovel in 2013.