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Top 10 Hot Jobs in McCormick and Upper Savannah SC

Updated on June 24, 2012

McCormick County and the Upper Savannah Region

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Up Country SC on the Georgia Border

The Up Country of South Carolina includes additional counties, but much of it is located in the counties of the Upper Savannah Region, which includes McCormick. The McCormick Metro Area is located in the Upper Savannah at a site just south of the Anderson (WorkLink) Region.

Of the 7 regional counties comprising the group, Upper Savannah includes three that lie along the Georgia border on the west of SC, facilitating cross-border trade and tourism. Although the region covers 7 counties, most residents live in only three: Greenwood, Laurens, and Newberry Counties; and in fact, 30% of all residents live in Greenwood County. The majority of the residents throughout the region include Mid-Careerists ages 31 to 54. The region is a good place to relocate for career advancement or to start a new line of work and enjoys a higher than average standard of living at a lower cost than average for the nation. For additional employment and business information, Laurens County is also included in the Greenville Metro Area, which is the Top Micro-City of the Future in North America for 2009-2010.

The major industries of the region include Agriculture and crop/animal production, Civil Engineering and Construction, Healthcare, and Logistics (Warhousing, etc.). Manufacturing in a number of different areas (metal, chemical, wood, and otehrs) also contributes to the economy.

Greenwood is the largest city and county seat of Greenwood County. This city and the region overall were settled in the mid-1700s and saw some of the first military actions in the American colony's involvement in the Revolutionary War as wall as later in the American Civil War. Agriculture became a lasting source of revenues and the cotton production and textile industries were strong from the 1850s for approximately one hundred years.

McCormick is the county seat of McCormick County and is important as the site of the State Department of Corrections as well as of the county government. The city is historically important, because gold (and later manganese) were discovered there in 1850, the Cherokee Nation traditionally lived there, and French Hugenots settled there near the time of the fold discovery. The Hugenots joined Scottish, Irish, and German immigrants and the evenutal county was formed from parts of surrounding counties.

Newberry, in Newberry County, is home to Newberry College, founded in 1856. The county lands were settled around 1850 - 1851 like other counties in this region, settlers met Cherokee Nation, but immigrants did not include French Hugenots, largely English, Irish, and Gernams. The county and city join the region in success in agriculture, cotton, and textiles. Cotton mills supported the economy from 1881 into the 20th century. Newberry also experienced Revolutionary and Civil War activities.

Largest Employers in Upper Savannah

  1. Executive Shuttle, HQ in Greenwood SC – 10th largest employer SC.
  2. Fujifilm Mfg , HQ in Greenwood SC - 47th largest employer in SC.
  3. Mount Vernon Mills-Riegel Consumer Division - Linens
  4. Georgia Pacific Corp - Lumber
  5. Sun Gro Horticulture Inc - Processed bark (wood manufacturing).

Largest Employers in Greenwood County

  1. Self Regional Healthcare - Hospitals - Healh related positions are the leading jobs posted on the major job search engine in this region. This employer is one of the leading job listers on these websites. 
  2. Greenwood School District #50
  3. Fuji Photo Film, Inc. - HQ and local positions, see above.
  4. Carolina Pride Foods, Inc.

Largest Employers in McCormick County

  1. SC Department of Corrections
  2. McCormick School District #4
  3. Milliken & Company - McCormick Mill
  4. County of McCormick 

Top 10 Jobs on Indeed & Monster

  1. Occupational Therapists
  2. Physical Therapists, full-time
  3. Physicial Therapists, part-time
  4. Pharmacists
  5. Patient Services Technician
  6. Senior Accountant
  7. Registered Nurses (RNs)
  8. Retail Salespersons
  9. Pharmacy Managers
  10. Physical Therapy Assistants

Largest Area Employers on Indeed.Com

  1. Greenville Hospital System
  2. Medical Connections
  3. Critical Connection - Health.
  4. Voyage Healthcare
  5. Reflectx Services - Health
  6. Self Regional Healthcare - mentioned above.
  7. Soliant Health
  8. Interim Healthcare
  9. JacksonTherapy Partners
  10. Army National Guard


Top 10 Fast-Growing Jobs through 2016

The following occupations are expected to produce the greatest numbers of new jobs in Upper Savannah, because of the opening of new related business outlets and the expansion of current businesses.

  1. Slaughterers & Meat Packers - Agricultural & Animal/Crop Production Industry
  2. Retail Salespersons - a Top Job in the region on job search engines.
  3. Truck Drivers, Semis & other Heavy Trucks - Fright transport, including Agricultural..
  4. Registered Nurses (RNs) - a Top Job regionally on job search engines.
  5. Manual Laborers and Material Movers - reflects the growing Logistics Industry sector.
  6. Home Health Aides & Personal Aides
  7. Team Assemblers - Production, assembly lines.
  8. General Maintenance & Repair
  9. Mainstream Elementary School Teachers - reflects a growing population, some likely the children of a large cohort of Mid-Careerists aged 31 - 54.
  10. General/Operations Managers

Additional Available Occupations through 2016

Clemson University in South Carolina (June 2008) examined employment data long-term and found the following jobs likely to be available in relatively large numbers in Upper Savannah thorugh 2016.

These numbers, in my opinion, are likely to be the result of 1) employee turnover (especially seasonal changes), 2) worker retirement, and 3) business expansion or openings, in that order of importance.

Additiional Significant Job Openings Expected

  1. General Office Clerks
  2. Cashiers
  3. Waitstaff and Combined Food Prep & Service Jobs
  4. Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants
  5. Police & Sheriff Dept. Patrol Officers


Increasing Jobs within 25 Miles of Greenwood

More jobs are available in Launres and Greenwood than in McCormick. Relatively few are open in Newberry. Job listings in a 25-mile radius of Greenwood declined somewhat in Jan '09, but began increasing in March. The general upward trend of the curve
More jobs are available in Launres and Greenwood than in McCormick. Relatively few are open in Newberry. Job listings in a 25-mile radius of Greenwood declined somewhat in Jan '09, but began increasing in March. The general upward trend of the curve

Higher Education Up Country

  • Claflin University - See left for the J.J. Wright Insitute.
  • Erskine College and Seminary
  • Lander University - Greenwood
  • Newberry College - Founded in 1856 and recognized as a top institution of higher education in the state.
  • Orange-Calhoun Tech
  • Piedmont Technical College
  • Presbyterian College
  • South Carolina State University
  • Southern Methodist University

J.J. Wright Insitute

This department of Clafin University (rated #3 by Consumers Digest as Best Value Among Top US Private Colleges and Universities) honors Southern African Americans in its studies of Culture, History and Policies in the South.

Studies include Civil War and Reconstruction history as well as the Civil Rights Movement and modern events and race relations. Tensions remained following the Civil War and major civil unrest occurred in Orangeburg County and City in the nearby Lower Savannah Region in the 1950s and 1960s. It rivaled the unrest in Burmingham AL. In AC, it culminated in the Orangeburg Massacre at South Carolina State College. College students protested segregation not only there, but also at Clafin University in the Upcountry, at the time.

Blacks and college students of other races asked for school integration in the mid-1950s, followed by continuing boycotts, sit-ins, and protest marches under the organization CORE.In the summer of 1963, the Orangeburg Freedom Movement under the NAACP issued demands for integration to the City Government; but, no concessions were made and huge demonstrations followed.

In the August of 1963, tension filled the air in South Carolina and many Blacks in the dining, accommodations, and tourism industry served travelers silently and attempted to remain inconspicuous. I was a child visiting the Upper and Lower Savannah Regions with my family that summer and could not understand what was happening.

It was a strange and turbulent summer season, followed by several others. In the winter of 1968, activists protested a segregated Orangeburg bowling alley unsuccessfully. Frustrated student protesters escalated efforts at SCSC and police fired into their group, killing 3 and wounding 27 in what is commemorated as the Orangeburg Massacre.

Integration in South Carolina was achieved 1970s-1980s with relevant changes in higher education admissions policies and K-12 school busing programs, as well as Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity legislation resigned to aide all minorities. This progress did not solve all the problems, but allowed Tourism and other industries to regain strength as sources of local revenues.

The J.J. Wright Institute is located at the oldest Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in South Carolina and is the only HBCU to house such an institute or division. The Jonathan Jasper Wright Institute for the Study of Southern African American History, Culture and Policy works to become a globally-recognized think tank for studying Southern African Americans in history and current events.


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