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Leatherman Realty, Inc.

Relocating? If you are making a move to South Carolinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pee Dee area, our Relocation Guide will make your move a smooth and trouble-free experience. Moving to a new community can be difficult for a family. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why we have prepared a comprehensive relocation package. Our goal is to NBLF UIBU USBOTJUJPO BT TNPPUI BT QPTTJCMF GPS ZPVS FOUJSF GBNJMZ 'SPN schools to shopping, doctors to day-care, our guide has a variety of resources to help you get acclimated to your new community.

Of course, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no obligation ... ERA Leatherman Realty believes in making real estate and the relocation process as easy as possible for everyone involved. To them, that means providing information to anyone who wants to know more about this great area. So, call today to order your free relocation package: (800) 828-6043 or order online at www.eraleatherman.com. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just one more way weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going the extra mile to make your move to the Pee Dee Area a complete success.

Additional Services * * * *

Area Orientation Tours Customized Newcomer Packages Home Sales Assistance Home Buying Assistance

Leatherman Realty, Inc. Relocation Specialists 8&WBOT4Ut'MPSFODF 4$ (843) 662-0388 office (800) 828-6043 Toll-free www.eraleatherman.com


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2670 Hospitality Blvd. Florence, SC 29501 (843) 317-9050 (843) 317-9025

Enjoy our spacious rooms, commitment to quality and outstanding customer service at both the Courtyard速 and SpringHill Suites速 by Marriott in Florence, South Carolina. Complimentary high-speed Internet access, indoor pools and meeting space are just a few of the amenities offered.


Contact properties for corporate rates. 2680 Hospitality Blvd. Florence, SC 29501 (843) 662-7066 (843) 662-6949

Opening Spring 2009!

Owned and operated by MDR, Inc.


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lorence County has long been recognized as a major agricultural center. But the community also plays host to a growing industrial sector that includes everything from food processing to life sciences. The Florence County labor market now numbers more than 64,000 and expands to more than 387,000 within a 60-mile radius. Joe King, executive director of the Florence County Economic Development Partnership, says Florence offers â&#x20AC;&#x153;the right combinationâ&#x20AC;? of location advantages. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you look at our industrial base, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very well diversified,â&#x20AC;? King says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have established a proactive, pro-business atmosphere, with a strong infrastructure. I would put our workforce up against just about any community anywhere, and we have training programs to assist industry, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manufacturing, assembly or call centers. But more than just bringing in new jobs, we work hard to invest in existing industries. Those companies are the best salesmen we have.â&#x20AC;? Pepsi Cola of Florence invested $12 million in a new 155,000-square-foot distribution center. The FCEDP assisted the sale of Wellman Inc.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Engineering Resins business in Johnsonville to a new investor group that will spend $3 million to upgrade the plant and preserve 163 jobs at what will now be known as as Wellman Plastics Recycling. Pharmaceutical giant Roche Carolina is in the midst of a $60 million expansion designed to double the manufacturing capacity at its state-of-the-art complex,

creating 25 to 30 high-tech jobs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our economic development team has done a great job of selling the area, and they clearly have a great product to sell,â&#x20AC;? says Peter Mazzaroni, Roche public affairs manager. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The workforce is excellent, the infrastructure is in place to support business, and the quality of life is outstanding.â&#x20AC;? H.J Heinz Co. cited many of the same factors when announcing plans to build a 225,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Florence to support its burgeoning frozen-meals segment. The project is expected to create 350 jobs when it opens in late summer 2009 to produce Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Boston Market frozen entrĂŠes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The new facility is a sign of our commitment to supporting and sustaining this growth,â&#x20AC;? says Dave Moran, president and CEO of Heinz North America. Family business McCall Farms Inc. produces everything from green beans and squash to turnips and black-eyed peas. The 200-employee company expanded into the freezing business in 2006 and is expanding its freezing capacity, adding 100,000 square feet and 25 jobs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Florence Economic Development Partnership has been there to support our efforts,â&#x20AC;? says McCall Swink, operations manager for the company. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They helped us get a loan through the Pee Dee Electric Cooperative. Without them, we would be on our own. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many people here are just a generation away from the farm, so the work ethic is a big benefit. This is just an excellent place to do business, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re optimistic about future growth.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Amy Stumpfl

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ith its pro-business climate and ample labor force, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no wonder that Florence County is home to so many customer service and back-office operations. Online job recruitment king Monster has announced plans for a $28 million customer service facility in Florence that will create 350 jobs initially. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Opening the new customer support service center stems from an initiative to bring North American customer support in-house to ensure Monster leads the online recruitment industry in proactive service,â&#x20AC;? says Art Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Donnell, executive vice president of service for Monster. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Florence is an ideal choice for us because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a rapidly developing labor market with the talent weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need to bring best-in-class service to our customers,â&#x20AC;? he says. Monster broke ground in December 2008 on a 75,000-square-foot facility in the Touchstone Energy Commerce City industrial park. Automated Data Processing Inc., a top provider of business outsourcing services, continues to enjoy success in Florence as well. ADP came to Florence in 2003, acquiring locally based SMS Management Services. Since then, the company has experienced significant growth and currently employs approximately 450 workers who provide pre-employment services such as applicant management, screening and selection, along with tax credit services. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The biggest reason for our ongoing success is the outstanding labor,â&#x20AC;? says Jim Brown, senior division vice president and general manager of ADPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pre-employment services. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a

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lot of talent available here and the work ethic is tremendous.â&#x20AC;? Brown also sees local educational institutions and government officials as allies in ADPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ongoing quest for success. Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University have been responsive to any need the company has had, he says.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;And the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leadership is completely invested in what they can do to assist us,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very appreciative of business and want to help maintain a strong, business-friendly environment. We have the infrastructure in place to continue to grow, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very optimistic about the future.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Amy Stumpfl

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emonstrating an enterprising spirit of its own, Francis Marion University boasts a new Center for Entrepreneurship founded to boost job creation in the Pee Dee Region and nurture the next generation of movers and shakers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In every possible way, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve endeavored to promote and support activities that are designed to bring new business to the region and also to help our own citizenry start new business, to have new venture creation,â&#x20AC;? says Richard Chapman, FMU Provost. He points to the Center for Entrepreneurship, housed in the School of Business, as the universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest initiative to meet those ends. Under the new centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s umbrella is the Donald E. Kelley Small Business Institute, which since 1972 has been

helping local entrepreneurs with such services as comprehensive business plan consultation and market research, drawing on Francis Marion student teams for the work. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We will continue to offer those services, but indeed do a lot more than that now,â&#x20AC;? says Barry Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien, dean of the School of Business. With the new center, students â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and especially those at the masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s level â&#x20AC;&#x201C; will be encouraged to write their own business plans to launch new ventures in the Pee Dee Region, Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien says. One initiative will forge partnerships between graduate-level entrepreneur students and faculty members in the sciences to investigate avenues to commercialize research. While the Center for Entrepreneurshipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s educational mission encompasses

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/UR-ISSION¨ To improve the quality of life and maintain a maximum level of independence for each client and family we serve.

7E"ELIEVE¨ â&#x20AC;¦ That offering a client the capability of staying in the safe, familiar surroundings of their own home, thereby keeping the family unit intact, enriches the life of the client and the family. â&#x20AC;¦ That individuals heal more quickly when theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in their own home. â&#x20AC;¦ That we must offer care that supports the dignity and respect to which every human being is entitled. â&#x20AC;¦ That home and community-based services, such as home care, are designed to enable an individual to remain at home in the greater community, thus offering a sensible and cost-effective alternative to nursing home placement.

3IMPLYTHE"EST¨ New Generations Home Care Inc. has provided the highest possible quality of home care since 2000. A New Generations Home Care aide has been selected from over 12,000 personal care aides in South Carolina as the outstanding SC Personal Care Aide of the Year for two of the last three years. We are Simply the Best. PERSONAL CARE SERVICES include â&#x20AC;¦ s 0ERSONALHYGIENECARE s ,IGHTMEALPREPARATION s &EEDINGORASSISTEDASNEEDED s 4OILETING

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undergraduate and graduate offerings, it also reaches beyond the campus to inform and support adults who want to start entrepreneurial ventures and engage high-schoolers in business enterprise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We think we can do something to stimulate their interest by running business-plan competitions, dualenrollment courses in the public schools, holding entrepreneurship symposia and the like,â&#x20AC;? Chapman says. The School of Business has a head start when it comes to reaching teenagers. Since 2006, it has hosted summer entrepreneurial camps, where students write business plans based on their own ideas for a potential venture. Thanks to funding from several sources, disadvantaged youth attend the camp free of charge. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just incredible to watch us turn these kids on to the entrepreneurial way of thinking,â&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien says. The Center for Entrepreneurship launches operations in January 2009 with the arrival on campus of Susan Peters, the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first director. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a hire that Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien calls â&#x20AC;&#x153;a home run.â&#x20AC;? For seven years, Peters was the chair of the International Business and Marketing Department at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve lived around the world, and I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know whether going from bigtown Los Angeles to small-town Florence would work, but I was just charmed,â&#x20AC;? Peters says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It seems there are a lot of people all pulling in the same direction, and it has increased my enthusiasm.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Sharon H. Fitzgerald

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If you are thinking about coming to South Carolina, come see what’s growing in Florence County. nty. From manufacturing and distribution bution to financial services and health care, we’re home to business of all types.

Why? Because we provide a winning e combination of a diverse workforce, superior dly logistics, a business-friendly y of life community and a quality second to none. We invite you to come to Florence County and enjoy what many worldready found: class businesses have already cessful a fertile, proven and successful d industry. location for business and Come to a place where you can live ss can prosper. happily and your business

From certified building sites to large developable tracts, Florence offers a variety of land options with excellent access to utilities and transportation.

We offer a comprehensive set of economic development incentives and planning tools to assist you, and we’re ready to work with you to identify and secure the location that best suits the needs of your project.

Joe W. King, Executive Director • Kyle Edney, Assistant Director If you are interested in expanding or relocating to a proven successful place for business and industry, please contact:

Florence County Economic Development Partnership

1951 Pisgah Rd. • Florence, SC 29501 On the campus of the new Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (843) 676-8796 • Fax: (843) 676-8799 • www.fcedp.com


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FLORENCEDARLINGTON TECHNICAL COLLEGE www.fdtc.edu Enrollment: 4,500 Campuses: Main campus is on 100 ACRES between the cities of FLORENCE and DARLINGTON Also operates FIVE SATELLITE CENTERS and online classes Academics: CertiďŹ cate, degree and diploma programs in 75 ďŹ elds of study

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cience education has sprung up along Jeffries Creek in the Freedom Florence Recreational Complex. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where, in March 2008, ScienceSouth dedicated its new headquarters and fun-filled science laboratory, housed in a Sprung Instant Structure that is itself a 5,000-square-foot attraction that captures the attention of inquiring young minds. Across the buildingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aluminum frame

stretches a fire-retardant architectural membrane that gives the building, called the ScienceSouth Pavilion, a tentlike appearance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Down the road, we hope to have a bigger, more permanent facility. This one can be moved, but I think it will be here for quite some time,â&#x20AC;? says Sheryl Love, ScienceSouth director of marketing and development. ScienceSouth is a nonprofit education initiative founded in 2000 by education

and business leaders to advance scientific understanding at all ages and inspire youngsters to choose scientific careers. The program boasts three mobile labs and an inflatable StarLab Planetarium, which travel to schools and events across the Pee Dee Region. ScienceSouth scientists also offer workshops in classrooms and for assembly audiences. ScienceSouthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offerings took a giant leap forward in summer 2008, when the new facility and its sprawling creekside

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Step in the most comfortable, supportive, slip-resistant footwear from SOFFT SHOE COMPANY. Try on lasting fashions. Receive unforgettable service. Industrial, hospitality, food service, medical uniforms to choose from.

(843) 665-2526 2015-J W. Evans St. Florence, SC 29501

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Fax: (843) 676-0990

acreage allowed for summer camps for kids, a particular treat for disadvantaged children whose attendance fees were covered by a combination of government funds and private donations. More than 500 children attended in the summer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really fabulous and has taken off,â&#x20AC;? Love says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We also do birthday parties out here.â&#x20AC;? Weekend workshops at the Jeffries Creek locale also mean opportunities for family time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wonderful about the workshops especially is that they are something you can come and do with your child. ScienceSouth is all about hands-on learning, and we also encourage family learning,â&#x20AC;? Love explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of times, mom and dad are going to learn something new while their little one is building a robot or learning about collecting insects.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Sharon H. Fitzgerald

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nce QVC Inc. tuned in to Florence County, the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s logistical advantages helped make the sale. The home-shopping giant opened a distribution facility in Florence in July 2007 and joined an ever-growing list of companies lured to the Pee Dee Region by its strategic location on the East Coast and its first-class transportation options. David Foster, QVC general manager, says Florenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location at the conf luence of Interstates 95 and 20 and proximity to Atlantic ports was â&#x20AC;&#x153;one of the three reasons why we actually came to Florence.â&#x20AC;? The other two were a ready workforce and a welcoming community, he adds. With a workforce of nearly 500, QVC in Florence pushes about 420,000 packages out the door monthly. Foster says the facility will be QVCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s distribution model of the future. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We will go through a couple of more phases of very large

;]`S 7\aWUVb TRAVEL TIME Florence County is served by Interstates 20 and 95. In addition, four major U.S. Highways traverse Florence County. Florence is halfway between New York City and Miami. The average commuting time to work in Florence County is 18.9 minutes.

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Home of

the best associates producing ATVs and personal watercraft!

www.honda.com


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automation projects, and then we will become the high-speed fulfiller of orders within the network,â&#x20AC;? he says. QVCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success in Florence County doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t surprise Drew Chaplin, managing partner and broker-in-charge at Palmetto Commercial Real Estate. Chaplin represented the landowner in negotiations with QVC. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Florence is fairly unique in many ways â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m talking about both Carolinas and a good part of the Southeast,â&#x20AC;? he says. Florence Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy access via highways, rail and air is a top selling point, coupled with a regional population approaching 700,000 that also is attracting retail. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Regional and local retail is as strong as itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ever been. Our retail has doubled in square footage in the last decade, and I tell everyone that we will not recognize Florence 10 years from now,â&#x20AC;? Chaplin says. George Wilds, managing director of Coldwell Banker Commercial, says Florenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location and transportation conveniences also make the area appealing to enterprises with coastal clients, particularly in the Myrtle Beach area. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The growth in Grand Strand markets and the consequent costs of doing business down there as far as land and labor are concerned have not hurt us at all,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Folks who

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Âľ@SUW]\OZO\RZ]QOZ`SbOWZWa Oaab`]\UOaWb¸aSdS`PSS\Âś want to do business in the Grand Strand area are going to find it less costly to have their facilities inland, and this is just a real logical place for them.â&#x20AC;? The Pee Dee Electric Cooperative boasts several distribution-related tenants in its 714-acre Pee Dee Commerce City industrial park. The latest is Pepsi Cola, which opened a 155,000-square-foot distribution center in May 2008. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our park has a mile and a half of frontage on I-95 and we are nine miles from where I-20 begins,â&#x20AC;? E. LeRoy â&#x20AC;&#x153;Toyâ&#x20AC;? Nettles Jr., president and CEO of Pee Dee Electric, says about Commerce City. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can say the word â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;locationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; just as many times as you want to say it, because we are within 10 miles of the midway point between New York City and Miami,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Sharon H. Fitzgerald

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he Florence areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major hospital systems have rolled out new technology and affiliations with outside providers to tackle the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest health-care needs. McLeod Health and Carolinas Hospital System together serve the bulk of the Pee Dee Regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patients and have upgraded their operations to provide better cardiac care and oncology services to the area. For more than a century, McLeod Health has been serving the residents of northeastern South Carolina. Comprised of the main hospital in Florence and a pair of smaller facilities in nearby Dillon and Darlington, McLeod Health has sought to keep its services current with the latest innovations. McLeod has developed nationally recognized cardiac-care programs and built a new surgical tower featuring what it bills as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;operating room of tomorrow.â&#x20AC;? McLeod has developed a heart surgical affiliation with the Cleveland Clinic, bringing expertise and new treatments from the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top cardiac hospital to Pee Dee residents. ;Q:S]R@SUW]\OZ;SRWQOZ1S\bS`VOa ORRSRO\Seac`UWQOZb]eS`TSObc`W\U bVSÂľ]^S`ObW\U`]][]Tb][]``]eÂś

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GE Healthcare A Proud Member of the Florence Community

GE is at the forefront of medical imaging. Since beginning production at the Florence, SC facility in 1984, GE Healthcare has become the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest manufacturer of superconducting magnets for wholebody diagnostic imaging. Half of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s superconducting magnets for MRIs are manufactured there.

GE Healthcare 3001 W. Radio Dr. Florence, SC 29501 (843) 664-1613 www.ge.com

Photo courtesy GE Healthcare


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CEO Rob Colones says McLeod performed the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first open-heart surgery more than two decades ago and enjoys a higher-than-average survival rate today. McLeod also has focused heavily on breast cancer, a disease that is common to the region. Three counties rank among the top six in the state for breast cancer mortality. McLeod has acquired a digital mobile mammography unit that provides a convenient and private setting for women undergoing a mammogram. Images are sent back via satellite to McLeod, where caregivers send a result

letter within 10 days. That program was the first of its kind in the state. Carolinas Hospital was formed following the merger of Bruce and Florence General hospitals, which resulted in a new facility that was built in 1998. CEO Jim Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Loughlin says the hospitalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all-private rooms and modern design that allows natural light to enter create a healing environment. Carolinas Hospital System has developed expertise in cardiac surgery, cardiology and cancer treatment. For cardiac care, the hospital has recruited top surgeons and invested

;]`S7\aWUVbBE=6756?C/:7BG>@=D723@A MCLEOD HEALTH 555 E. Cheves St. Florence, S.C. 29506 (843) 777-2000

CAROLINAS HOSPITAL SYSTEM 805 Pamplico Highway Florence, S.C. 29505 (843) 674-5000

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Total staffed beds: 422 Inpatient discharges ďŹ scal 2007: About 8,400 Total patient discharges ďŹ scal 2007: About 15,100 Source: American Hospital Directory

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heavily in technology. Among those investments is the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first da Vinci system used for minimally invasive surgeries. The hospital also developed its cardiovascular critical-care operations with a catheterization lab and rehabilitation. Carolinas also operates clinics in rural locales and added a south tower at its Florence complex that included beds for nephrology and oncology. The provider also developed an ambulatory surgery center campus that allows patients to receive surgeries on an outpatient basis. Noting a prevalence of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Loughlin has pushed the hospital to work in health promotion with screenings and prevention-related activities. Part of a national hospital company, Carolinas can leverage the collective size of its parent company to add capabilities and reach out to the com munity. The hospital has a picture-archiving system for transmitting images and is converting to electronic medical records. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Doctors we recruit in are often surprised when they get to the hospital,â&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Loughlin says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The technology that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve invested in youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d find in the bigger cities.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Roy Moore

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A pre-K to grade 12 coed day school

If we stop to rest,so will

We love to learn! College preparatory academics in a nurturing environment

1201 E. Ashby Rd. Florence, SC 29506 (843) 662-0131 Fax: (843) 669-2466 www.byrnesschools.org

hundreds of promising

research

projects.

One of our goals is to keep promising research from being shelved for lack of funds. The money we raise

WE INNOVATE HEALTHCARE

through our Race keeps us Roche Carolina is a strategic process development and manufacturing facility. Our state-of-the-art laboratories

moving closer to a cure. Join us at komen.org or

and production facilities have a challenging mission to develop efficient pharmaceutical manufacturing processes

1.800 Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;M AWAREÂŽ.

so that innovative new drugs can be produced to reach the global market in the shortest possible time. Roche Carolina is part of the Roche group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading researchfocused health care groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics.

This space provided as a public service. Š2004, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

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ignificant renovations at some Florence fitness centers have given residents programs that rival those seen in larger towns. The YMCA of Florence kicked off the redevelopment effort earlier this decade in a $3 million expansion that doubled the size of the facility and brought in new equipment. Absorbing suggestions from the national organization, the Florence Y

developed separate cardio, weightlifting and aerobics areas as well as an outside pool and a whirlpool. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It doubled membership and people were much happier as far as the space. The entire area that was our facility is now full of kids in the afternoon after school,â&#x20AC;? says Cynthia Averitt, senior director-programs/communications. Seniors have access to the SilverSneakers program and some 200

children visit the facility after school. Other children enroll in countless sports and recreation opportunities, while adults take part in one-on-one wellness programs. The McLeod Health & Fitness Center in Florence offers a full range of facilities and services, including indoor and outdoor tracks, 120 cardio machines, 40,000 pounds of free weights, aquatics programs, cardiac rehabilitation and a

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Offbeat Travel Business Oddities Down-home Dining

Š 2008 Journal Communications Inc.

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full-service spa. Renovations at the Fitness Forum have been equally impressive. After Karen Leatherman, owner and president, purchased the building and property in June 2007, she worked on updating and expanding the 23-year-old facility. The 45,000-square-foot center was enlarged, allowing Leatherman to redesign the layout with new lighting. Removing some racquetball courts opened up gym space and gave the center a brighter, friendlier atmosphere. Exercise equipment was updated and the free-weight area now allows members to watch sports and news programs. Even the pro shop was upgraded to ensure members bought the right equipment. The changes have helped boost membership. Leatherman says she invested in the center because new developments coming online are re-energizing the Florence downtown. A full-service day spa was opened in February 2008 that offered hot-stone therapy, manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good fit. People who are interested in making lifestyle changes are also interested in the types of services offered in a spa,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Roy Moore

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ennifer Wilcox acknowledges that the many initiatives to revitalize the downtown district of Florence over the last half-century have understandably turned some people cynical. But some new developments coming online, infrastructure upgrades and a cohesive master plan have given downtown Florence positive traction. â&#x20AC;&#x153;About five years ago, we aligned ourselves with Marylandbased Hunter Interests Inc., which did the downtown

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redevelopment plan for Greenville, S.C., and are wonderful,â&#x20AC;? says Wilcox, coordinator for the Florence Downtown Development Corp. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hunter Interests has developed a downtown master plan for us, and so many things in it are already occurring.â&#x20AC;? Wilcox says many of the infrastructure upgrades werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t readily visible to the public, but residents are now seeing the tangible results of the planning. The $17.5 million Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation Library

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opened in a striking 83,000-square-foot building in 2004. Two other projects about a block away on South Dargan Street will further boost downtownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s profile. The new Florence Little Theatre project was made possible in part by a $10 million grant from the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation. The theater troupe has been around since the 1930s, but had outgrown its old building, so a new facility was constructed downtown. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In addition, Florence County and McLeod Health donated portions of land they owned in the area for this project, so we now have a beautiful new 400-seat facility. We opened with Jesus Christ Superstar as our first performance downtown in September 2008,â&#x20AC;? says Susan Schatz, executive director of the Florence Little Theatre. At Dargan and West Palmetto streets, work is under way on the $10 million Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, scheduled for completion in 2010. That project will include a 900-seat auditorium and a 400-seat amphitheater as well as a 9,000-square-foot lobby that can be used to host large receptions.

Âľ2]e\b]e\4Z]`S\QSO\ROZZ ]T4Z]`S\QS1]c\bgO`S`SOZZg Q][W\UOZWdSbVSaSROgaÂś The performing arts center will include space for theatrical and musical performances, instructional classrooms and office space. The universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fine-arts program will use the center for performances, programs and art exhibits. The new cultural centers will mesh with existing venues that already grace the downtown district, including the Florence Museum, outdoor locomotive murals and the War Between the States Museum. In July 2008, portions of Dargan and West Seventh streets were listed on the National Register of Historic Places and can now be marketed as such, Wilcox says. The Florence Downtown Development Corp. has also stepped up marketing efforts for all of downtown, a 70-square-block area encompassing some 500 acres in the heart of the city. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Downtown Florence and all of Florence County are really coming alive these days,â&#x20AC;? Wilcox says. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kevin Litwin

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fixture in Florence since 1983 is the Pee Dee State Farmers Market, which draws more than 250,000 visitors each year. The market on U.S. Highway 52 near the FlorenceDarlington border is open year-round and operates from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The market, owned by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, is on a 55-acre site about a mile from an Interstate 95 exchange. The market includes a 45,000-square-foot enclosed drivethrough area, where produce, food products, horticultural items and other merchandise is sold. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even though weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been around for more than 25 years, there are still some people in Florence County who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re here,â&#x20AC;? says Tre Coleman, manager of Pee Dee State Farmers Market.

ÂľBVS[O`YSbQc``S\bZgVOa "dS\R]`aO\ReSeWZZPS OPZSb]ORRSdS\[]`S]\QS bVS\SePcWZRW\U]^S\aÂś The market is situated at the former Clemson University tobacco experiment station, with a 100-year-old dairy barn as part of the facility. The barn houses a pecan kitchen, pottery shop and restaurant. A log-cabin-style gift shop sells garden and greenhouse products. An 8,500-square-foot, enclosed, heated-and-cooled building is in the works, the first new structure since the market opened. The new building will expand the marketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roster of 24 vendors. Besides fruit and vegetable vendors, two nurseries operate on site along with pottery vendors and even a bakery. The market also hosts a Southern Plant & Flower Festival each spring that draws about 40,000 people, and a Fall Plant & Flower Show that attracts 25,000 visitors. On any given day, the market is bustling with shoppers looking over fresh produce, flowers and other food items. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The vendors and tenants at Pee Dee State Farmers Market are quite diverse, which makes every day here so interesting,â&#x20AC;? says Coleman. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kevin Litwin BVS>SS2SSAbObS4O`[S`a;O`YSbR`Oea #dWaWb]`aOgSO`

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veryone is always on edge at International Knife & Saw Inc., the cutting edge that is. Florence-based IKS has been in business for more than 45 years, providing large industrial cutting blades and slitter knives used in the steel, paper, tissue and food-packaging industries. Its client list includes some of the largest companies in the world. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the tissue industry, we do a lot of business with Kimberly-Clark, Procter & Gamble and Georgia-Pacific,â&#x20AC;? says David Graham, company president. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We provide those particular corporations with industrial knives that cut toilet tissue to size as well as help make baby diapers, feminine care items and adult-care products.â&#x20AC;? In the paper and pulp industry, the client list for IKS includes giants such as Weyerhaeuser, International Paper and Bowater Inc. IKS makes shear blades that cut the huge coils of steel often seen chained to tractor-trailer flat beds that are rolling down the highway.

ÂľES[OYSW\Rcab`WOZPZORSaOb 79AbVObO`SPWUÂł`SOZZgPWUÂś â&#x20AC;&#x153;We make industrial blades at IKS that are big â&#x20AC;&#x201C; really big,â&#x20AC;? Graham says. Besides its Florence operations, IKS also has facilities in Canada and Mexico. Graham says the company has experienced nearly 30 percent growth over the past two years, fueled mainly by increases in business from both the tissue and metal industries. And now, IKS is about to get even bigger, the result of a merger in 2007 with Florida-based UCT Coatings Inc. â&#x20AC;&#x153;UCT basically coats metal to make the metal products more wear resistant, and they were looking for a new facility

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to manufacture parts as well as coat the parts,â&#x20AC;? Graham says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We merged with them to grow both of our businesses together. Because they are so much larger than us, we are now a division of UCT but will always be individually known as International Knife & Saw.â&#x20AC;? The existing 110,000-square-foot IKS plant in Florence is expanding by another 40,000 square feet. IKS currently has 70 employees in Florence, but will add to that once the expansion is complete. Graham notes that doing business in the Pee Dee Region is advantageous for a number of reasons. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a great geographic location with I-20 and I-95 running through this county, and the city of Florence is basically halfway between Miami and New York,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The weather is great here, the city is an ideal size with slow but steady growth, and there is a nice diversity of industrial businesses.â&#x20AC;? Graham says IKS is an active exporting company and shipping abroad is made easier thanks to Florence Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relatively close proximity to the Port of Charleston. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are many good reasons for doing business in Florence,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have certainly done pretty well here for 45 years and counting.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kevin Litwin

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workforce plan development. Roach, for example, brings 29 years of automotive industry supply chain experience to the institute. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everyone else here is an expert in business, industry and manufacturing,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And we all know the importance of profit. Manufacturing companies need to make a profit, and SiMT can help them make more.â&#x20AC;? The institute is operated by FlorenceDarlington Technical College and is

located on its campus, but Roach is quick to point out that SiMT is nothing like a traditional college. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have no students off the street who attend our programs here. They are employees of companies who contract with us â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s it. Simply said, we are here to support manufacturing,â&#x20AC;? Roach says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Providing training and technology for efficient, profitable, high-tech manufacturing is what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all about.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kevin Litwin

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s manufacturing dying in the United States? That question is met with an emphatic no at the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology in Florence County. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The low-skilled, low-paying jobs have indeed left the country, but the future of manufacturing in the U.S. is bright â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but it will require a higher level of technical skills by employees,â&#x20AC;? says Jack Roach, institute director. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where SiMT comes in. The institute opened in a 177,000-squarefoot state-of-the-art facility in September 2007 with a mission of helping manufacturers by providing training on high-tech machines that would upgrade the skills of their workers. From its $34 million Advanced Manufacturing Center, SiMT provides specific customized training programs for the employees of its industrial clients. For example, ESAB Welding & Cutting Products in Florence contracted with SiMT in 2008 for a computer numericcontrol operator training program for some of its workers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what we do â&#x20AC;&#x201C; train manufacturing employees to run the high-tech machines that are being used nowadays in modern American factories,â&#x20AC;? says Roach. The center also boasts a high-speed milling center, multiple-axis machines and CAD/CAM systems that companies that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t or canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t invest in such equipment can use for their production. A virtual reality center and rapid prototyping center can aid businesses in both design and production stages and help them in efforts to bring products to market. SiMT staff is armed with an array of expertise in such areas as factory design and layout, management systems and

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hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no excuse to stay indoors in the Pee Dee Region, thanks to a magnificent collection of parks and recreation areas. You can paddle down the scenic Lynches River, hike the city of Florenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extensive trail system or fish for catfish and bluegill along the banks of the Pee Dee River. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can actually paddle through history along the Lynches River â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you can see where Francis Marion camped out during the Revolutionary War,â&#x20AC;? says Holly Young, director of the Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great birdwatching and gators on the banks, too.â&#x20AC;? A crown jewel of the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s park system is Lynches River County Park, which provides 668 acres for fishing, hiking, canoeing and picnicking, as well as a riverwalk and outdoor splash pad for kids. The park includes an Environmental Discovery Center that gives youngsters a chance to explore nature up close and personal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They can find a bug or an odd leaf and bring it back to the center to learn about it,â&#x20AC;? Young says. The Freedom Florence Recreation Complex attracts sports enthusiasts, with its nine lighted baseball/softball fields, batting cages, gymnastics facility and three lighted multipurpose football fields. The complex is connected to an additional

250-acre green space that has 10 miles of trails. The trails have been extended through the historic Florence National Cemetery and Civil War Stockade, says Drew Griffin, who is the director of Public Works and Utilities for the city of Florence. â&#x20AC;&#x153;On the west side of town is Florenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rail Trail, and the city developed 11 miles of additional trails that connect our hotels and motels and Magnolia Mall.â&#x20AC;? The cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to providing an extensive trail system is not only for the fitness of its citizens, but also for environmental and green space development. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It allows people to enjoy natural space away from the urban center,â&#x20AC;? Griffin says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our goal is to connect east and west and north and south with a trail system. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been working on that for eight years, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll continue to work toward it.â&#x20AC;? The city of Florence also maintains 14 traditional urban parks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tennis is central to Timrod Park, and we have McLeod Park and Northside Park, which are both neighborhood parks great for throwing a Frisbee or playing on a swing set,â&#x20AC;? Griffin says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The city recently purchased a 170-acre tract that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re preserving as a wildlife conservation area. It has a nesting pair of bald eagles right inside

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Âľ7bOZZ]ea^S]^ZSb] S\X]g\Obc`OZa^OQSOeOg T`][bVSc`PO\QS\bS`Âś the city, as well as a huge amount of water birds, deer and beaver.â&#x20AC;? The 1,590-acre Woods Bay State Natural Area in Olanta is home to one of the last remaining large Carolina bays on the Atlantic Coastal Plain. One of the Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural mysteries, Carolina bays are elliptical depressions of various sizes that have filled with water and become shallow wetlands. One theory is that the bays were created by meteors hitting Earth. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Today, they are great habitats for fish, alligators, blue heron, water lilies and irises,â&#x20AC;? Griffin says. Woods Bay State Natural Area also has a 500-foot boardwalk and one-mile canoe trail. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of people visit it numerous times throughout the year,â&#x20AC;? Young says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are more than 150 species of birds, gators and cool turtles.â&#x20AC;? Go to eeeQWbg]TTZ]`S\QSQ][^O`Ya for more information on parks in the Florence area. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Jessica Mozo

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lean, cost-effective, dependable and available power is a Florence County strength, thanks to energy players such as Santee Cooper, Progress Energy and the Pee Dee Electric Cooperative. Yet their contributions to the community and the Pee Dee Region donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop with the investments necessary to ensure continued electricity reliability. The utilities also play other powerful roles, from participating in economic development initiatives to encouraging conservation to offering low-cost loans and educational scholarships. Take, for example, Progress Energyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s partnership with Florence County and the private sector to develop the 194-acre Godley Morris Commerce Center in Lake City and construct a speculative building within the park. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Helping communities develop the facilities they need to attract new businesses and industries represents an investment in the future,â&#x20AC;? says Peggy McLean, senior economic development executive for Progress Energy. Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., Progress Energy is a power generator and distributor with 52,000 customers, including 9,400 commercial and industrial clients in South Carolina. A new 230-kilovolt transmission line serves Florence, Darlington and Lee counties. Another partner in the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic development efforts is Pee Dee Electric Cooperative, one of 20 electric cooperatives in the state. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are so much involved in the county and in job creation. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all in this thing together,â&#x20AC;? says Tom Kinard, who is Pee Dee Electricâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manager of business development. The Pee Dee Commerce Center industrial park represents an $11 million

investment by the cooperative to establish a â&#x20AC;&#x153;shovel-readyâ&#x20AC;? site to lure companies to Florence County, says Kinard, who adds that the cooperative often makes its airplane available to local economic development officials. Individual residents of Florence County also benefit from the cooperativeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s communityminded efforts. Several students at Francis Marion University and Florence-Darlington Technical College are beneficiaries of Pee Dee Electric scholarships. The cooperative buys its power from Santee Cooper, South Carolinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stateowned electric and water utility. In 2007, the efforts of Santee Cooper and its partners resulted in 2,925 new jobs, $891.3 million in capital investments and more than 28,650 new kilowatts of needed capacity, says Laura Varn, Santee Cooper vice president of corporate communications. While the utilityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s community-support efforts are broad and robust, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sinking its teeth into an industrious green-power and conservation initiative. In October 2007, Santee Cooper announced that it would generate 40 percent of its energy from non-greenhouse gas emitting resources and biomass fuels, with the help of energy efficiency and conservation. To that end, the utility is working toward the addition of two nuclear units and a 50-megawatt biomass unit to burn wood waste such as forest and yard debris. Santee Cooper offers low-interest loans to homeowners for the installation of energy-efficient measures such as insulation and replacement windows and distributed 1.6 million compact f luorescent light bulbs to customers in 2008. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Sharon H. Fitzgerald

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Southeastern Institute of

Manufacturing and Technology

One-Stop Shop for Manufacturing

From Concept to Market â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Fast Rapid Protot y ping Center R saves time and money

Special Advertising Section


S outhe a s te rn Ins titute of Manufa cturing and Te chnolo g y

Moving

Manufacturing

FORWARD

DIVERSE TOOLS AND SERVICES PROVIDE ECONOMIC SUPPORT

A

transformation is taking place in America. Businesses, jobs, technologies and markets are evolving into a new economy. And the business survivors of the 21st century will be those capable of responding quickly and with adequate skills and capital. That is the motivation behind the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT), the modern 146acre complex next to Florence-Darlington Technical College.

ÂľESPSZWSdSbVOb[O\cTOQbc`W\U eWZZ`S[OW\OQ`WbWQOZ^O`b]T bVSCASQ]\][gÂś â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are not an industrial training school,â&#x20AC;? emphasizes Jack Roach, the instituteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s executive director, â&#x20AC;&#x153;although we do offer training services. We are a technology and services support facility, created to help the region develop and sustain a strong manufacturing base. We believe that manu facturing will remain a critical part of the U.S. economy. But low-skill, low-wage jobs are going away. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s replacing them is an economy based on high-tech skills that require advanced training and tools.â&#x20AC;? SiMT offers a diverse lineup of services and tools to the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manufacturers, corporations and entrepreneurs. Rapid Prototyping Center: SiMT is in the business of rapid prototyping, a cutting-edge process of creating finished product prototypes from computer designs in as little as 24 hours. The RPC at SiMT is capable of producing prototypes as large as 2-foot cubes. 3D/Virtual Reality Center: Offering one of the few complete-immersion virtual reality facilities in the southern

United States, SiMT enables clients to work with threedimensional images and holograms to move projects from design to completion. The center develops 3D projects for industry, hosts clients who want to work with their own customers on site, and also provide facilities for vivid 3D presentation experiences of marketing or engineering concepts for groups of up to 800. Advanced Machining Center: Inside the instituteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s large Manufacturing Arena is an 18,000-square-foot machining center that has two primary functions: handling industrial development projects for outside firms that do not have the equipment or capacity to do it internally, and training workforces to operate some of the newest technologies in use today. Its arsenal includes WaterJet precision part cutting, electric discharge machining (EDM), coordinate measuring machine (CMM) inspection equipment, and computer numeric control (CNC) machining, turning and milling tools. Start-Up Incubator: With its soon-to-be completed manufacturing incubator facility, the SiMT will provide office and industrial space to manufacturing entrepreneurs who are at the critical point of moving ideas into commercialization. The assistance includes access to advanced technologies and capital-saving rapid prototyping, as well as business consulting, design and training services. This special section is published for Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology by Journal Communications Inc. CU S TO M M AG A Z INE M ED I A

For more information, contact: Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology 0ISGAH2OAD 0/"OXs&LORENCE 3# 0HONE  OR  s&AX  sWWWSIMTCOM ©Copyright 2008 Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this special advertising section may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. On the cover: Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology, Photo by Todd Bennett

Special Advertising Section


S outhe a s te rn Ins titute of Manufa cturing and Te chnolo g y

The 3D/Virtual Reality Center allows clients to see and manipulate designs that exist only as computer data.

inition auditorium presentations; school classroom tools that allow students to see images on an ordinary laptop; and more. Content Development: More than a 3D showroom, the center employs a programming staff that can create the content and software programs that make client presentations happen.

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Virtual Prototyping: SiMT clients can contract with the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on-site content creators to convert a new product idea into life-like, three-dimensional computer illustrations. Computer-based prototyping can shorten a product development schedule by months and can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases.

Bringing Ideas to

Life

3D/VIRTUAL REALITY CENTER OFFERS A RANGE OF HIGH-TECH OPTIONS

T

he 3D/Virtual Reality Center at the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology allows designers, engineers, inventors, consultants and their customers to bring unfinished ideas to three-dimensional life. SiMT has one of just a dozen or so virtual reality â&#x20AC;&#x153;CAVEsâ&#x20AC;? (Computer Augmented Virtual Environment) that operate around the world. The CAVE allows clients wearing stereo glasses and sensors to see, experience and manipulate designs that still exist only as computer data.

But the CAVE is just one aspect of the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offerings, says Mike Mazen, SiMT assistant director. Presentation Choices: Clients can choose from four different levels of 3D presentations, varying by cost and client need. Presentations can be made in active stereo, passive stereo, autostereoscopic and color-coded projection. The display options include life-size virtual reality experiences for highly technical clients, such as airplane manufacturers and commercial architects; vivid high-def-

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TouchLight Interaction: The center creates systems that enable surgeons to use TouchLight programs in sterile medical environments. In the operating room, physicians can devise solutions to delicate surgeries using hand gestures to manipulate 3D images instead of touching a keyboard or computer mouse. Research: Office space is available to clients from outside the area who may need to conduct additional work on a project that is under way. Combining services and facilities: SiMTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s staff can marry the instituteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s various services with its 3D capabilities and technologies in any number of combinations. 3D technologies can be used in large-scale marketing events, workforce training programs, factory simulations or studies of manufacturing proposals. Executive Briefing Center: A more private, 10-seat executive presentation room features a large 3D screen where clients can browse CAD images for discussions or video conferences. Training: Part of the facility has been set aside for 19 fully equipped development work stations where SiMT provides training to both clients and schools.

www.simt.com


S outhe a s te rn Ins titute of Manufa cturing and Te chnolo g y

From Concept

to Market –

Fast RAPID PROTOTYPING CENTER SAVES TIME AND MONEY

I

n the old world of manufacturing, designing and producing a product prototype could prove to be expensive and time-consuming. In the new world of advanced manufacturing at SiMT, the solution is “rapid prototyping.” What traditionally required months of work and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in upfront investment can now be turned around in as little as a day or two. “The old way was an enormous barrier to manufacturers – especially start-up firms,” says Jack Roach, SiMT’s executive director. “Rapid prototyping enables you to get your product concept into a customer’s hands much faster, while conserving your capital. We can turn out a prototype in a day.” The institute’s Rapid Prototyping Center represents an investment in machinery and skills.

Design: The center begins its involvement with product design and development support, if a client needs it. SiMT personnel can take a concept and translate it into a computer model. The specifications can be perfected before the prototype is produced. Key Tools: Three technologies are at the heart of rapid prototyping: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), 3D Modeling and Stereolithography (SLA). The machines convert a computer model into an object made out of plastic, nylon or other synthetics – or metal – depending on the desired characteristics. The center’s Stereolithography system can produce smooth-edged prototypes as large as 25 inches wide by 29 inches deep and 21 inches high, or roughly 2 feet cubed. The Selective Laser Sintering equip-

ment will yield functional parts, tooling and casting patterns out of nylon or metal. Cost: Because of the relatively low cost of prototyping on these systems, clients can order as few prototypes as they want – even a single piece. In the old method of prototyping, products had to be made using metal molds, where most of the cost occurred. When product specifications changed, new molds had to be cut. Capacity: The Rapid Prototyping Center is not limited to start-up firms, Roach says. Large corporations also turn to SiMT simply because their own operations are tied up. “There is a real demand for rapid prototype capacity around the United States,” he says. “There simply isn’t enough.”

SiMT’s Rapid Prototyping Center can turn out a prototype in a day, and clients range from start-up firms to large corporations.

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One-Stop Shop for Manufacturing BUSINESSES CAN USE CENTERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICES

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ather the marketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest and most efficient factory tools in a central location. Make them available to industry across the Southeast. And offer to train production workers to use and maintain them. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the mission of the Advanced Manufacturing Arena of Florenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology. Since it opened in 2007, SiMTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manufacturing center has been the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one-stop shop for machining training, product development, assembly line consulting and the development of automated production techniques. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every space in this facility is available to outside businesses,â&#x20AC;? says Jack Roach, SiMTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s executive director. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We operate in any capacity. We can arrange for a business to come in and use the technology for a particular project, or we can do the work for you.â&#x20AC;? Roach points out that much of the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s equipment is already being used in the marketplace. But because it is leading edge, it is not yet in wide use by many manufacturers in the region. At the same time, the center reaches out to start-up manufacturers who have not invested in any technology. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They face the prospect of investing millions of dollars in new equipment, versus using us as a temporary manufacturing solution until their needs outgrow us,â&#x20AC;? he says. The centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s available services include the following:

Metrology Lab: The SiMT has many types of dimensional measurement equipment. These include a coordinate measurement machine (CMM) that can inspect work to tolerances of 0.0005 millimeter on pieces weighing up to 200 kilograms and a laser scanner arm to do both dimensional inspection and reverse engineering. Consulting: The centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personnel will guide manufacturers in setting up automated processes, or manage and implement the tooling for a client. Training: The center will customize and manage advanced machining training programs for a workforce at the clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s facility, in the SiMT manufacturing center, or at a third-party location.

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CNC Centers: The arena has 18 CNC centers for machining, milling or turning, including four centers made available to SiMT by equipment manufacturer EMCO Maier of Hallein, Austria. The systems provide a selection of vertical, horizontal and multi-axle processes to meet different specifications and needs.

Electric Discharge Machines: The centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s electric discharge machines are effective in performing delicate or intricate work on difficult materials, including titanium, carbide and tool steel. SiMT has both wire and ram EDM machines. ( 8 4 3 ) 6 7 3 -74 6 8

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WaterJet Technology: In precision part cutting, WaterJet represents an innovation over traditional plasma torch cutting. The process uses high-pressure water streams and abrasive material to cut virtually any material without raising its temperature.

The Advanced Manufacturing Arena at SiMT offers the marketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most efficient factory tools in a central location.

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Sophisticated

Venue for Symposiums VERSATILE FACILITY COMBINES FUNCTIONALITY, ELEGANCE

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he Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology goes beyond offering computer-aided manufacturing and virtual reality services. The Florence County showplace is also a pre-eminent new venue for business conferences, symposiums and meetings. In the midst of the institute’s Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Advanced Manufacturing Center is a state-of-the-art conference and meeting facility. So broad is its menu of meeting functions that facilities director Kathy Rogers best sums it up with one word: multipurpose. “We can accommodate almost any need businesses might have,” Rogers says. “We can serve a banquet for 800 people, set up a 3D marketing presentation, host an executive board meeting or arrange for a video conference.” With 177,000 square feet of space, the facility offers classrooms, auditoriums and reception areas. A recent gathering of real estate agents used the facility to host a luncheon with presentations. Another corporate meeting had hundreds of guests in 3D glasses watching a presentation on factory-efficiency ideas.

The SiMT facility offers a range of tools for events. An 800-seat auditorium allows companies to make 3D presentations to audiences using a multi-screen visual system. The auditorium is fitted with a 2,700-watt surround audio system. A separate, 12,000-square-foot conference center allows for banquets with up to 800 guests, and it contains a full array of audio-visual tools. The space includes six projectors, laptop connections, and touch-screen podiums with DVD and VCR players and controls. The conference center space can be reconfigured into individual rooms or into a smaller conference floor space. A reconfigurable executive boardroom seats up to 30, with a plasma screen presentation and capabilities for video and audio conferences. The boardroom adjoins a private executive dining room. The facility contains a fully equipped catering kitchen, complete with multiple ovens and a walk-in freezer. Its food services are provided by a selection of local restaurants and catering services, depending on the client’s preferences.

The lobby features modern details. Top: The 800-seat auditorium allows companies to make 3D presentations to audiences.

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Giving Businesses a

Boost BIG-NAME COMPANIES TAP CENTERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S RESOURCES

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The Internet job-search firm Monster.com is putting a 750-employee customer service center in the area. Monster.com has already tapped SiMTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conference space to host a large-scale luncheon for company managers, and its workforce is being trained in SiMTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s computer lab. Pharmaceutical giant Hoffman-La Roche Inc. used the SiMT auditoriumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 3D/VR capabilities to announce its plans to expand its presence in Florence County and recently hosted its global engineering staff at SiMT. Honda of South Carolina Manufacturing Inc., which builds all-terrain vehicles and watercraft in Timmonsville, S.C., used the center in 2008 to conduct its global bestpractices meeting. Honda associates gathered from plants in nine countries to use the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advanced audio-visual and virtual reality systems. SiMT plans to add more resources over the next few years. Projects on the drawing board include: s An industrial R&D center to provide companies space where new equipment, processes and machines can be evaluated and de-bugged for production s A safety training center, which will give companies a leg up on industrial-safety practices s An environmental management training center, where companies will learn best practices on issues such as waste water treatment and landfill waste reduction s A business excellence center that will provide leadership management education

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magine going out to recruit a new generation of industry to your community with a secret weapon like Florenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology in your back pocket. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what Joe King, executive director of the Florence County Economic Development Partnership, calls a distinct advantage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This center offers so much to industry in the way of business solutions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not just local or regional companies, but to industry across the eastern United States,â&#x20AC;? King says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once companies come here and see the center, they immediately get it. They see the potential for support on many different fronts for years to come.â&#x20AC;? Many businesses that consider putting new operations in Florence County at first mistakenly assume that the $40 million SiMT center is primarily a training facility of Florence-Darlington Technical College, the school that created it. But the institute is a multi-tiered industrial services venture that consults with companies, executes R&D functions, builds product prototypes, designs and engineers products, trains the workforce, orchestrates sales presentations, and hosts technical events. Big-name businesses are taking notice. In September, H.J. Heinz Co. kicked off a $105 million investment in frozen food processing in Florence County that will employ 350 people. SiMTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to offer support services was a key factor in the location decision.

Along with workforce training, SiMT provides comprehensive industrial services to companies across the eastern United States.

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WORKFORCE TRAINING AND MORE OPEN-ENROLLMENT TRAINING The SiMT is a one-stop shop for all your training needs. We offer training in a variety of manufacturing areas (including quality, machining, rapid prototyping, ďŹ&#x201A;uid power, robotics, electronics, maintenance and programmable logic controls), health, safety, computing, networking, environment, business, management, supervision and more.

ON-SITE TRAINING Our SiMT personnel will deliver many of our training courses to your facility or to a location of your choice.

CUSTOMIZED TRAINING Our personnel continuously partner with businesses and industries to meet training schedules and to customize training materials. We are excited to work with you to ensure that our training meets your individual needs.

MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

MANUFACTURING START-UP ASSISTANCE Through the SiMTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Manufacturing Incubator Center (MIC), qualiďŹ ed start-up manufacturers receive assistance in commercializing their ideas.

CONSULTING SERVICES Our expert personnel offer consulting services in many areas to assist you in improving the quality, productivity and proďŹ tability of your company. All of our personnel have real-world manufacturing experience working for Fortune 500 (ISO certiďŹ ed) companies at plant and corporate locations. We can design turnkey systems and processes for virtually every functional area of your business. Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology 1951 Pisgah Road, P.O. Box 100549 Florence, SC 29502 (866) 304-7468 or (843) 673-7468 www.simt.com

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We offer a variety of manufacturing technology services. We have options to assist your company in developing advanced manufacturing processes, automated manufacturing technology, manufacturing simulations, rapid prototyping and in linking engineering design with manufacturing technology.

Employees train in the Advanced Manufacturing Arena at the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology.

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en! p o w No

Veterans Memorial Park Adjacent to Civic Center

Florence Civic Center 3300 West Radio Dr. Florence, SC 29501 (843) 679-9417 www.florenceciviccenter.com

Open from Nov. 11, 2009 to Feb 10, 2010 Florence Civic Center www.american-soldier.com

Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau: www.florencesccvb.com Pee Dee Tourism Commission: www.peedeetourism.com

Business Images Florence, SC: 2009  

Florence County is a great place to grow a business. The diverse economic base, location, infrastructure, skilled workforce and strong busin...