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By Bob Montgomery, Spartanburg Herald Journal
South Carolina is well-positioned to win the battle for jobs as the United States works to lure manufacturing companies from overseas, a new report says.
The Palmetto State ranks the lowest in the nation in annual operating costs for advanced manufacturing companies, while New Jersey is the most expensive, according to the report released Monday by The Boyd Company, a site selection firm.
The study compares the costs of labor, electricity and taxes of the 48 contiguous states to determine the annual cost for a company to operate. It is based on a hypothetical 225,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing plant with 500 workers.
In that scenario, South Carolina had the lowest annual operating costs at $30.1 million, while New Jersey is the highest at $39.8 million.
By comparison, Connecticut’s annual cost would be $38.6 million; California, $35.5 million; Ohio, $34 million; and Kentucky, $31 million.
“The news is very good for South Carolina,” said John Boyd, principal at The Boyd Company. “We also expect Spartanburg to continue to do very well.”
“He really verifies all we’ve learned,” said Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt, chairman of the council’s economic development committee. “You have to be in the ballgame. And we’re in the ballgame. The golden goose is business and industry, and everything else follows.” Britt said Spartanburg has not only focused on jobs, but attracting companies with higher-paying jobs such as BMW, Michelin, Toray, Kobelco and Michelin. “It’s not just hourly earnings that bring companies here,” Britt said. “That’s not what they’re looking for. It’s how they can show their board an operating cost that is competitive and a level of education that I don’t think is offered in other parts of the state and Southeast.”