March 15, 2012
Bridgestone Americas’ sizeable investment in Aiken County has been recognized by Trade & Industry Development magazine with a Corporate Investment & Community Impact award.The 30 recipients of the 2012 CiCi Awards helped create 26,605 new jobs, retain 7,902 jobs and represent investments in excess of more than $11.6 billion, according to the magazine. Bridgestone’s $1.2 billion capital investment and the creation of 850 contractor and full-time jobs earned it a spot on the list of 15 companies given a Corporate Investment award.Bridgestone’s investment ranks as the single-largest initial capital in the history of South Carolina.”The award speaks volumes for Aiken County and the business climate here that attracts industries like Bridgestone,” said Aiken County Council Chairman Ronnie Young. “This national award gives more recognition for Aiken County. Rome wasn’t built in a day so we’ll take it brick by brick.”Bridgestone announced in September that it would construct a new 1.5-million-square-foot off-road radial tire plant in Sage Mill Industrial Park. The tire maker is also expanding its existing passenger and light-truck tire plant by 740,000 square feet. Ground on the new plant and expansion was broken in October.Aiken-Edgefield Economic Development Partnership Director Will Williams said work is moving right along at both sites.At the new plant, land has been cleared, the site is now completely fenced and foundations are being poured.”During a year when the U.S. economy grew only slightly, the 30 companies recognized by our seventh Annual CiCi Awards stand out as gleaming examples of where the growth occurred,” said Scott D. Swoger, publisher and president of Trade & Industry Development, in a press release. “The sum of the investments made by the CiCi Award recipients coupled with the economic impact they will have on the communities in which they are located will be transformational.”Transformational, indeed.”Bridgestone’s investment infuses money into Aiken County’s economy at all levels,” Williams said.He has to credit the work Aiken County government does in putting an emphasis on recruiting manufacturing industries and on job creation. He strongly believes Bridgestone chose Aiken County for its new plant and expansion because “they knew the people, knew the workforce here and knew County Council would stand behind them.”Hundreds of submissions were received for the awards, according to the magazine. The industries are diverse – automotive manufacturers, tire manufacturers, software/IT, plastics, solar energy and metals.Continental Tire, the Americas’ investment in Sumter County, also received a Corporate Investment Award. Continental plans to invest more than $500 million to build a new tire plant, generating 1,700 new jobs over the next 10 years.For more information, visit www.tradeandindustrydev.com.Follow up on Bridgestone news at aikenstandard.com/bridgestone/.