Future harbor deepening lures business, jobs to Orangeburg

ORANGEBURG, SC (WCSC) - A clear shot to the Charleston Harbor for business was the deciding factor for a steel manufacturer to expand its company into Orangeburg County Wednesday. Universal Trade Solutions announced they're opening a warehouse that will not only bring in millions of dollars but also new local jobs.

"We have committed to the state and the county to provide a minimum of 50 jobs," says UTS President John McCracken. "And we're going to exceed 100 jobs in the next five years."

And those jobs are going to be available to Orangeburg locals.

"There's a lot of people here that are willing to work," says John Irons, who lives in Orangeburg.

Irons was laid off in May and was pleasantly surprised that UTS decided to open a warehouse in his hometown.

"I'm very, very excited to be apart of this," says Irons. "I think its going to bring a lot of jobs to the county of Orangeburg."

UTS says the site in Orangeburg will be used as a manufacturing, warehousing and distribution center.

McCracken says one of the big reasons the company invested in South Carolina was because of the warehouse, which was exactly what they were looking for. The warehouse has 12 built in cranes, which is vital to the steel business they will conduct.

But other than the warehouse, the biggest selling point for UTS was their proximity to the Charleston harbor.

"I was really impressed," says McCracken. "They had the deep water and they had the capability and they had the means to get even deeper water to handle these big ships that will eventually be coming in here."

With a close rail line, a state grant of $500,000 and the ability to offer jobs to locals, McCracken says the opening is a win-win.

And Governor Nikki Haley, who was at the announcement, agrees.

"I sleep, eat and breathe jobs," says Haley. "We're going to continue to bring jobs across the state and it's going to continue to be a good day in South Carolina.

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