COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina's economic development agency is allowed to continue its incentive pay program for employees.

The Budget and Control Board voted unanimously Tuesday to extend a program aimed at rewarding staff when the agency meets job creation and capital investment goals. Eligible employees can earn a bonus of up to 10 percent of their salary.

Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt says the sales incentive pay plan helps recruit, retain and motivate staff.

The agency expects to spend up to $60,000 on the bonuses this year. Nine employees shared $50,000 last year. Eleven employees split $96,000 in 2011.

The department sought a three-year extension of a program the board has repeatedly approved on a pilot basis since 1998. The agency says 10 employees responsible for recruiting industry to South Carolina are eligible.