Around the Region: Carolinas get top honors for job creation in 2011

Published 6:44 pm Thursday, June 14, 2012

North Carolina and South Carolina were among the leading states in the nation last year for economic development projects, according to Area Development, the leading national economic development magazine.
Area Development awarded South Carolina a Gold Shovel Award and North Carolina a Silver Shovel Award for their economic development efforts in 2011. The magazine ranked South Carolina first among states with a population between 3 and 5 million, while North Carolina was among four states with a population above 9 million to receive a Silver Shovel.
The top investment projects in 2011 in South Carolina included three tire manufacturers, which announced last year a combined total of nearly 3,000 new jobs. Continental Tire is creating a new plant in Sumter County that will create 1,620 jobs, while Bridgestone (850 jobs) and Michelin (250 jobs) announced expansions in Aiken and Lexington counties, respectively.
In North Carolina, the top projects last year included Connextions (1,200 jobs), Capgemini (550 jobs) and Chiquita Brands International, all in Mecklenburg County. Also on the list were Red Hat (540) in Wake County, Semprius (256) in Henderson County and Horsehead Corp. (250) in Rutherford County.
– source: Area Development Magazine; S.C. Department of Commerce, 6-13-12
North Carolina outpaced 35 other states in economic growth last year and doubled the average growth rate in the southeast, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department. The economy in the Tar Heel state grew 1.8 percent more than in 2010, well above the 0.9 percent average growth rate for the 12 states in the southeast region.
– source: Triangle Business Journal; Charlotte Business Journal, 6-5-12
Home sales jumped in the Asheville area in May, according to the N.C. Mountains Multiple Listing Service. Sales of existing homes were up 31.7 percent in Buncombe County compared to May of last year. The listing service reported 186 sales in Buncombe County in May of 2011 and 245 sales in May of this year. Sales of existing homes were up even more in Henderson and Transylvania counties, which saw increases in May of 42.7 percent and 41.7 percent, respectively. The median price in May was down slightly in Buncombe County.
– source: Asheville Citizen-Times, 6-7-12
Printpack has announced it will close its packaging plant next year in Hendersonville, eliminating 115 jobs. The Atlanta-based company said it plans to build a new plant in Rhinelander, Wis. and close the specialty packaging plant in Henderson County in the second half of 2013. The company, which took over the plant in 1989 when it bought Daniels Packaging, said it plans to help affected workers find jobs elsewhere in the company.
– source:, 6-1-12
Genetec Global Technologies Inc. plans to expand its operations in Greenville County with a $1.2 million investment that will create 160 new jobs. The company, a subsidiary of Genetec Technology Berhad of Malaysia, has an existing plant in Fountain Inn, S.C.
The company, which says it plans to add sales, engineering and assembly jobs, provides custom automation equipment for customers in the automotive healthcare and textile sectors. Hiring is expected to begin this month. Anyone interested can submit information to
– source: S.C. Department of Commerce, 6-7-12
Encore Container is planning to build a new manufacturing and corporate headquarters in Greenville, S.C. The company said it will invest $3.9 million and create 89 jobs at the headquarters, which will include a manufacturing site and recycling facility. The company makes 55-gallon plastic drums and 275-gallon containers and also reconditions and recycles such containers.
Encore says it is currently taking applications for a variety of positions at
– source:, 6-13-12
Four rare wolf pups have been born in Western North Carolina. The two male and two female red wolf pups were born recently at the Western North Carolina Nature Center, increasing the number of red wolves at the center to seven. Officials said they think there are fewer than 400 red wolves left in the world, so the Asheville center is now home to about two percent of the population.
May, a 3-year-old female at the center, gave birth to the pups on May 9. Phoenix, the father, was brought in from a nature center in Albany, Ga. The pups were not named because they may not stay at the Asheville center.
The new pups are part of the Red Wolf Species Survival Program, started in the early 1970s. The program is the result of a partnership between the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which tracks the red wolves and recommends which wolves should breed to increase the population.
– source: Asheville Citizen Times;, 6-5-12

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