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Reactions to Volvo picking South Carolina for first U.S. plant

gmelendez@thestate.com

Volvo announced Monday that it would build its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Berkeley County. Following are reactions from S.C. leaders and from social media:

‘Testament to the hard work’

“Volvo’s decision to build its first American manufacturing plant in Berkeley County is a testament to the hard work of so many, notably Gov. (Nikki) Haley and her economic development team, but also the tremendous efforts of state and local policy makers to create a pro-business environment. Volvo’s potential 4,000 new jobs and $500 million investment in our economy will dramatically expand our state’s automotive and manufacturing base. We welcome Volvo Car Corporation to South Carolina and look forward to watching its success for years to come.”

– S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington

State senator: ‘Largest investment’ in minority community

“It's a game-changer for upper Berkeley County and surrounding counties. Manufacturing (jobs) moving closer to the I-95 corridor will have a great benefit to (that area). The area is a rich community. It has a high minority population. (Volvo's announcement) in the minority community, it's probably the largest investment I've ever seen since I've been in office. When you increase employment in the district especially above livable wages, families, churches, schools, everyone will benefit from this investment."

– State Sen. John Matthews, D-Orangeburg, whose district includes the Volvo site

‘A mutually beneficial relationship’

I spoke with Volvo’s senior leadership several weeks ago and reaffirmed our interest in bringing them to South Carolina. I’m very pleased with the decision announced today. I think it will be a mutually beneficial relationship, for the company and the state, for years to come. I want to thank Governor Haley, Commerce Secretary Hitt, and all the members of Team South Carolina for their hard work on this project. This decision by Volvo says all you need to know about our state’s workforce and opportunity we provide. South Carolina is already home to many of the nation’s leading manufacturers, and we look forward to adding Volvo to the South Carolina family.”

– U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham

‘Equality is good for business’

“It’s encouraging to know another corporation is coming to South Carolina that can improve our economy while supporting its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. We hope that South Carolina lawmakers will recognize that, as companies like Volvo show us, equality is good for business.”

– Jeff Ayers, S.C. Equality interim executive director

‘An awesome day in Berkeley County’

“It’s a great day in South Carolina, but it’s an awesome day in Berkeley County.”

– State Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley

‘Now lets work to fix our roads’

“Volvo’s plant is great news for the broader Charleston community because it will create thousands of jobs and expand the cargo base at our already robust port. Now let’s work to fix our roads, so that companies will keep bringing their business here.”

– Charleston Mayoral candidate Ginny Deerin

Not possible without the port

(N)one of this would be possible were it not for the Port of Charleston ... the true economic engine of South Carolina. ... I am proud to have always been a strong supporter of our port over the years ... (W)hen we invest in our port and allow it to compete and win globally, the Charleston area and our entire state will also compete and win by adding great jobs for our workers. Volvo's decision is also a testament to the quality and reputation of Trident Tech and our other outstanding technical colleges that will train the workers and employees for the new plant. The investments we have made in our technical colleges allow companies from around the world to know that if you locate in the Charleston area you can train your employees at one of the best technical schools in the country.”

– Democratic state Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, a Charleston mayoral candidate

Compiled by Jamie Self

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