Phone: 864.283.2300 | Email: email@example.com
Posted by: Emelie
$6.4 million investment brings more than 50 new jobs
Core Molding Technologies Inc., a manufacturer of sheet molding compound and a molder of fiberglass reinforced plastics, is in the process of expanding its operations in Cherokee County. The company is investing $6.4 million in machinery and equipment and adding more than 50 new jobs as part of the expansion, which is expected to be completed by the middle of 2014.
Core’s growth plans were accelerated in 2013 when it announced an award of new business to produce roofs, hoods and other molded parts for a heavy duty truck manufacturer. A significant portion of the new business will be manufactured at the Gaffney manufacturing facility.
Since 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $10 billion in capital investment and more than 29,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector.
Anyone interested in job opportunities with Core Molding Technologies should visit the company’s website, www.coremt.com.
“We are excited to be moving forward with an expansion of our Gaffney manufacturing operations. Cherokee County and South Carolina have established a great business environment and we appreciate the support we’ve received from state and local officials.” -Kevin L. Barnett, president and CEO of Core Molding Technologies
“Expansions of existing companies continue to be a driving force behind our state’s strong and growing economy. Today we celebrate yet another expansion as Core invests $6.4 million in additional assets, creating more than 50 new jobs, and proving once again that South Carolina is not only just right for business, but also just right for growth.” - Gov. Nikki Haley
“Last year, 42 existing in-state manufacturers announced expansions, representing $1.3 billion in investment and bringing nearly 3,700 jobs to the Palmetto State. Thanks to companies like Core, South Carolina is experiencing measurable growth in its already booming advanced manufacturing industry.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
“Core has been a great asset to Cherokee County for more than 15 years. We are excited they have chosen our county to expand. The $6.4 million investment will bring more than 50 new jobs to our county. We are very happy that Core calls Cherokee County home.” -County Council Chairman Tim Spencer
“Congratulations to Core for their recent expansion. Cherokee County is proud to partner with excellent companies like Core and help them, help us make our county a better place to live and work.” -State Rep. Steve Moss
FIVE FAST FACTS
Core Molding Technologies Inc.
Core Molding Technologies Inc. is a manufacturer of sheet molding compound (SMC) and molder of fiberglass reinforced plastics. Core specializes in large-format moldings and offers a wide range of fiberglass processes, including compression molding of SMC, glass mat thermoplastics (GMT) and bulk molding compounds (BMC); spray-up, lay-up, resin transfer (RTM) and vacuum resin transfer molding (V-RTM). Additionally, the company offers liquid molding of dicyclopentadiene (DCPD). Core serves a wide variety of markets, including the medium and heavy-duty truck, marine, automotive, agriculture, construction and other commercial products. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Core maintains plants in Columbus and Batavia, Ohio; Gaffney, South Carolina and Matamoros, Mexico. For further information, visit the company’s website at www.coremt.com.
Global supplier to turbine engine industry to add 50 new jobs and $5 million additional investment
Meyer Tool, Inc., an innovative high-tech supplier to the gas turbine engine industry, will more than triple the footprint of its manufacturing operation in Greenville County, S.C., initially investing an additional $5 million and adding at least 50 new jobs in the process.
Founded in 1951, Meyer Tool, Inc. (MTI) is a recognized industry leader in turbine technologies, supplying a range of precision components to the aerospace and gas turbine engine industries. MTI has purchased and will renovate and upfit approximately 85,000 square feet of space located at 7640 Pelham Road near Interstate 85 to accommodate the company’s requirements. The company was formerly based in a 22,000 square foot facility in Mauldin.
MTI specializes in electrical discharge machining (EDM), laser machining and welding, waterjet machining, abrasive grinding, coating and other processes required to provide a single-source solution for airfoils and other hot section turbine components. Quality driven and technology focused, MTI boasts a workforce of over 1,200 team members throughout ten facilities worldwide. The company holds AS9100 and NADCAP certifications for all special processes.
“Meyer Tool takes great pride in offering the aerospace and gas turbine engine industries a ‘one stop’ approach to doing business, and this expanded facility is a key strategic investment in our future growth and success,” said Chris Urban, General Manager of Meyer Tool’s Greenville operations. “We appreciate the support and leadership of the Greenville Area Development Corporation, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Greenville Works, and all who assisted in making this expansion a reality.”
“It is a great day in South Carolina and a great day to celebrate as Meyer Tool announces their commitment to expand in Greenville County. Their $5 million investment and 50 new jobs will impact Greenville now and in the years to come,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.
Positions to be filled include machine operators, project managers, quality assurance personnel, plus sales and administrative support roles. Information on employment opportunities and hiring requirements will be posted on the company website at www.meyertool.com under the “About” tab and “Employment Opportunities.” Interested candidates should apply in person at the 7640 Pelham Road facility.
“Meyer Tool is a great example of an advanced manufacturer that deploys world-class technology, performance-based processes and the right mix of local and national talent to thrive in the global economy,” said Dr. Bob Taylor, Board Member of the Greenville Area Development Corporation and Chairman of Greenville County Council. “We celebrate their growth and success as a valued member of the business community here in Greenville County.”
Taylor also cited key contributions of Greenville County Council, including Councilman Jim Burns, and executives at Lee and Associates Realty for helping make the announcement a reality.
For more information on Meyer Tool, visit them at www.meyertool.com.
On the Road
Erin Ford, our Energy and Bioscience Business Recruitment Officer, is in Nashville this week attending Tech Advantage. She is kicking off this morning with Itron, a company in the Upstate who announced today that they will now be offering a new way of delivering its smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solutions with Itron TOTAL. Read the full press release below.
New offering packages existing expertise into streamlined, subscription-based solution
Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) announced today a new way of delivering its smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solutions with Itron TOTAL. The new offering takes Itron’s existing industry-leading capabilities in metering, communications, data management, analysis and professional services, and packages them all together in a simplified, subscription-based pricing structure with complete managed services. The multi-commodity offering is available across electric, gas and water solutions in North America.
With Itron TOTAL, Itron’s experienced team manages all aspects of a utility’s data collection system and operations, offloading the burden of day-to-day management tasks and freeing utility staff to focus on gaining more benefits and capabilities from their systems. The offering’s predictable cost model allows utilities to deploy advanced technology and services at their own pace, whether they are looking for surgical deployments or a complete system upgrade. Utilities receive faster access to the full breadth and depth of Itron’s products and services, and can capitalize on Itron’s robust security and advanced monitoring capabilities.
“Itron launched Itron TOTAL to simplify the way in which we offer smart grid and AMI solutions to our customers,” said Jeff Carkhuff, vice president of global product management for electricity at Itron. “Itron TOTAL is yet another way that we are helping utilities be more resourceful so they can better manage energy and water.”
With the bundled managed services offering, the utility owns the hardware and Itron manages all network communications, system operations, data delivery, data collection and reporting, basic meter data management and network management. Utilities can add additional functionality such as analytics, field installation and maintenance options, distribution automation, consumer engagement and other advanced AMI functionality.
To learn more about Itron TOTAL, visit www.itron.com/total.
Itron is a world-leading technology and services company dedicated to the resourceful use of energy and water. We provide comprehensive solutions that measure, manage and analyze energy and water. Our broad product portfolio includes electricity, gas, water and thermal energy measurement devices and control technology; communications systems; software; as well as managed and consulting services. With thousands of employees supporting nearly 8,000 customers in more than 100 countries, Itron applies knowledge and technology to better manage energy and water resources. Together, we can create a more resourceful world. Join us: www.itron.com.
For additional information, contact:
Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Public Affairs
Our Business Recruitment Officer, Erin Ford, was present for the recent announcement between Clemson University, the Greenwood Genetic Center and Self Regional Healthcare.
The Greenville News reported “The project, which was announced Friday, creates a research hub aimed at finding new ways to diagnose and treat autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.”
News coverage of the partnership:
Official Clemson Press Release:
Self Regional Healthcare, Clemson, Genetic Center create national genetics research hub
A new partnership will establish formal collaboration among genetic researchers and Clemson University faculty at the Greenwood Genetic Center and Self Regional Healthcare, expanding an already successful working relationship.
Self Regional Healthcare will support the Clemson University Center for Human Genetics with a gift of $5.6 million over three years. The gift consists of an initial contribution of $2 million for the center’s facilities and a subsequent contribution of $3.6 million to support research in genetics and human diagnostics at the facility located on the Greenwood Genetic Center campus.
“Today’s announcement will create a new pipeline for genetic research,” said John Pillman, chairman of the Self Regional board of trustees. “The collaboration of these three partners will ultimately connect genetic therapeutics research to patients.”
Jim Pfeiffer, president and chief executive officer of Self Regional, said the partnership will accelerate the rate of innovation in genetic medicine. “This is what I like to call a win-win-win scenario,” said Pfeiffer.
Steve Skinner, director of the Greenwood Genetic Center, said such collaborations are crucial to turning research advances into clinically available therapies for patients, not only in Greenwood and across South Carolina, but globally.
“This collaboration is a major step forward for patients as we combine the resources and strengths of each institution: Self’s commitment to patient care, Clemson’s expertise in basic scientific research and our experience with genetic disorders and treatment,” Skinner said.
Self Regional and the Genetic Center have had an affiliation agreement since 1975 with the Genetic Center’s clinical faculty serving as the Department of Medical Genetics for Self Regional.
Clemson University President James P. Clements said the announcement brings us a step closer to moving basic discoveries in human genetics from a research environment to a clinical setting where they can be used to diagnose and treat genetic-related human disorders.
“Clemson is proud to be part of this important collaborative effort, and we’re grateful to Self Regional Healthcare for its support of our research efforts at the Greenwood Genetic Center,” Clements said.
Clemson’s Steve Kresovich, the Robert and Lois Coker Trustees Chair of Genetics, is responsible for overseeing research programs and managing collaborative activities between Clemson faculty and personnel at the partner institutions.
Kresovich said this unique partnership will catalyze the development of a regional research hub for human genetics research, clinical activities and provide unique training opportunities for students.
“Each group brings visions and capabilities that complement each other and will allow for the rapid establishment of truly integrated and trans-disciplinary research teams working on challenging medical problems of importance to the many stakeholders in our region,” Kresovich said.
The center will address research and clinical opportunities in human diagnostics and epigenetic therapeutics advancing personalized medicine for intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and disorders of the immune and nervous systems.
Specific research will include molecular diagnostics and therapeutics, bioinformatics and computational/systems biology.
Self Regional Healthcare, as a research and lead health-care partner, will support hospital-based clinical trials and will collaborate in designated research activities.
This announcement marks Clemson’s third significant development at the Greenwood Genetic Center.
In June 2013, Clemson University announced it would build a 17,000-square-foot research and education center in human genetics on nearly 15 acres donated by Greenwood County and the Greenwood Commissioners of Public Works.
The Clemson University Center for Human Genetics will expand Clemson University’s genetics programs, create an internationally competitive research and development team and expand research capabilities at the Greenwood Genetic Center’s J.C. Self Institute.
In November, Clemson established the Self Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Human Genetics. Jointly funded by The Self Family Foundation and the State of South Carolina the endowed chair will advance development of novel therapeutics to treat genetic disorders at the cellular level.
Posted by: Emelie
Insurance provider to make $2.1 million investment to serve growing base of customers
Esurance, the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, will open a new sales and claims office in Greenville County. The $2.1 million investment is expected to create up to 450 jobs in the area.
The Greenville office will be the fifth Esurance sales office in the country, joining Esurance sales locations in Sacramento, Sioux Falls, Tampa and Phoenix. The office will open in the summer of 2014. Since being acquired by Allstate in October 2011, the company has nearly doubled in size, with more than 3,000 employees across 16 offices nationwide.
Esurance has won several “best place to work” awards in recent years and is looking for South Carolinians to fill job openings that include inside sales positions that can offer an average annual salary of $50,000, as well as a variety of claims roles, including first-notice-of-loss associates and express and material damage adjusters.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits for the project.
“Esurance has chosen to come across the country to South Carolina for one reason: our people. South Carolina routinely delivers quality customer service, and we are ecstatic that a company like Esurance has taken notice. We applaud their decision to invest $2.1 million and create 450 new jobs.” – Gov. Nikki Haley
“We are excited to welcome Esurance and the 450 jobs they are creating to the Upstate. When I think about our workforce in South Carolina, I think of highly-qualified, hardworking individuals, and I know the people of Greenville will welcome this great news with open arms.” – Senator Tim Scott
“To watch as our state has accumulated more than $1.1 billion in capital investment and 10,600 jobs in the service industry since 2011 is the truest testament to our southern hospitality. We welcome Esurance to South Carolina with open arms and we appreciate their commitment to invest in our state.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
“Esurance’s decision to locate here is a direct result of several key factors including having national caliber talent here to draw from, an attractive and diverse community to draw outside talent to, and the presence of superb Class A office space appropriate for the organization’s needs at the ready. We celebrate their addition as the newest member of Greenville County’s growing business community.” -Dr. Bob Taylor, board member of the Greenville Area Development Corporation and chairman of Greenville County Council
FIVE FAST FACTS
Posted by: Emelie
Join the Upstate SC Alliance in attending the Local DC Electricity Conference, Transforming the 21st Century Energy Economy. March 30 – April 1, 2014 - Francis Marion Hotel - Charleston, SC
Posted by: Emelie
In the weeks leading up to our Annual Meeting, we invite you to learn more about our guest speaker, Bruce J. Katz. The following is an excerpt from an interview with Bruce J. Katz. You can listen to the full interview here from Fresh Air on WHYY.
To purchase tickets to our Annual Meeting, visit: https://2014annualluncheon.eventbrite.com.
On defining the “metropolitan revolution”
“What the metropolitan revolution is, is cities and metropolitan areas, and the networks of leaders who co-govern them, they’re stepping up and doing the hard work to grow jobs and make their economies more prosperous. They’re investing in infrastructure. They’re making manufacturing a priority again. They’re equipping workers with the skills they need to compete in the global economy.”
” … Cities and metropolitan areas are really networks of leaders and institutions. They’re very powerful on their own, but when they come together and they collaborate to compete, they can do grand things together.”
On cities turning their focus away from the national growth model of tourism and convention centers
“Over the last 25 years, cities and metropolitan areas got caught up in the national growth model, which, frankly, is mostly focused on making the United States a consumer economy, a consumption economy. In many cities and metropolitan areas, economic development was what I could call ‘Starbucks and Stadia and Stealing Businesses.’ That, in many places, [has] made cities and metropolitan areas more quality places to live.
“But in the post-recession environment, given that the recession was a wake-up call, what I see cities and metropolitan areas doing now is beginning to focus on the fundamentals. What do you make? What services do you provide? What do you trade, to either other parts of the United States or other parts of the world? And who do you trade with? And do you have the skilled workers and collaboration between universities and companies and entrepreneurs and labor unions so that you can really compete and prosper, but also build on your distinctive assets and advantages?”
On the rebirth of industry in Ohio
“Northeast Ohio — not just Cleveland, but also the Cleveland metropolis, plus Youngstown, plus Canton, plus Akron — [is] very challenged because of the de-industrialization over the last several decades. The major innovation that happened was that philanthropy and business came together and said, ‘We have unbelievable assets here, small manufacturing firms that are really good at what they do in the manufacturing of quality products. We need to help them in this global environment, sharpen their business plans, attract private capital, retool their facilities, retrain their workers so that they can produce new products for new markets.’
“And that’s exactly what has happened in the last 10 years. In less than 10 years, we’ve seen the growth of about 10,500 jobs, over $300 million on payroll, $2 billion in private capital. This is the kind of smart post-recession economic development that we need to participate in. And most importantly, because of the shale gas revolution, because of other global dynamics — rising wages in China — we can make things again in the United States. We can participate in an advanced industry economy, rather than just an economy of consumption.”
On the success of the Ohio model and creating jobs for people with high school and associate degrees
“[Ohio is] betting on the portion of the economy that is really fueled by STEM — science, engineering, technology and math. We used to think of that economy as relatively small in the United States, 3 or 4 percent, and mostly staffed by people with doctoral degrees from Stanford or MIT or Georgia Tech. Actually, it’s about a fifth of the American economy, and a good portion of the jobs that populate this economy can be filled by people with high school-plus degrees. It means they get a GED but they also get skills that enable them to participate in these firms. We’ve had this very interesting effort in the United States over the past half decade called ‘Race to the Top’ education reform. What we’re advocating in this book is ‘Race to the Shop.’ Let’s reimagine the American economy and the possibilities that this economy hold for people with high school and associate degrees.”
On the effort to revitalize downtown Detroit
“What we are seeing is a network of philanthropic and business leaders coming together to revive that core of the city. New firms, entrepreneurs, new housing, new retail — Whole Foods actually moved into midtown Detroit like two months ago. Something exciting is happening off the platform of what I could call good bones, good assets, older iconic historic buildings. I see energy and pragmatism and an affirmative vision stemming from the core of that city.”
Katz is a Yale law school graduate who served as a Senate staffer, and as chief of staff for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros, in the Clinton administration. He tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies about the rebirth of industry in Ohio and how the Great Recession served as a wake-up call for cities.
We hope you will join us at our Annual Meeting on March 26, 2014. Visit www.upstateSCallianceAnnualMeeting.com for more information or to purchase tickets.
More articles to consider:
+ Fresh Air Radio Interview – Interview highlights – Really reiterates what our organization and Upstate is trying to achieve through technical education and transitioning from a community of consumption (Starbucks) to a community of production (manufacturing) in this post-recession era.
+ Article: What a city needs to foster innovation
+ Article: Goodbye Silicon Valley, Hello Silicon Cities
+ Article: The Metropolitan Revolution 2014
+ WIRED Article: Bruce Katz: Better Economic Structure Will Save the City
+ YouTube Interview of Bruce Katz
+ INTERVIEW: Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley on Strategies for Successful Metros
$1 billion investment expected to create 500 jobs
Toray Industries, Inc., a Tokyo-based manufacturer of fibers and textiles, plastic resins, films and carbon fiber composite materials, has selected Spartanburg County, S.C. for its next global facility. The $1 billion investment over the next decade is expected to create 500 new jobs and represents one of the largest initial capital investments in South Carolina’s history.
Toray has acquired approximately 400 acres in Spartanburg County for its future business expansion. The site is located along Highway 290 in Moore, with access to Interstates 26 and 85. The Spartanburg facility will offer proximity to major customers in both the United States and in Latin America.
According to a Toray announcement released Monday, the company plans to actively invest its resources to meet demand for its advanced material business base. Toray had already been considering a plan to locate a new, high-performance carbon fiber production facility to serve as a major supplier to the aerospace industry.Toray is the world’s largest producer of carbon fiber, which has applications ranging from golf clubs to aircraft to natural gas pressure vessels.
Toray’s acquisition of the commercial land in South Carolina is part of the company’s strategic business expansion in growth fields and growth regions, which includes North America and Latin America, in addition to Asia.
Toray views the United States as a key expansion market for the company due to the revival in manufacturing that is pushing demand for advanced materials, particularly those used in the aerospace and energy-related industries. Aerospace in South Carolina is a burgeoning industry, with more than 200 aerospace companies employing around 20,000 South Carolinians.
“South Carolina offers Toray Industries an ideal location for our next North American manufacturing facility. Here we will have proximity to major customers, both in the U.S. and in Latin American markets. We appreciate the great working relationship we have established with the state and local officials, and we look forward to becoming part of the South Carolina business community.” -Akihiro Nikkaku, president of Toray Industries
“It is truly a great day when we get to announce something this significant. Toray Industries’ $1 billion investment and 500 new jobs will be a real game-changer for the Upstate and all of South Carolina. We congratulate Toray for their decision to come to Spartanburg County, and we look forward to helping them find continued success and opportunities to grow here in our state.” - Gov. Nikki Haley
“South Carolina is well-known as both a manufacturing powerhouse and a top location for foreign-owned firms to set up operations. Toray’s decision to invest here underscores our growing expertise in composites and advanced materials as well as our global reputation as being just right for business.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
“We are pleased to have Toray join our ever-growing family of international companies in Spartanburg County. Toray’s selection of our community for this significant investment continues to demonstrate Spartanburg’s ability to compete on the global stage.” - Jeff Horton, Chairman of Spartanburg County Council
“We are extremely excited to welcome Toray to Spartanburg County. We know who the golden goose is here in Spartanburg, and that is business and industry. For two decades, we have had an excellent partner in BMW, and we expect Toray to have a similar effect in our region. This is the result of a great partnership between Toray, the State of South Carolina and Spartanburg County, and we appreciate the efforts of the Department of Commerce over the years to see this project to fruition.” - David Britt, Chairman of Economic Development Committee, Spartanburg County Council
“Toray’s selection of Spartanburg is a great example of our community’s public/private partnership in recruiting quality companies. Our core team of economic development professionals has worked tirelessly to provide Toray with the needed information to come to this decision and we are appreciative of all the efforts made locally to ensure we got to this point.” - Russ Weber, Chairman of the Spartanburg Economic Futures Group Board of Directors
FIVE FAST FACTS
Posted by: Emelie
The Greenwood Partnership Alliance (GPA) has announced that Heather Simmons Jones will assume the reins as Chief Executive Officer of the economic development organization established to promote and enhance the economic growth and development of Greenwood County. She was unanimously selected after an extensive nationwide search in which the Partnership Alliance received dozens of applications and actively considered more than 25 candidates from across the United States.
Ms. Simmons Jones has led the GPA’s initiatives while serving as interim CEO since August 2013, when she was named to succeed Mark Warner, who resigned to join a regional engineering, architectural and environmental firm. She will assume the full time CEO role effective April 15, 2014.
“We are excited to have Heather join the Partnership Alliance team as our new chief executive officer,” said Rudy Powell, Vice Chairman of the Greenwood Partnership Alliance Board of Directors. “She has worked tirelessly in promoting Greenwood County during her time as the interim CEO. She will bring knowledge, energy, and a strong collaborative spirit to our public/private partnership, and her history of getting things done will be a great asset to the Greenwood community.”
Under Ms. Simmons Jones’ interim leadership, the GPA maintained significant momentum in its economic development initiatives and closed several major announcements, Powell noted, further convincing the Board’s search committee that the best candidate for the position was already situated “right here in Greenwood.”
“On her watch as interim CEO, Greenwood County has seen major announcements from Colgate-Palmolive Company, bringing 300 new jobs and nearly $200 million in investment here, as well as FujiFilm’s $50 million announced capital expansion,” said Powell. “Under Heather’s leadership, we believe that Greenwood County is poised to enjoy a very bright and prosperous future.”
The GPA has also obtained record numbers of private and public sector supporters, counting at least 67 investor organizations whose annual investments go directly to create better jobs and a bright future for the community, noted Powell.
Ms. Simmons Jones’ economic development career includes prior service as Executive Director of the Greater Beaufort-Hilton Head Economic Partnership from 2003-2006 and as Assistant County Administrator-Economic Development for Anderson County from 2006-2009. She serves as CEO of Opus 3, LLC, a Columbia-based economic development consultancy, is a South Carolina Certified Economic Developer, and a graduate of both the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and SC Executive Institute. Ms. Simmons Jones is also a past President of the SC Economic Developers’ Association and currently serves on the Clemson Alumni Association Board of Directors. A South Carolina native, she holds both undergraduate and master’s degrees from Clemson University.
“After spending the past five months working side by side with the Partnership’s Board, Investors and staff, I realized that the time was right to commit my abilities and efforts full time to the planned, strategic growth of this community,” said Ms. Simmons Jones. “I have been impressed with how well the team collaborates and the importance that they place on high-quality economic development, and look forward to helping continue our momentum in generating
positive results for Greenwood County.”
About The Greenwood Partnership Alliance
The Greenwood Partnership Alliance is a non-profit organization established to promote and enhance the economic growth and development of Greenwood County. Since 1994, GPA efforts have resulted in announcement of more than 3,750 new jobs and more than $1.8 billion in capital investment in Greenwood County, SC. To learn more, visit www.PartnershipAlliance.com or call (864) 388-1250.
Posted by: Emelie
Brookings recently released a report titled “Improving the EB-5 Investor Visa Program: International Financing for U.S. Regional Economic Development” that discusses allowing immigrant investors to potentially secure permanent residency for themselves and their immediate family by investing at least $500,000 in a U.S. business and creating or preserving 10 full-time jobs.
In late 2013, the Upstate of South Carolina was selected for the Global Cities Initiative through a competitive application process. Over the next four years, our team will work along with fellow Exchange members to develop the practical knowledge, policy ideas and networks needed to become more globally connected and competitive. Read more about the Upstate SC Alliance: Global Cities Initiative
Difficulties in accessing traditional domestic financing brought on by the Great Recession, along with a rise in the number of wealthy investors in developing countries, have led to a recent spike in interest in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program. Through this federal visa program administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), immigrant investors may eventually secure permanent residency for themselves and their immediate family by investing at least $500,000 in a U.S. business and creating or preserving 10 full-time jobs. The majority of EB-5 visas are currently administered through EB-5 regional centers, entities that pool investments and are authorized to develop projects across a large swath of America’s metropolitan regions and rural areas. The focus of this paper is on the regional center program.
Although utilization of EB-5 financing has increased dramatically in recent years as a source of regional economic development, the program faces some major challenges. First, immigrant investors encounter a complicated network of intermediaries with little regulatory oversight, which discourages investment. Immigrants also bear the burden of compliance with program requirements, although they themselves have little control over the investment process. Second, there is generally little coordination between regional centers and local economic development agencies (EDAs), even though these entities often share similar goals and could develop mutually beneficial partnerships. Finally, there is a dearth of reliable and publically available data that would enable better monitoring and evaluation of the economic impacts of regional center investments.
The following suggestions for a reconsidered EB-5 regional center program can help federal policymakers strengthen the utility of this tool and better accomplish the central goal of the program, which is to aid regional economic development, especially in distressed areas: