The Magazine of South Carolina

Business Snapshot: Dynamic, Diverse Greenville

From humble beginnings as a trading post to "The Textile Center of the South," Greenville today features a highly diverse business and industrial base. The Greenville area is home to 3M; BMW; Bowater, Inc.; Dunlop Slazenger Corporation's golf division; Fluor Daniel; General Electric; Gerber Childrenswear; Hitachi; Kemet Electronics Corp.; Lockheed; Michelin; Mita; Multimedia; Procter & Gamble; Umbro and W.W. Granger.

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This potent, growing industrial base has brought new development to the area. For example, in the areas of arts/culture/quality of life, Greenville has the state's only public high school for the visual and performing arts. The Nippon Center Yagoto offers one of the best authentic presentations of Japanese food and culture in the country; the Center's Chanoyu room is one of only two true and original tea rooms in the US. The Bob Jones University Art Museum has the best representation of the Dutch School of Utrecht paintings outside the Netherlands. The SC Governor's School for the Arts, founded here, serves as a model for other Governor's School programs across the nation; visiting artists have included Charlton Heston, Colleen Dewhurst, James Dickey and Tom Wolfe.

In sports/recreation, Furman University has one of the top-ranked women's golf programs in the country and has produced nearly a dozen players now on the LPGA tour. Greenville's Freedom Weekend Aloft is the largest hot-air balloon festival east of the Mississippi.

Additionally, Greenville was the worldwide choice for the site of the first mainland Chinese operation to locate outside that country: Greenville Glass. The Greenville housing market has ranked in the top 25 housing markets in the nation since 1992. Greenville has twice the national average of workers employed by foreign-owned firms. Greenville has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.2 percent.

The city is home to:

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