South Carolina’s Sumter County has become a business magnet in recent years. Several major companies have announced relocations and expansions in the county, adding thousands of new jobs for years to come. The expansions and relocations to South Carolina, and Sumter specifically, are prompted by a strong pro-business environment, excellent labor force, and ideal highway and offshore shipping locations.
Continental Tire Likes Sumter Amenities
Those were major factors in Continental Tire the Americas’ announcement to build a new tire manufacturing plant on a 330-acre site in Sumter County. The $500 million investment, the largest such investment in county history, is expected to generate 1,700 new jobs in South Carolina over the next 10 years. With Continental’s new plant, South Carolina is expected to become the No. 1 state in tire production in the country.
“Our plans have been met with great enthusiasm,” says Craig Baartman, plant manager for the new Continental facility. Continental officials say that Sumter and South Carolina offered them the most compelling business climate.
Another nationally known company, Caterpillar Inc., plans to nearly triple the size of its hydraulic facility at Sumter’s Black River Airport Industrial Park. The $20 million investment is expected to create more than 80 new jobs once the expansion is completed. The facility currently produces small hydraulic cylinders used in a variety of Cat products.
“We are pleased to be increasing operations at our Sumter facility,” says Brian Mezei, Sumter facility manager for Caterpillar. “We have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the Sumter community and appreciate the continued support of the state and our local Sumter County partners.”
Kaydon Corporation has expanded its manufacturing presence in Sumter County with an $8.9 million investment that has generated more than 75 new jobs. Kaydon purchased a building near the campus of its custom bearings facility. Kaydon also has an industrial tank turret/wind turbine bearing production facility in Sumter. “Our company has found an excellent business environment in Sumter, and we are pleased to grow our operations there,” says James O’Leary, Kaydon chairman and chief executive officer.
Sykes Enterprises, Inc., a global leader in providing customer contact management solutions, has established a major call center operation in the Sumter Mall, where it has grown to more than 700 employees, serving a major financial services client. “Sykes found an intelligent and hardworking labor pool in Sumter County, with people who seem to have hospitality and service in their DNA,” says Andrea B. Thomas, Sykes’ director of corporate communications. “We’re very proud of our operations in Sumter County, and our employees there are a great representation of Sykes’ people-serving-people culture.”
Au'Some Is Sweet on Sumter
Au’some LLC is another international company that found Sumter and South Carolina a great place to start a North American operation. Au’some, a Hong Kong-based candy company, will establish its new candy production facility in Sumter County. The $6 million investment is expected to generate 120 new jobs over the next five years. The company has purchased a building in the Live Oak Industrial Park, with plans to renovate it and begin production in 2012. “Sumter County provided us with an existing building to suit our needs and South Carolina provides us with an excellent business environment and a talented workforce,” says David Tsu, chief executive of Au’some.
As part of a major expansion in the Southeast U.S., Thompson Industrial Services said in August of 2012 that it will create up to 50 positions at its headquarters in Sumter. TIS provides a broad line of cleaning services to a variety of businesses.
Check out more businesses in the Sumter, SC area.