Off-shoring surprise in Fairfield
South Carolina has seen an increase of 26,000 manufacturing jobs since 2011, but none more surprising than the addition of 500 jobs in Fairfield County — from China. Now that’s a welcome turnaround on offshoring commerce.
The $7.5 million investment by Element Electronics will provide for the reuse of a vacant building in Winnsboro where televisions will be built.
Those TVs will be sold by Wal-Mart, which has often been criticized for its dependence on Chinese-made goods.
It’s good news for a county where the unemployment rate was 8.9 percent last month.
And the resurgence of manufacturing is good news for South Carolina as a whole. The state has seen some $9 billion in investment since 2011.
Indeed, the state has been bucking a national trend as it gains manufacturing jobs. Nationally, 9 percent of Americans are engaged in manufacturing; in South Carolina the percent is 11.6 percent.
Gov. Nikki Haley and her Commerce Department deserve some of the credit for the state’s economic development success. Since she took office in 2011, she has made jobs her No. 1 priority.
Mrs. Haley’s “jobs, jobs, jobs” mantra is memorable, enough so that she risks being hoist on her own petard if she fails to deliver. That is particularly true beginning this week, as she announced her candidacy for a second term.
While her first two and a half years have had their rocky patches, including a hacker’s data theft from the Department of Revenue and her support of Savannah’s competing harbor deepening project, her administration has delivered on the jobs front.
And relocating jobs from China to South Carolina? That’s really something to crow about in this Year of the Rooster.