Just this past year, Marion County added three new companies and had one existing industry expansion of the county’s largest employer Sopakco, the largest producer of MREs for the military and FEMA.
This recent increase in activity can partially be contributed to the counties proximity to South Carolina’s newest logistical opportunity, Inland Port Dillon. Opening in April 2018, the port has become a magnet for companies wanting all the amenities of a deep water port, but not the high land costs and congestion that typically accompany it. This has led to Marion County becoming a very intriguing option as the county touts several industrial sites within just 15 minutes of the port. Not to mention the land costs are a fraction of which can be found within the same distance of a deep water port. The average industrial land in Marion County costs a mere $7,500 per acre, compared to $200,000+ in Charleston.
This is not Marion County’s only drawing factor though. The county is located mere minutes from Interstate 95 (15 minutes) and I-20 (30 minutes) giving the county unmatched access to major markets like Atlanta, Charlotte, and Raleigh within a few hours. There are also two commercial airports within an hour’s drive, Florence Regional and Myrtle Beach International. And as we mentioned before, Marion County is located next to Horry County — home to Myrtle Beach, the second fastest growing metro in the country, giving them access to a labor shed of just over 600,000.
The county is also very fortunate to have five colleges and universities and two state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing centers within a 30-mile radius. These centers include the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT) and Horry Georgetown Technical College’s (HGTC) Advanced Manufacturing Center. SiMT is a 189,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing center that partners with businesses and provides training and manufacturing technology solutions. In addition to its manufacturing center, it provides a 3-D/Virtual Reality Center, National Robotics Center, customized training, and manufacturing startup assistance and consulting services. Meanwhile, HGTC’s center offers courses in Advanced Welding Technologies, Machine Tool Technology, and Machine Tool Operations. These two centers are just the cherry on top, as the state of South Carolina offers numerous training opportunities through its two nationally-recognized workforce development programs, readySC and Apprenticeship Carolina.
Marion County has much to offer companies seeking a competitive edge while offering an unmatched quality of life at an affordable cost. That’s what makes us just right!
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