By Stan Welch
Anderson County has built an enviable reputation in the last few years for attracting manufacturing and the quality jobs that usually accompany such large capital investments.
The efforts that have led to those investments and jobs have clearly paid off, as the unemployment rate in the county has reached its lowest point since July 2008. Figures released by the county this week show unemployment at 6.8 per cent, down from 8.3 per cent in April of 2012.The percentage of unemployed peaked at 9.2 per cent in June and July of last year.
In just the period from last April till April of this year, more than 1100 people found work, dropping the number of unemployed to less than 6000 for the first time in years. The number of employed Anderson residents increased by more than 400 in March of this year alone.
Also, in the last five years, capital investments in Anderson County have approached two billion dollars. The County Council has consistently supported economic and tax incentives for companies locating new facilities here, or expanding existing ones.
Appropriately, Hal Johnson, of the Upstate Alliance, which markets the ten Upstate counties across the world as industrial locations, was on hand to give an update on his group’s efforts. He presented figures that reflect a doubling in the number of inquiries about Anderson County and in the number of actual visits to the area by industrial and manufacturing interests from around the world.
“The teamwork that we see in Anderson County’s economic development department, along with Mr. Rusty Burns and this Council, has given rise to a nickname for you guys in the economic development circles. You are known as the A Team, and deservedly so. What you have accomplished in the last few years is really quite remarkable.”