Known as one of the most business friendly states in the U.S., companies have flocked to South Carolina
over the past several years. Once arriving in the state, they have seen their companies flourish as S.C.’s
prime location centrally located on the U.S. Eastern coast offers a logistical advantage that few other
states can match.
But as more and more companies have sought to locate in the state, the demand for real estate has
gone up as well, driving up costs and limiting the amount of space available within and near the state’s
Recognizing this, the North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA), a regional non-profit economic
development organization in the northeastern corner of S.C., has set their region up to be the next big
boom area of the state by working with its county partners to develop and complete due diligence on
multiple industrial sites and identifying several available buildings throughout their nine county region.
With available land at affordable prices, direct access to the Port of Charleston via rail and 4-lane
highways, two major interstates, a highly skilled and available workforce, and the region’s newest
logistical asset, Inland Port Dillon, NESA can offer companies seeking to join South Carolina’s strong
business climate a better solution at a fraction of the cost they can find anywhere else.
Having quick and easy access to domestic and global markets is a must for international businesses. The
NESA region offers the best of both worlds.
Located on the eastern coast of S.C., the NESA region is exactly halfway between New York City and
Miami on Interstate 95. The region is also the eastern origin of Interstate 20 allowing access as far west
as Texas. These two major interstates give the NESA region access to over two-thirds of the U.S.
population within a two-day drive. Additionally, a robust network of 4-lane divided highways make
moving people and freight to/from interstates very easy.
With Inland Port Dillon, the NESA region offers companies a resource that is unmatched anywhere else
in the county. Shippers to the inland port will enjoy the convenience of scheduling shipping to and from
the inland port in the same manner that they schedule shipping to and from major seaports.
Additionally, the inland port, and in turn the NESA region, has direct access to the deep water port of
Charleston via Class A CSX rail and is strategically located at a railroad “T” with mainline access
north/south and west and will be able to service markets in the Northeastern and Midwestern sections
of the country.
The region is also home to two commercial airports, the Florence Regional Airport and Myrtle Beach
International Airport, and are a short drive from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charleston
International Airport, and the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
Last, but certainly not least, the NESA region offers over 350 miles of rail and is home to one of only two
CSX rail yards in South Carolina. The CSX facility in Florence is the headquarters for three states and is
the largest rail yard in the state. Numerous cargo handling services are available via the Florence rail
yard, making it possible for companies to receive increased frequency in their service.
AVAILABLE LAND AT AFFORDABLE PRICES
Where in the world can one find available and affordable land literally next door to a port?
At a very competitive average industrial land price of $17,000 per acre, the NESA region can.
Seeking property with interstate frontage or easy access to interstates?
The NESA region has multiple industrial sites and buildings available on major interstates and with quick
and easy access via their four-lane highway system.
SKILLED AND AVAILABLE WORKFORCE
If an experienced, well-trained, skilled and available workforce are what your seeking, look no farther
than the NESA region. Employers use this region’s productive workforce to churn out all-terrain vehicles,
pharmaceuticals, food additives, frozen meals, steel, packaging products, and much more. The region is
home to companies that engage in world-wide distribution, refurbish airplanes, and are on the cutting
edge of their highly specialized fields. With a population of nearly 2.2 million and an available workforce
of nearly 1 million within 60 miles of the region’s geographical center, the region has a very robust labor
pool to draw from.
The region offers a variety of workforce training resources to companies. One such resource is the
state’s premiere workforce training program, ReadySC. Working together with the South Carolina
Technical College System, ReadySC develops, implements, and manages custom workforce training
programs to support smooth, rapid start-up operations. ReadySC works with companies to screen,
recruit, and train employees to meet their demands and ensures that companies have a ready-to- work
workforce the day business opens. The training is done at no cost to companies that commit to creating
at least 10 new jobs.
Another unique resource is the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT). It is the
first facility of its kind in the United States and is located on the campus of Florence-Darlington Technical
College. SiMT is an advanced manufacturing center that provides the support needed by area and future
industries, advancing the region’s ability to provide a highly trained workforce. SiMT exists to partner
with businesses to provide training and manufacturing technology solutions. The facility contains an
Advanced Manufacturing Center, 3-D/Virtual reality Center, 3-D printing lab, and National Robotics
Center. SiMT offers open-enrollment, onsite, and customized training.
Francis Marion University’s Industrial Engineering program, a first of its kind in the NESA region, will
meet the engineering needs of many existing companies within the region. The university also offers
undergraduate and graduate programs in business. FMU has a long history of producing outstanding
graduates who become leaders within their companies and communities. Also in the region is Coastal
Carolina University, recent winner of the national baseball championship, a four-year university with
several graduate programs as well. CCU attracts students from all over the world and many of those
students stay here upon graduation, adding diversity and international flavor to the region’s workforce.
In addition to these great workforce training resources, the NESA region has an extensive public and
private school system and is home to the South Carolina Governor’s School of Science and Mathematics
GSSM is the only high school in the state that offers a residential experience focused on the
mastery of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. It is recognized as one of the
nation’s top 24 elite public high schools. The region is also home to seven colleges and universities that
prepare graduates for careers in a variety of fields.