Dorchester County Industry Leader Named Economic Development Ambassador

Columbia, South Carolina

April 17, 2012 – Gov. Nikki Haley and the South Carolina Department
Commerce honored selected economic development leaders as
Carolina Ambassadors for Economic Development
as part of Industry Appreciation Week. The awards ceremony recognized 51 individuals from all 46
counties who contributed to economic development
in their local communities.

Dorchester County, Showa Denko Carbon President and CEO Robert Whitten was
among those named as an Ambassador for Economic Development. Whitten helped Dorchester County secure a
major expansion at Showa Denko’s Ridgeville facility. This announcement is one of the largest
capital investments in Dorchester County history. Whitten worked tirelessly with state and
local officials to make this expansion a reality. The project was highly competitive with other
global locations being considered. Whitten
championed Dorchester County as the right location for Showa Denko to invest. The project will also lead to the creation of
100 new jobs, and bring the total employment at Showa Denko’s Ridgeville
facility to over 300 associates. Showa
Denko produces large diameter graphite electrodes for the steel industry at the
Ridgeville facility.

The awards ceremony was held
on Tuesday, April
17, at 4 p.m. at the Statehouse.
Industry Appreciation Week provides an opportunity to say "thank you" to companies in
the state for their many contributions to our
as well as a chance to build
awareness among the residents
South Carolina that existing business is a fundamental driver of both the local
and state economy.

"We are bringing investments and new jobs every day.
In South Carolina, we
build things. We’re building planes. We’re
building automobiles. We’re building tires. We’re bringing in
companies we never imagined we’d bring. Recruiting companies
is a team effort and
our team efforts are only going to continue to get
stronger," said
Gov. Nikki
Haley at the event.

In most communities
across the state, small
businesses continue to play an important
role in
Small businesses
employ 750,147
South Carolinians, or about 49 percent of all
employed by private industry in the state. Small
businesses also make up a large
proportion of
manufacturers in the state. More
3,200 manufacturers are considered small
businesses, which
represent more than 88 percent of all
manufacturers in the state, and those firms employ 70,000
state residents.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell said in
a statement, "Economic Development starts first and foremost on the
ground level. Today, we recognized some outstanding Palmetto State
business leaders as Ambassadors
for Economic Development because of
their hard work to
advance the unified economic goals we share for South Carolina. The most valuable economic development resource our state has are those businesses that operate
and succeed in the private
sector every day."

More than
220,000 South Carolinians are employed in the manufacturing sector, more than 12 percent of the
state’s employed workforce.
Manufacturing accounts for more than $26
billion in
and services
produced in
Palmetto State, which is 16.4 percent
South Carolina’s gross domestic

"Thanks to the hard work of our
economic development
community, South Carolina enjoyed numerous
investments from
world-class companies. With help from
business and economic development
our economic development team recruited more than $5.12 billion in capital investments and
20,013 jobs
to our state last year. It’s the efforts of our
business and industry that allow us
to do that," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

During the past
year, South
Carolina also continued to add to its list
marquee companies
with expansions and
investments from companies such
as Bridgestone,
Continental Tire, Michelin, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, TD
Bank, ZF Group,
many more.

The Ambassador awards
presentation is one
of many events that will
occur across the state as part of Industry Appreciation Week. Local communities
also host a variety of activities
to recognize and thank business and
industry leaders.

About Dorchester County Economic Development

Dorchester County Economic Development is
the organization responsible for growing and retaining business in the
County. Its mission is to work to create
and support an environment that welcomes business, and helps companies to grow
and succeed over the long-term. This
ultimately will increase the standard of living for all of Dorchester County’s
citizens by providing more job opportunities with higher skills and better

About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses
and help existing businesses grow. Commerce received the Silver Award from Business
magazine, placing second in the 2011
of the Year competition.
has been part of
recruiting world-class companies to South Carolina such as Boeing, Bridgestone,
Continental,, Heinz, ZF
Group, BMW, and Google Inc. Commerce also
supports small and
existing business,
rural development
initiatives, and offers grants for community development. For