The Upstate SC

VOL12ISS1 2016

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THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — UPSTATE SC | VOLUmE 12 — ISSUE 1 32 spartanburg Spartanburg by alyssa lafaro Fuzzy on the outside, sweet on the inside. There's nothing not to like about a peach. The same can be said about Spartanburg — a northwestern South Carolina college town known for its beautiful landscapes, passion for the arts and business, and, of course, peaches. In 1948, South Carolina became "The Tastier Peach State" when it beat out both Georgia and California for peach production. Just three years later, Spartanburg County alone produced more than 3 million peach trees and more than 250 peach sheds. Although no longer the leader in peaches, local orchards continue to produce the fruit in both yellow and white varieties. Spartanburg's history extends far beyond fruit. Dating back to the Revolutionary War, the now 37,000-person city witnessed more battle sites than almost any other location in the United States. A few decades after incorporating in 1831, Spartanburg's expanding railroad lines earned it the nickname of "Hub City." The city continues to be a hub today for travelers and locals alike. Seven nearby public and private accredited colleges and universities draw nearly 15,000 students to Spartanburg each year. A major economic driver for the area, these educational institutions ofer hundreds of classes, workshops, and cultural events — and act as a major employer for locals. The elementary and secondary schools in Spartanburg also house many of the city's jobs. The schools are, in fact, some of the most highly rated in the state. Spartanburg High School, in particular, has been named one of the most rigorous schools in the nation by the Washington Post. It ofers 24 AP classes (more than any other South Carolina school) and was named a National Blue Ribbon School for academic excellence four times by the U.S. Department of Education. Pine Street Elementary School is also continually recognized for its arts-infused curriculum. The Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) employs upwards of 5,000 people, making it the second largest employer in the city. With a multimillion dollar expansion on its docket, SRHS promises to be an ever-growing business enterprise in South Carolina. The largest employer — and ffth in the state — is automobile manufacturer BMW. Thanks to a $1 billion investment in 2014, the German automaker's Spartanburg plant hired an additional 800 employees, made just short of 500,000 vehicles in 2015, and is now the largest BMW factory in the world. In the past 10 years, in fact, downtown Spartanburg has opened its arms wide as the relocation site for 10 corporate headquarters including ballet-inspired exercise company Pure Barre, footwear distributor Adidas Group, and satellite provider Dish Network. For more than 30 years, the city has been the home base for a large Michelin North America manufacturing facility (South Carolina is the number-one tire producer in the country), as well as headquarters for Denny's and the 151-year-old Milliken & Co. — the last remaining $1 billion textile company in the nation and Spartanburg's third-largest employer. Impressive industry isn't all that draws people to this exciting Southern city — arts and culture also prevail here. The Spartanburg Music Trail audio tour celebrates major musical infuences like Clara Smith, one of the most well-known female blues singers of the 1920s; Don Reno, an infuential banjo player and founding father of bluegrass; and Ira Tucker, the charismatic lead singer of gospel group The Dixie Hummingbirds. Music lovers will also enjoy spring and fall, with Music on Main each Thursday followed by Jazz in the Square on Fridays in Morgan Square. Each year, the Chapman Cultural Center provides 40,000 public and private school students with educational programs surrounding the disciplines of music, dance, visual arts, literature, media, theatre and crafts. This 86,000-square-foot, three-building facility houses The Spartanburg Little Theatre, Ballet Spartanburg, the Spartanburg Art Museum, the Spartanburg Regional History Museum, the Spartanburg Science Center, Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Artists' Guild of Spartanburg and The Spartanburg Repertory Company. >> arts, business, international

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