By the BF Staff
From the September/October 2017 Issue
Annual job growth for York County, South Carolina more than quadrupled the national average in the spring of 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. York County had the highest percentage increase of employment of the nation’s 346 largest counties in this year’s first quarter. The national job growth rate was 1.6 percent.
Employment rose 6.8 percent in the county from March 2016 to March 2017, according to an employment and wage report published each quarter by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as reported by The Herald newspaper.
In that period, York County gained 3,539 jobs (a 40.3 percent increase) in the professional and business services sector. Much of that increase can be traced to the massive investment in Fort Mill’s Kingsley Town Center from LPL Financial and the Lash Group.
The 626-acre retail-restaurant complex is home to both company headquarters. The Lash Group, a health care consulting firm, announced it would double its workforce to 2,400 workers over the next several years. LPL officials say they are expanding to about 3,000 jobs.
Local officials say York County is challenging Charlotte for white-collar office jobs; long seen as an industrial area, the county has become more attractive for companies to place regional or national headquarters.
Over the past three quarters, York County has ranked among the top two counties for job growth. The county also led the nation with a six percent jobs growth increase in the third quarter of 2016 and was listed as No. 2 (4.6 percent increase) behind Williamson County, TN in the fourth quarter of last year.
SPORTS TOURISM GROWS IN ROCK HILL
Over the last 30 years, the City of Rock Hill, South Carolina has expanded its efforts to improve sports tourism. Those efforts continue with a multi-million-dollar downtown indoor sports complex.
From Cherry Park to Manchester Meadows and more recently the Velodrome and BMX Supercross Track, sports tourism has grown all across Rock Hill. City leaders estimate it has a direct $22-million annual economic impact on the city.
“They bring people from out of town in our community and when they’re in our community they stay in a hotel and they are in our restaurants,” Sports Commission Chairman John Gettys said.
A hospitality and prepared-food tax in the city generates nearly $7 million annually; the tax revenue is used to support sports tourism projects, including. the $24-million indoor sports arena.
“This is a game-changer for Rock Hill and it’s really a game-changer for other sports and activities that never had a home,” Gettys said.
The new arena on W. White Street near Stewart and Laurel Ave. will likely open in late 2018. The 190,000-square-foot facility will have room for 10 basketball courts, 17 volleyball courts and a championship court. The project is expected to generate an additional $13 million in economic impact annually. The property is being developed privately, but the city will lease the arena and will have full operation of the facility.
Next to the arena is the four-story former Bleachery textile mill, which will soon hold retail stores and businesses. A parking deck and two hotels will be constructed on the other side of the arena.