Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I'm very pleased to report the most recent economic development numbers as given to me by the South Carolina Department of Commerce. These numbers prove that despite the challenging economy, Berkeley County is very blessed and continues to grow!
- 2009 Total Capital Investments: $145,290,000
- 2009 Total Number of NEW Jobs Created As A Result of Capital Investments: 1,525
(Source: South Carolina Department of Commerce, March 2010)
"I would like to extend a special THANK YOU to all of the companies who have put their faith in our County and our people. And, I want to commend our economic development team for their tireless efforts. Thanks to their hard work, we also have a number of additional companies considering either expanding or making Berkeley County their future home.
Folks, our country still faces tough economic times. I promise to continue working toward bringing additional jobs and resources to our County. As always, my door is open to you. We will weather this economic storm together." Supervisor's Blog
Now, let's hear from GE&P.
Lord have mercy, our economic troubles are well on the way to being over, according to Mr. Davis. Have you ever seen such a rosy picture? Well, let's dig into this announcement a little deeper.
AMERICAN LAFRANCE LLC: According to a company's press release dated 4/29/09, an eventual increase of 216 jobs is correct. HOWEVER, these new jobs won't be realized until between THREE TO FIVE YEARS from now. Not one of these jobs was realized during 2009. And, just one more little inconsequential, inconvenient fact, this company came to BC under the previous administration.
AMERICAN SYNTHETICS LP: According to a company's press release dated 2/12/09, 250 jobs is correct BUT there were only 50 new jobs added in 2009 with the additional 200 jobs to be added over the NEXT FIVE YEARS.
BIRNEY FOODS: According to an updated March 2010 company press release, these folks are still installing equipment. According to the SC Department of Commerce, Birney did not fill 50 jobs in 2009 and there is no indication in the press update when these jobs might be filled.
DC MACHINE, LLC: According to the company's press release dated 1/14/10, 25 (not 16) jobs will be available starting in the 2nd quarter of 2010, not 2009.
GILDAN ACTIVEWEAR: According to the company's press release dated 2/10/10, the number of 250 new jobs is correct BUT hiring will start in 2010, not 2009. Also, Gildan moved into the vacated Mikasa building that held an existing Fee-in-Lieu-of-tax agreement. Since these FILOT agreements are transferrable, BC Economic Development, had little to nothing to do with this deal. As a side bar, BC lost Mikasa and 175 jobs in May of 2007 under Mr. Davis' watch.
HORIZON SCIENTIFIC: To date, we have been able to find no information on these 20 jobs.
MANKIEWCZ GEBR. & CO.: According to the company's press release dated 8/12/09, the capital investment involved is $2M, not $3.5M. Also, there are 25, not 20, jobs involved. BUT, these jobs will be realized over the next five years, not in 2009.
MOULTON LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT: According to the company's press release dated 3/11/10, the number of jobs involved with Moulton is 500. BUT, these jobs will only be realized over the next five years. There are two other small facts we all need to keep in mind. (1) Moulton moved into the Masisa building where there was an existing FILOT agreement. Therefore, BCED was not involved. (2) Moulton moved from 5801 N Rhett in Hanahan to Clements Ferry Road. The last time we checked, both of these addresses were in BC. How can these jobs be counted twice AND as new jobs?
TBC CORPORATION: According to the company's press release dated 10/12/09, this facility plans to open in late 2010. They project to create 120 jobs over the next three years, not in 2009.
TRUMPF MEDICAL SYSTEMS: According to the company's press release dated 4/2/09, Trumpf plans to create 29 jobs over the next three years, not in 2009.
WELDED TUBE BERKELEY: According to the company's press release dated 6/25/09, they projected creating 20 to 30 jobs within the next nine months. There is no information available as to whether or not this came to pass. Welded Tube located in BC in 2004, under the previous administration.
WONDERLIC INC.: To date, we have been able to find no information on these 25 jobs.
In order for us to get a full understanding of the job situation in BC, we have to look at the whole picture. Since Mr. Davis took office here is a list of our losses:
GATES: (consolidated elsewhere) lost 260 jobs
MIKASA: (consolidated elsewhere) lost 175 jobs
MCNAUGHTON JONES APPAREL: (consolidated elsewhere) lost 300 jobs
MASISA: (consolidated elsewhere) lost 42 jobs
ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR: (consolidated elsewhere) lost 250 jobs
Also, we have heard that Sam's Club Distribution Center closed down but we were unable to verify.
Before we go one step further with this analysis, we have to make an inevitable eventuality clear. When the facts listed above become public and Mr. Davis is confronted with his, shall we say, embellishments upon the truth, his misstatements will not be his fault. Being as the SC Department of Commerce was his source of information, he cannot be held accountable for the accuracy of any of his statements. The fact that we were able to get accurate information with relative ease is of no consequence. Now that we have that out of the way, we can continue.
Projections of possible future job growth in BC is very good news indeed. It is comforting to look down the road and see good things possibly coming our way. BUT, these projections are just that and do nothing to solve our immediate employment problems. Our unemployment numbers hover around 12%. These numbers reflect real people with real financial problems. Can you imagine the unemployed man or woman who heard this news and charged down to one of the companies only to find that, in fact, the jobs they sought would not even be available for three to five years? For Mr. Davis to spin these yarns about all these new phantom jobs he created in 2009 is nothing short of despicable.
As a word smith, a spin doctor, and a prevaricator of the facts, Mr. Davis possesses unequaled talent. As to being the successful leader of the largest county government in SC, not so much.
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