Haley tours new facility in York, talks jobs

Published: Jun. 15, 2012 at 9:33 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2012 at 9:33 PM EDT
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When Hella Lighting closed up shop in York and laid off nearly 400 people in York. It was a big hit to the unemployment rate in York County.

Friday the unemployment rate in South Carolina increased for the first time in 10 months.  The rate was 8.8% and increased to 9.1%.

Friday Governor Nikki Haley made it simple and clear today South Carolina is open for business and she says it's not just about getting the companies here and then taking care of those businesses to help them expand and bring more jobs.

Haley attended the ribbon cutting for Blue Star Silicones in York.  The company moved into the old Hella Lighting facility in York and made it the new research and development office for Blue Star Silicones.

Two years ago President of Blue Star Silicones Chris York was looking to expand, and looking into moving operations into North Carolina.

"February of last year put a bid in on a place in Charlotte," said York.

Then after just one phone call from Governor Nikki Haley he changed his mind.

"She said we'll do whatever we need to do to make you successful.  That's what I needed," said York.

York found the old Hella Lighting plant in York, for their new research and development office.

Blue Star already had a staff of 17 researchers, staffed in an office in Rock Hill, and York says he didn't want to lose any of them.  The key was trying to get people to move to York from their operations in Ventura California.

"34 people that were there all local Californians living a half mile from the ocean. 17 of them have moved," said York.

Blue Star has a staff of around 90 but looks to add 20 more over the next three years.  It's not a big number, but Haley says the formula is simple in South Carolina to keep the companies and jobs coming.

"It's not just about getting a company here it's about watching them expand making sure they are successful along the way they know we're not just about recruiting they know we take care of the companies we have," said Haley.

Another North Carolina Company is taking notice of South Carolina -- Britax Child Safety announced yesterday the company will move their head quarters from Charlotte into distribution building in Fort Mill 240 plus jobs come with it.

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