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By Trevor Anderson, Upstate Business Journal
Local officials believe the facility is one of the most important tools in the county’s repertoire of economic development assets that has continued to attract new investment and, perhaps most importantly, jobs. Since its inception in 2006, the center at SCC’s Tyger River Campus has supported the development of more than 15,000 jobs and close to $1 billion in wage earnings in Spartanburg, according to the college. In total, 61 new and existing enterprises have utilized the 363,000-square-foot center to launch, expand or relocate their manufacturing, distribution and office operations in the county.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a company say ‘this is the reason we chose Spartanburg,’” said state Rep. Mike Forrester, R-Spartanburg, and director of economic development for SCC. “There’s nothing else like this that I know of.” A study conducted in 2015 that measured the center’s economic impact found it supported the creation of 2,766 jobs during the year and created a “ripple effect” that supported a total of 4,304 jobs.
“It helps us differentiate ourselves from all other counties not just in the state but the whole country,” said Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt. “I don’t know of many other counties that have that tool in their toolbox. It is very important to us.”
Henry Giles Jr., president of SCC, said the center is the 5th largest incubator in the U.S.
Forrester said BMW Manufacturing Co. came in and set up, tested and perfected one of its new paint shop processes and then “went and built their facility.”“It’s like being in the pool with someone when you’re trying to teach them how to swim,” Britt said.