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Area Development Magazine Awards South Carolina the 2011 Gold Shovel and Project of the Year

South Carolina receives top honors and national recognition for economic development efforts

COLUMBIA, S.C. – April 25, 2011 – Area Development magazine, a national, leading economic development publication, has awarded South Carolina with its 2011 Gold Shovel award for the state’s economic development efforts last year. In addition, South Carolina also received the magazine’s “Project of the Year” award. South Carolina was the recipient of both awards for the first time. “We couldn’t be more excited to see South Carolina recognized for the work we’re doing to make our state the best in the country for business development, but what’s even more exciting is that this is only the beginning of what we're going to see for our state,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.Each year, Area Development magazine recognizes states in three population categories that have recruited the highest quality and most jobs per capita, which have broken ground in the previous year. This year marks the sixth year of the awards. South Carolina was the Gold Shovel winner this year in the 4 – 9 million population category. The state has previously been awarded a silver shovel in both 2009 and 2010. “South Carolina has built a reputation for having a business-friendly climate and a talented workforce, and these and other factors have certainly played a role in landing the large deals we’ve seen over the past few years. These accomplishments would not be possible without the strong team effort of state and local leaders, economic development professionals and business leaders who have and will continue to contribute to our state’s recruitment success. This award recognizes our collective accomplishments, and we will strive to build on that work going forward,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.Some of the projects cited by Area Development in its decision to award South Carolina the Gold Shovel included First Quality Tissue in Anderson County, ZF Group in Laurens County, Caterpillar in Newberry County, Robert Bosch in Dorchester County, South Carolina Tissue in Barnwell County, Boeing Fabrication Interiors in Charleston County, Dixie Narco (Crane Co.) in Barnwell County, Johnson Controls in Florence County.South Carolina also received Area Development’s “Project of the Year” award for work on the First Quality Tissue project. Last May, First Quality Tissue selected Anderson County, S.C., for the company’s new manufacturing operations. The $1 billion investment is expected to create 1,000 new jobs. The company chose Anderson County after an extensive site selection process and credited the state’s proximity to the growing Southeastern market, quality infrastructure and low energy costs among other factors in helping make the choice.“It is quite an honor for Anderson County to be named in a very prestigious list of projects that brought Area Development’s Gold Shovel award to South Carolina,” said Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn. “Anderson County Council is motivated by a unified vision to create high-paying jobs for our residents by attracting quality industry to our county. We have a firm foundation of infrastructure to support industry, many and diverse site locations, a well-equipped workforce and competitive incentives. Anderson County’s team scored a ‘home run’ with First Quality Tissue. First Quality’s decision to bring an $1 billion investment and 1,000 jobs to Anderson County represents the successful collaboration of our legislative delegation, county council and administration, economic development professionals and the S.C. Department of Commerce to bring prospective industry home to South Carolina.”“It is truly exciting to see Area Development recognize South Carolina with its Gold Shovel award and the Project of the Year award for First Quality Tissue in Anderson County. This award is a testament to all the hard work done by state and local leaders and economic development professionals from across South Carolina,” said state Rep. Dan Cooper, chairman of the S.C. House Ways and Means Committee.For more information on the award and to see a full listing of all the awards, please visit ###