NEWBERRY — Samsung won Economic Development Project of the Year during the inaugural 2017 S.C. Branded Awards on Nov. 2. The S.C. Branded Awards honor local initiatives, locations, products and events that make up the brand that is South Carolina.
“We are proud to announce the inaugural winners of the SC Branded Awards” said Ted Pitts, S.C. Chamber president and CEO . “Our winners and finalists represent the best our state has to offer. Through their unique brands, they are moving South Carolina forward in the areas of economic development, environmental stewardship, charitable giving and more.”
Henry Livingston, chairman of Newberry County Council, said that this award shows the quality of Samsung and what their name means state wide. He added that the future of the county’s partnership with Samsung will only enhance as they develop in the county.
“Samsung is honored to be named a leader in economic development in South Carolina by winning a South Carolina Branded Award,” said Steve Merlis, senior director of Government Relations and Public Policy at Samsung Electronics America. “We are grateful to have so many partners including the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and all of our state and local Newberry County partners, who have helped Samsung start its first United States home appliance operations in Newberry County. We are excited to be a part of a great community and a great state. So far we’ve hired more than 250 people and we plan to have a total of 500 on board by the end of 2017.”
Rick Farmer, director of Economic Development in Newberry County, nominated Samsung for this award.
“You do not win projects this large very often in relatively small communities like this. We thought we would take advantage of it, so we followed up and went after it and put together the nomination and got lucky enough to win,” he said.
Farmer continued by saying that the Samsung project underscores several aspects of the Newberry community. The first being that Newberry is a good community for manufacturing.
“I think it should tell other small communities do not sell yourself short, small communities can do amazing things at times. There is a perception that some small communities are too small to do great things, and I do not think that it is true at all. It takes the right preparation and it takes the right opportunity too,” he said.
Newberry County Administrator Wayne Adams added that Newberry was not unique and that there were a lot of other communities with large empty buildings, and that the process to get the Samsung project was a competitive process.
“Also underscores that this is a great community for business and manufacturing, in my opinion,” Farmer said. “This award puts another stamp of approval on the project, and we expect the Samsung project to lead to many great things in this community for decades to come.”
Adams emphasized that while it is nice to win recognition, the most gratifying part is to see the impact that Samsung will have on the community.
“Young people who are from Newberry are training to work for a large multi-national corporation in Seoul, South Korea. This company represents big opportunity for the future,” he said. “The Samsung project and the MM Technics project, both of which happened very recently, indicate that our Economic Development is really cranked up. That takes commitment from County Council, that is where it begins. Without that support, we would not have been see as the success that we are.”
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.