South’s Growth Hailed By Magazine

South Carolina Industry Cited

“A new pattern of industrial development” in the South is hailed by U. S. News and World Report in its Dec. 21 issue which reaches reaches new stands today.

South Carolina’s role in the 17-state survey is cited particularly, with a six-picture and prominent editorial mention of the Elgin National Watch Co. plant in Elgin (formerly Blaney).

“A new wave of industrial growth is sweeping throughout the States of the South,” said the magazine.

“It’s a surge that is coming on top of the big expansion in Southern industry that has been going on since World War II.”

A South Carolina banker is quoted as saying, “The day is past when the South could be called ‘economically depressed.’ We are rapidly getting on a par with the rest of the country in terms of income, manufacturing and other economic advantages.” The magazine lists as “lures” for industry to come to the South “lower wages, lots of workers, favorable climate, abundant raw materials, plenty of cheap land, with room for the future growth.”

In discussing Elgin’s move the magazine says it chose Blaney “because it could draw on a large pool of farm folks who needed steady employment in industry.

“Elgin took advantage of a technical-education program, set up by South Carolina in 1961 to train both young people and adults for specific industrial jobs. This training is provided by the State at no cost to employers.

“As a result of the program, Elgin was able to operate its new plant at capacity within three months after it opened.”

The story goes on to explain how “the village of Blaney was so pleased with its new watch plant that it changed the village name to Elgin.”

It further pointed out that “the South Carolina technical-training program in North Carolina are typical of a new stress on technical and scientific education that is accompanying the South’s industrial development.”

In assessing the overall program of development in the South, the magazine points out that “investments by manufactures in new plants and equipment in the 17 States of the South totaled 3 billion dollars in 1963, latest year for which figures are available.”

(In 1963 South Carolina showed $264 million in industrial development, or slightly less than 10 per cent of the 17-state figure).

The South has shown a 20 per cent increase in new industries since 1958, the magazine points out, compared to a 14 per cent gain for the rest of the nation.

Among the various reason cited for the rise in industry in the South by U. S. New and World Report are “fewer days lost in Strikes.

December 15, 1964  State (published as The State)  
Columbia, South Carolina
Page 16

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