COLUMBIA — A Union County businessman has been named a South Carolina Ambassador for Economic Development in honor of his contributions to the growth of the local economy.
PHOTO: Gov. Nikki Haley, left, and Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, right, present Santuc Precision Vice President Joe E. Hines Jr., center, with a certificate designating him as a South Carolina Ambassador for Economic Development. The award honors individuals who have contributed to economic development in their communities. Hines is one of 51 individuals from all of South Carolina's 46 counties recognized as ambassadors for economic development during a ceremony at the State Capitol Tuesday afternoon. The ceremony was part of Industry Appreciation Week. (Photo: SC Department of Commerce)
Joe E. Hines Jr., vice president of Santuc Precision, was among the 51 economic development leaders from all of South Carolina's 46 counties honored Tuesday by Gov. Nikki Haley and the SC Department of Commerce for their contributions to economic development in their communities. The ceremony, which is part of Industry Appreciation Week, was held Tuesday afternoon at the State Capitol where Hines and his fellow honorees were named South Carolina Ambassadors for Economic Development.
In a statement announcing the awards, the SC Department of Commerce pointed out that "in most communities across the state, small businesses continue to play an important role in job creation. Small businesses employ 750,147 South Carolinians, or about 49 percent of all people employed by private industry in the state. Small businesses also make up a large proportion of the manufacturers in the state. More than 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."
Among those small businesses is Santuc Precision which was formed through the combination of Hines Machine Shop and H&H Metal Products. Hines is described by the commerce department as "the driving force" behind the merger of the two companies into Satuc Precision. In Jan. 2011, Hine and his Steven "Zebco" Sealy purchase Hines Machine Shop from its original owner, Hine's father, Eddie Hines. In June of that year, Hines and his partner purchased H&H Metal Products and since then, Hines, according to commerce, has led the effort to retool and grow the two companies as Santuc Precision. Three employees have been added to the staff and there are plans to hire more machine operators as the business grows.
Santuc Precision's Stamping Division is located at 101 Porter St., Union, and its Machining Division is located at 842 Bob Adams Road, Union. The company provides moderate volume stamping and machining services.
According to commerce "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 goods and services produced in the Palmetto State, which is 16.4 percent of South Carolina's gross domestic product."
"Economic Development starts first and foremost on the ground level," House Speaker Bobby Harrell said. "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."
Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt praised the efforts of community leaders like Hines for their role in the economic growth the state has experienced.
"Thanks to the hard work of our economic development community, South Carolina enjoyed numerous investments from world-class companies," Hitt said. "With help from business and economic development leaders, 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."
During the past year, South Carolina also continued to add to its list of marquee companies with expansions and investments from companies such as Bridgestone, Continental Tire, Michelin, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, TD Bank, ZF Group and many more.
"We are bringing investments and new jobs every day," Haley said. "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."
The ambassador awards presentation is one of many events that will occur across the state as part of Industry Appreciation Week.