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Harry Lightsey III

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Core industry grew faster in SC than any Southeastern state from 2017 – 2020, at double region’s rat see more

    On the heels of the proclamation by Governor Henry McMaster that  he was recognizing February 21-25 as SC Life Sciences Week in recognition of the importance of the industry to South Carolina, researchers from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina have determined that the industry is not only South Carolina’s fastest-growing overall – it is growing at a faster rate than its peers across the Southeast.

    Since 2010, annual employment growth within the life science industry core has averaged approximately 2.7 percent, far exceeding that of the state as a whole over the same time period (1.4%). More recently, although South Carolina’s overall employment growth experienced a slight decrease since 2017 due to the pandemic-induced recession of 2020 (-0.4%), the life science industry core experienced remarkably high growth of 26.4 percent over the same period according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data – and an even higher rate of 42.2% using proprietary South Carolina data.

    These growth rates are unparalleled in the region, researchers noted. The life science industry core grew faster in South Carolina than in any other Southeastern state between 2017 and 2020 and at approximately twice the rate of the Southeastern region as a whole. South Carolina’s life science industry core currently ranks 5th among all Southeastern states in total size, behind Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.

    The research went on to document that the annual economic impact of the life science industry on the state of South Carolina totals a robust $25.7 billion. This figure reflects the dollar value of all goods and services that can be attributed (either directly or indirectly) to life science-related firms in South Carolina. This $25.7 billion in economic output is associated with 87,773 total jobs and over $5.6 billion in labor income – and a sizable jump from the $11.4 billion impact in a late 2016 study.

    The economic impact resulting from the life science industry is associated with an employment multiplier of 2.9, which implies that for every 10 jobs that are created within the life science industry in South Carolina, an additional 19 jobs are created elsewhere in the state. This multiplier effect is substantially higher than that of the average South Carolina industry multiplier, which is 1.7.

    The life science industry in South Carolina currently consists of approximately 30,731 employees across 1,033 firms. Employment is most concentrated within firms specializing in medical devices & equipment manufacturing and bioscience-related distribution. When the indirect and induced impact of the industry is considered, the life sciences industry here accounts for a staggering 87,773 jobs, researchers note.

    Better still, the average direct job in the life science industry in South Carolina pays an annual total wage of $87,639, which represents a 79 percent premium over the average annual wage in South Carolina across all jobs ($48,942). And the industry supports a significant demand for high-wage, high-skilled jobs in various STEM fields (science, engineering, technology, mathematics, and related occupations). Approximately 26 percent of the life science industry statewide is driven by high-tech R&D, with another 33 percent in production-related activities, and the remaining 41 percent providing transportation and other support services.

    Even the growth of the firm count is extraordinary, having grown from 402 firms counted in the Palmetto State in the 2016 study to 1,033 firms today in the rapidly expanding ecosystem. And life sciences impact the entire state, with a current presence of industry organizations in 42 of 46 state counties.

    The research, led by Research Economist Joseph Von Nessen, further noted that industries grow over time, and those able to maximize the economic impact of their growth and add the most value to their local regions are typically those that focus on expanding their R&D subsectors. This bodes well for South Carolina life sciences because the high-tech R&D subsector is projected to be the fastest growing segment of life sciences over the next decade. This total anticipated growth rate of 18.4 percent exceeds projections for the broader life sciences sector and reveal significant potential for South Carolina life sciences – namely, the ability to capitalize on the projected economic growth trends that already signal strong demand for R&D.

    The findings were presented as hundreds of life science executives from 27 states and six countries assembled in Charleston, SC for SCBIO 2022: The Life Sciences Conference of South Carolina. Among more than 35 featured presenters at the conference were BIO’s global CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, Clemson University President Jim Clements, PhRMA executive Courtney Christian, Nephron Pharmaceuticals CEO Lou Kennedy, and SC Commerce Secretary Harry Lightsey III.  SCBIO President and CEO James Chappell delivered a State of the Industry review and outlook as well.

    Life sciences today represents a key economic development focus for the state, with strong life science recruiting initiatives led by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and other regional economic development teams. Governor McMaster issued an Executive Order in April 2021 for the state to make life sciences a strategic focus for South Carolina in its recruiting and economic development priorities.

    “Life sciences is a major driver of South Carolina’s economy today, and this conference is testament to the industry’s surging impact, reach and rapidly rising economic significance in our state and country,” noted SCBIO President and CEO James Chappell. “We’re honored by Governor McMaster’s personal support for the contributions that life sciences are making to improve quality of life, care and economic standing for South Carolina citizens.”

    For additional information on SCBIO, visit www.SCBIO.org.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Business is booming across South Carolina... and the future is bright. see more

    Compliments of Greenville Business, Charleston Business and Columbia Business magazines

    John Wall authored an article highlighting the positive economic development outlook for South Carolina, which was published in the March 2022 issues of Integrated Media Publishing’s three monthly business publications: Charleston Business, Columbia Business Monthly, and Greenville Business Magazine.

    “The future is bright for South Carolina, her people, and the economy,” Wall said before detailing how the state’s economic foundation has primed the business landscape for sustained success in many areas.

    South Carolina’s massive port activity has positioned the state for growth in several industries thanks to its global connections and international trade routes. In addition to the environmentally driven sectors like timber companies and agribusiness, the Palmetto State has reinvented itself for the modern business environment with success in the evolving textile industry, as well as manufacturing and life sciences sectors.

    Wall noted that the recipe for sustained success extends beyond the foundational advantage already in place and into the effective leadership in place to continue moving the state into the future. “We have amazing industry-specific organizations, such as the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, which has worked tirelessly for over a century to advance manufacturing and the business community,” he said. “Newer organizations like the South Carolina Boating & Fishing Alliance have made major waves in promoting the burgeoning boating and fishing industry in South Carolina.”

    Additionally, Wall noted the importance of state agencies like the South Carolina Department of Commerce that do a great job in supporting existing businesses and recruiting new ones to the state, especially with effective leadership from the Department’s new Secretary, Harry Lightsey.

    For the full article, please click here.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Over 140 organizations and hundreds of nation’s industry leaders to gather Feb. 22-24 see more

    SOUTH CAROLINA – January 24, 2022 – Global President & CEO of BIO, Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, will be live in Charleston to keynote the opening day of SCBIO 2022, the Life Sciences Conference of South Carolina, conference organizers have announced.

    Dr. McMurry-Heath will join more than 30 additional speakers as featured presenters at the largest life sciences conference in Palmetto State history as the event convenes both in-person and virtually February 22-24 at the Gaillard Center in the heart of Charleston, S.C.

    Themed “Challenge Accepted,” the 2-day SCBIO 2022 event will feature national speaker sessions including Transformational Technologies, Next Generation Patient Care, Ensuring Opportunity for All, and Embracing Collaboration & Innovation – fundamental forces driving the state’s fastest growing industry: life sciences.

    Dr. McMurry-Heath assumed the leadership of BIO as just its third President and CEO in June, 2020. A medical doctor and molecular immunologist by training, she stewards the world’s largest biotechnology advocacy group, representing 1,000 life sciences companies and organizations from 30 countries. The organization’s mission is to support companies that discover and deploy scientific breakthroughs that improve human health, environmental stewardship, and sustainable agriculture.

    She has championed a focus on broadening access to scientific progress so more patients from diverse backgrounds can benefit from cutting-edge innovation, clinical trials and healthcare funding, a topic she terms “the social justice issue of our age.” She joined BIO from Johnson & Johnson where she served as Global Head of Evidence Generation for Medical Device Companies and then Vice President of Global External Innovation and Global Leader for Regulatory Sciences. She was also instrumental in bringing J&J’s incubator, JLabs, to Washington, DC. She led a global team of 900 with responsibilities in 150 countries around the globe.

    Presented by sponsoring organizations Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Vikor Scientific, Revaly (a Zverse Solution) and other top organizations, the conference is expected to draw a sell-out attendance of 450 in person attendees and hundreds more virtually to Charleston.  Attendees will be required to present proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test result within 72 hours of arrival before being admitted.

    Among other top speakers scheduled to appear include FDA Associate Director of the CDER Drug Shortage Staff Valerie Jensen MUSC Health CEO Dr. Pat Cawley, Velocity Clinical Research executive Steve Clemons, and USC Provost Dr. Stephen Cutler, Clemson University President James Clements, Commerce Secretary Harry Lightsey III, Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy, PhRMA Senior Policy Director Courtney Christian, Georgia Health Information Network Director Dr. Denise Hines, State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell and more than 20 others.

    National economist Dr. Joseph Von Nessen of University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business will report findings of a just-completed economic impact study of the state’s life sciences cluster, last analyzed in 2017, while SCBIO CEO James Chappell will present a State of the Industry presentation on the outlook for South Carolina’s $12 billion – and fastest-growing – industry.

    The conference features an expanded – and nearly sold out -- exhibit hall showcasing scores of life sciences industry businesses, institutions of higher learning and essential support industry partners from across America.  The conference also features presentation of the prestigious Pinnacle Awards by South Carolina Life Sciences to the outstanding 2021 Organization of the Year, Individual of the Year, and Rising Star under 40 years of age, as well as a new recipient into the SC Life Sciences Hall of Fame.  

    Hundreds of in-person and virtual attendees will take advantage of meetings and connection sessions through the conference’s Partnering Portal as well as at two gala receptions planned for attendees.

    Registration to attend SCBIO 2022 is now open at the 2022 Annual Conference section of www.scbio.org for interested companies, industry supporters, students interested in life sciences, faculty and teachers. Limited Exhibit  space and sponsorships are still available by inquiring at info@scbio.org.

    The 2-day conference draws attendees from across America for networking, innovation updates, opportunity discovery, partnership making and strategic discussion. Already committed attendees include officials across a broad spectrum of life sciences industries including medical devices, bio manufacturing, drug discovery, R&D, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and testing, digital health and health IT, bio-ag and more.

    SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state. The industry has more than 700 firms directly involved and over 43,000 professionals employed directly or indirectly in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental, and agricultural biotechnology products.  In 2021, Governor Henry McMaster issued an Executive Order making it a state priority to continue to grow and expand the life sciences industry in the Palmetto State.

    Among 140 leading biotech and med-tech industry brands participating in the conference are Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Vikor Scientific, Zverse, BIO, Johnson & Johnson, AVX, PhRMA, Medpoint, AdvaMed, Poly-Med, VWR, Rhythmlink, SoftBox Systems, ZEUS, Patheon Thermo Fisher, Abbott, Alcami and more. All of South Carolina’s research universities – MUSC, Clemson and the University of South Carolina – are represented, as are major healthcare systems, and economic development entities including the South Carolina Department of Commerce, SCRA, South Carolina Hospital Association and others.

    For additional information on SCBIO or to register for SCBIO 2021, visit www.SCBIO.org.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Innovative ostomy care company plans to add at least 30 new jobs, make “significant investment” see more

    Stomagienics, Inc., a company that provides innovative solutions for cancer survivors and others who have undergone ostomy surgery, today announced expansion of operations in Greenville County. The company’s undisclosed investment is expected to result in growth including creation of 30 new jobs over 3 years.

    “The support and resources made available to us through state and local programs, along with outstanding private sector talent, have been instrumental in our development, and make Greenville, South Carolina a great place to start and grow a business,” said Theresa Johnson, Co-founder and COO of Stomagienics.  “We have gained access to project grants, intellectual property development, Medicare reimbursement expertise and connections to leading universities, clinical staff, and life sciences professionals. Our partnerships with SCBIO, GADC, SCRA and NEXT are all positive factors as we seek capital to reach the next level in our development.”

    Launched in 2018, Stomagienics is committed to delivering products that are easy-to-use and essential to ostomy care. The founders realized the enormous gap in ostomy care when a family member had ostomy surgery and entered a deep depression. The lack of control over stoma output led to the company’s patented StomaGenie pouch replacement cartridge, which gives ostomy patients control of output and allows for a hygienic and sanitary experience.

    “When a homegrown company experiences success within our borders, all of South Carolina wins. We are particularly proud of the fantastic work Stomagienics is doing every day to improve the lives of people around the world. We congratulate Stomagienics and look forward to many more years of their success,” said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.

    Located in expanded facilities at 1200 Woodruff Road in Greenville, Stomagienics’ expansion includes facilities and equipment for sales and operations, production of its StomaGenie pouch replacement cartridge, and research and development investment.

    “South Carolina’s life sciences industry is booming, and today’s announcement by Stomagienics in Greenville County is just the latest example,” noted Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III . “Their expansion not only proves that South Carolina has the business environment where life sciences companies can succeed, but that we have the talented workforce in place to handle the most innovative jobs.”

    With a mission to improve the lives of ostomy patients everywhere by helping them manage their ostomy, the Stomagienics team created a revolutionary device for pouch replacement that has helped many patients return to a more normal life. Stomagienics also found a ready market for its innovative product. More than 35% of ostomy patients experienced a peristomal skin complication during the first 90 days after surgery, while over 80% experience some type of complication within two years of their surgery – driving up costs and impacting patient outcomes.

    “It is particularly rewarding when a home-grown organization like Stomagienics chooses to grow and expand its presence in Greenville County, said Willis Meadows, County Council Chairman and Greenville Area Development Corporation Board Member.  This is evidence that our strategic focus on helping existing industry grow is paying off, and that our strategic emphasis on medical devices and life science organizations are producing results. We congratulate Stomagienics on this major step forward and wish them continued success into the future.”

    The Stomagienics solutions improves hygiene, promotes better skin health and condition, and enhances patient independence and self-confidence, the company reports. The company is dedicated to continuing innovation initiatives to create and produce new and advanced solutions for ostomy care.

    Stomagienics is actively pursuing distributors, investors and business partners. Individuals interested in learning about or supporting Stomagienics’ mission should email the company at info@stomagienics.com, or visit them on the web at www.stomagienics.com.

    The Greenville Area Development Corporation 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 over 30,000 new jobs, nearly $6 billion in capital investment, and a cumulative economic impact of over $55 billion in Greenville County, SC -- including an economic impact of more than $6 billion annually. To learn more, please visit www.goGADC.com or call (864) 235-2008. To learn more about workforce opportunities, visit www.jobsingreenvillesc.com.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Life sciences expands again in South Carolina see more

    MycoWorks, a biotechnology company that specializes in mycelium-grown materials for use as sustainable, luxury-quality leather alternatives, today announced plans to establish operations in Union County. The company’s $107 million investment will create 400 new jobs.

    Established in 2013, MycoWorks’ patented Fine Mycelium™ process produces materials including Reishi – a globally recognized breakthrough in materials science – that mimics the performance of animal leathers and lowers environmental impacts. The material offers creative solutions and new design possibilities for fashion and luxury brands while offering relief to supply chain constraints.

    Located at 260 Midway Drive in Union, MycoWorks’ new facility will increase the company’s capacity to meet the fashion and luxury industries’ growing demand for its materials, including its flagship product Reishi.

    Operations are expected to be online in early 2023. Individuals interested in joining the MycoWorks team should email talent@mycoworks.com.

    The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project.

    QUOTES

    "Deciding where to lay down roots was a big decision, but the partnership offered by state and local officials in combination with access to talent and amenities in the area made it easy. We look forward to growing a world class team and operation in Union County, South Carolina.” -MycoWorks Chief Operating Officer Doug Hardesty

    “More and more innovative and sustainable companies are finding that South Carolina is an ideal location to establish operations, and we welcome MycoWorks to that growing roster of businesses. The $107 million investment and creation of 400 new jobs will make a significant impact in Union County and beyond.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

    “We are at a time of great transformation among various industries, and companies like MycoWorks are paving the way in their arena. We welcome this groundbreaking business to South Carolina and look forward to watching them succeed for years to come.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

    “We are very excited to welcome MycoWorks to Union County. This project will greatly benefit the citizens of Union County through the jobs which will be created and the diversification of our industrial base within our community.” -Union County Supervisor Frank Hart

    “We say the Upstate is where manufacturing and technology intersect, and MycoWorks is showing it by choosing to scale up in Union County. Their sustainable biotechnology products add high-tech opportunities to the region’s vibrant engineered materials ecosystem.” -Upstate SC Alliance President and CEO John Lummus

    FIVE FAST FACTS

    • MycoWorks is establishing operations in Union County.
    • The $107 million investment will create 400 new jobs.
    • MycoWorks is a biotechnology company that specializes in developing mycelium materials for use as sustainable, luxury-quality leather alternatives.
    • Located at 260 Midway Drive in Union, S.C.
    • Individuals interested in joining the MycoWorks team should email talent@mycoworks.com.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Clinical laboratory investing over $3 million, creating 54 new positions see more

    Luxor Scientific, LLC (Luxor), a full-service clinical laboratory serving customers nationwide, today announced plans to expand operations in Greenville County, South Carolina. The more than $3.2 million investment will create 54 new jobs.

    Luxor is a CLIA and CAP-accredited, and DEA registered full-service clinical laboratory that specializes in infectious disease, immunology, integrated oncology and genetics, chemistry and hematology research. The company is comprised of recognized experts in providing cutting-edge scientific solutions to better serve the health care community.

    “We are excited to continue Luxor Scientific’s growth and investment in Greenville. Our team has established itself as one of the best serving our community, and we are glad to be adding to our capability and to our numbers,” said Luxor Scientific, LLC Chief Strategy Officer Jay Flanagan. “We are ever thankful to Greenville County and the S.C. Department of Commerce for helping us make this expansion a reality.”

    Located at 1327 Miller Road in Greenville, Luxor’s expansion will increase the company’s research and development capacity to better serve its clientele.

    “Luxor’s expansion highlights the tremendous success life science companies are seeing throughout South Carolina,” stated South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. “This investment will bring enhanced care and innovation to South Carolina’s health care community while also creating high-quality jobs in Greenville County.”

    Luxor was founded in 2016 by brothers Ryan and Jay Flanagan, and has grown to more than 140 employees, including world-class PhD science officers on its staff. Among their clients are S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the S.C. Department of Agriculture, the US Drug Enforcement Administration, private sector employers, hospitals, universities, clinics, and others.

    “When companies like Luxor Scientific operate in South Carolina and find success, it highlights the diversity of our state’s economy. We congratulate Luxor on this expansion in Greenville County and look forward to watching their continued work in South Carolina,” added Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III.

    The latest expansion is expected to be completed by April 2022. Individuals interested in joining the Luxor team should visit the company’s contact webpage.

    “We are always pleased when a homegrown company like Luxor chooses to expand here in Greenville County, commented Greenville County Council Chairman and Greenville Area Development Corporation Board Member Willis Meadows. “Luxor’s leading-edge expertise in life sciences has made them a strong resource to our state and to communities across the country already, and we are delighted that they have chosen to continue that growth from right here in Greenville County.”

    # # #

    The Greenville Area Development Corporation 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 over 30,000 new jobs, nearly $6 billion in capital investment, and a cumulative economic impact of over $55 billion in Greenville County, SC -- including an economic impact of more than $6 billion annually. To learn more, please visit www.goGADC.com or call (864) 235-2008. To learn more about workforce opportunities, visit www.jobsingreenvillesc.com.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Company investing, adding jobs to expand capabilities see more

    Arthrex, an orthopedic technology innovator, today announced plans to expand operations in Anderson County. The more than $100 million investment will create 500 new jobs.

    Founded in 1981, Arthrex is a global leader in orthopedic surgical device design, research, manufacturing and medical education. The company develops and releases more than 1,000 innovative products and surgical procedures each year to advance minimally invasive orthopedics worldwide.

    Located at 130 Arthrex Drive in Pendleton, Arthrex’s expansion will include adding a second manufacturing facility and an Electron-beam (E-beam) and X-ray sterilizations facility.

    The expansion is expected to be completed by mid-2023. Individuals interested in joining the Arthrex team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

     QUOTES

    “This investment will help Arthrex better support the growth and development of new and innovative products that help surgeons treat their patients better. Arthrex has been committed to manufacturing quality products in the United States, and this represents that continued commitment.” -Arthrex Vice President of Manufacturing Andy Owen

    “I congratulate Arthrex on this more than $100 million investment in our state. The 500 new jobs this expansion is generating will make a big difference in Anderson County, and we look forward to watching this great company continue to thrive here for years to come.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

    “Arthrex is on the cutting edge of orthopedic innovation and is a leader in our state’s booming life sciences sector. Today’s announcement by Arthrex not only proves that South Carolina has the business environment where life sciences companies can succeed, but that we have the talented workforce in place to handle the most innovative jobs. Team S.C. congratulates Arthrex on their continued success.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

    “Our partnership with Arthrex is succeeding beyond anyone’s expectations. They showed a lot of faith in our community when they began their journey with us a few short years ago, and today’s announcement indicates the level of confidence they have in our workforce. These jobs will improve the lives of hundreds of Anderson County families, and I am truly thankful.” -Anderson County Councilman Brett Sanders, District 4

    FIVE FAST FACTS

    • Arthrex is expanding operations in Anderson County.
    • The more than $100 million investment will create 500 new jobs.
    • Arthrex is an orthopedic surgical device company.
    • Located at 130 Arthrex Drive in Pendleton, S.C.
    • Individuals interested in joining the Arthrex team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Life sciences among segments leading SC growth see more

    Compliments of GSA Business Report

    When Commerce Secretary Harry Lightsey saw his first iPhone, he was seeing one of the first in the world. In 2007, it was one of only two.

    At the time, he was the Southeast president of AT&T, in a room among the company’s top leadership.

    When all eyes were on the company chairman, he reached into the pocket of his suit.

    “He pulled out this object that none of us recognized and said, ‘This is one of two existing iPhones in the world. The other one is held by Stephen Jobs, and I’ve got this one. This device has convinced me that it is going to change the world, but I have no idea how it’s going to change the world, but I’m convinced it’s going to change the world,’” Lightsey recounted at Upstate SC Alliance’s midyear meeting, held at the Crowne Plaza Greenville Wednesday.

    How today’s developments will mold the business landscape as we know it is yet to be seen, he said.

    No one knows.

    But, Lightsey assured the crowd of alliance investors, it’s shifting in the direction of ever-growing mobility, communications and biotech capabilities. And it’s shifting fast.

    It’s South Carolina’s job to keep up and stay ahead, he said during one of his first public appearances in the Upstate since he took the secretary’s post.

    “I do know this, that we have to be ready for change,” he said. “We have to be ready for the opportunities that the change is going to present to us. We shouldn’t view change as a threat or a concern, but as certainly something we can capitalize on.”

    Much of the afternoon meeting focused on economic development victories of the past year within the life sciences, tech or R&D realms: a few vignettes from the 22 companies that moved to or expanded in the 10 counties in 2021 with Upstate SC Alliance’s assistance.

    Upstate SC Alliance projects Pozyx, a Belgian information technology firm, and Oshkosh Defense’s manufacturing facility for the next generation mail truck held the spotlight, alongside BMW’s electrification efforts and Upstate biotech companies Zylo Therapeutics, Chartspan and Epica International.

    Upstate SC Alliance’s announcements for the year thus far have prompted the creation of an expected 3,963 jobs and $930 million total investment.

    “When many areas saw contractions in service, South Carolina’s manufacturing sector actually grew last year,” John Lummus, CEO and president of Upstate SC Alliance, said during the meeting. “And manufacturing and its need for engineering, technology and creative solutions will continue to drive our growth strategy moving forward. That’s why you’re seeing a stronger focus on innovation as a complement to our business recruitment program.”

    He added that on the economic development announcement front, so far, 2021 has brought in three times the capital investment and twice the number of created jobs as 2019, especially in sectors bolstering enhanced mobility and health care services.

    According to the group’s midyear report, the largest number of projects in the pipeline are in the engineered materials (263), automotive and transport (238), industrial manufacturing (155), life sciences (146) and aerospace and defense (144) fields. The first half of 2021 prompted 23 requests for information on economic development opportunities in the Upstate.

    Domestic companies — 414 contacts to be exact — are the most likely, judging by the number of active contacts, to make the move to the Upstate in the months ahead.

    International supply chains and travel may have been hampered by COVID-19 restrictions, but it didn’t completely derail progress, especially with the virtual playing field provided by a tectonic shift to Zoom conference rooms and continued in-person visits from leaders like Belgium’s Consul General in Atlanta, Michael Gerebtzoff.

    The majority — almost 60% — of the companies that expanded in or moved to the area throughout 2021 were foreign-owned businesses: Deutsche Post DHL’s subsidiary DHL Supply Chain, Sweden’s Frauenthal Gnotec, Ireland’s E+I Engineering USA and China’s Gissing North America, just to name a few.

    Looking forward, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Spain, China, France, India, Belgium and Italy respectively are the hottest international sources for Upstate economic development prospects based off the number of active contacts.

    “We have a lot of strengths and inherent advantages just because of who we are and where are,” Lightsey said. “But one of our main strengths is that we are a small state and we understand what it means to work together as a team. Commerce is a state agency that has supported the alliances’ growth and maturation of the alliances across the state, and the Upstate Alliance has certainly led the way, is something that’s incredible strength for our state: the ability to be able to work together for both our existing businesses, as well as those businesses that are looking to be partners with our state.”

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Lightsey nominated to succeed Bobby Hitt as leader of SC Commerce Department see more

    Compliments of Greenville Business Magazine

    Gov. Henry McMaster announced Thursday, June 17, 2021, that he has nominated longtime South Carolina business executive Harry M. Lightsey III to be the next secretary of the South Carolina Department of Commerce. 

    Lightsey - a former top executive with Bellsouth, AT&T and General Motors - will succeed Bobby Hitt, who is retiring in the fall.

    “Harry Lightsey has been a fixture in South Carolina’s business community for decades, and I’m confident that with the vast experience he will be bringing to the Department of Commerce, South Carolina will keep winning,” McMaster said. “Our state will have the workforce, infrastructure, intellectual capital, environmental assets and the quality of life necessary to compete – both nationally and globally – for jobs and investment.”

    A fixture in South Carolina’s business community for decades, Lightsey served in top executive leadership roles for major corporations in South Carolina and across the nation. 

    Notably, he served as the president of BellSouth Telecommunications for South Carolina prior to its merger with AT&T, afterward becoming president for AT&T’s Southeast region.

    Following his 26 years in the telecommunications industry, Lightsey joined the General Motors Corporation where he directed the legacy automaker’s federal government affairs operation, as well as their emerging technologies, OnStar and infotainment divisions.

    Lightsey is a principal with Hawksbill Advisors - a subsidiary of Hawksbill Group.  He has also served as a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, Virginia.

    “It would be my distinct honor and privilege to have the opportunity to serve as South Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce,” Lightsey said. “In addition to bringing new businesses into our state, I believe we have a role to play in helping our established businesses thrive and transform when necessary. 

    “As the governor has said, South Carolina needs an educated, trained, and skilled workforce so that we can compete nationally and globally for jobs and capital investment. Our workers will need to develop new skills to adjust to ever changing technological advances. I am excited about the opportunities to usher in a new era that enhances the quality of life for all South Carolinians.”

    Fluent in Japanese, Lightsey is a 1978 graduate of Princeton University, and a 1981 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. (For a copy of Lightsey’s full resume, click here.)

    Lightsey, 65, is a native of Columbia, S.C. and is married with two adult children. 

    The governor’s nomination follows Hitt’s decision to retire after over 10 years of service to the state of South Carolina.

    Originally appointed by former Gov. Nikki Haley in her first year as governor, Hitt’s years at the helm of the S.C. Department of Commerce have been marked by significant success in recruiting businesses from around the world to invest in the state.

    “What team South Carolina has done over the last 10 plus years – creating economic opportunities and improving lives within our borders – is quite simply remarkable,” Hitt said. “I couldn’t be prouder of our accomplishments and also couldn’t feel more confident in the direction moving forward. Harry Lightsey’s extensive background aligns with Commerce’s mission and will provide meaningful context for engagement in the state’s business community.”

    “Secretary Hitt’s leadership at the Department of Commerce has helped usher in an era of unprecedented economic growth in our state,” McMaster said. “He has helped solidify Team South Carolina’s global brand for automotive, aerospace, and tire manufacturing and their international export. While we are sorry to see his time at the agency come to an end, we are immeasurably grateful for his service and for the bright future we know our state will realize, in no small part, because of his leadership.”

    During Hitt’s time as secretary, South Carolina has announced 1,141 projects, 129,373 new jobs, and over $35.8 billion in capital investment, including three new automotive manufacturers – Volvo Cars, Mercedes Benz-Vans, and Arrival.

    Additionally, manufacturing employment grew from 16.7 percent from 209,491 in January 2011 to 244,476 in December 2020. South Carolina remains the largest exporter of passenger vehicles, tires, and ball bearings.

    Hitt will continue to serve in his current capacity until the S.C. Senate confirms the governor’s nomination of Lightsey.