Case Study: Upstate SC Alliance

In August 2009, Avalanche Consulting partnered with McCallum Sweeney Consulting to create a target industry strategy for the 10-county Greenville-Spartanburg (“Upstate”) region of South Carolina. To begin, the team developed a Competitive Asset Map based on an in-depth assessment of the 10-county Upstate region. Next, the team examined the Upstate’s industry base and strengths relative to the state and the US. The team selected niche industry sectors to be the targets of the Upstate SC Alliance’s economic development initiative. To conclude, Avalanche crafted growth strategies for each target sector. Each strategy was accompanied by marketing messages, a master calendar of activities, budget estimates and performance metrics.

The Results

  • Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), home of BMW’s North American research center and Clemson’s graduate program in automotive engineering, has had $250 million in capital investment and 20 Campus Partners working together to advance the industry. Investors on the campus include Michelin, Koyo JTEKT, Roding, and Computech Corporation among many others.
  • BMW announced $1 billion expansion creating 800 new jobs in 2014.
  • In September 2015, Mitsubishi Polyester Film, one of the world’s largest suppliers of polyester film, announced that it will undergo a $100 million expansion at its existing facility in Greer.
  • First Quality Tissue plans to hire 200 as part of the $350 million expansion, bringing total employment at the facility to 650 by the end of 2015.
  • Suminoe Textile of America Corporation invested $5 million to expand its automotive carpet facility in Cherokee County, South Carolina, with plans to create 100 jobs in 2014.
  • Precorp Inc. is relocating in Greer to a new, larger manufacturing facility and plans to eventually add at least 29 new jobs in 2014.
  • Forbes named Greenville, SC a top metro for employment in 2012.
  • Greenville, SC ranked as the top Micro City of the Future in North & South America by fDi Intelligence in 2012.
  • Proterra invested $68 million and hired 1,300 workers in Greenville, SC in 2010.
  • Medical device manufacturer Mergon Corp expanded its operations in Anderson, SC in 2010.
  • The Upstate SC metros Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson received strong ratings from Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities Index.
  • Unemployment rates have decreased in Greenville MSA and Spartanburg MSA since 2009.


14,500 net new jobs 2010-2013
$4.95 billion in capital investment 2010-2012


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Amy Holloway
(512) 917-3815