John Gibart was recently honored as an Ambassador for Economic Development by the Department of Commerce and legislative leaders as part of South Carolina’s 20th Annual Industry Appreciation Week.
The ceremony took place in Columbia on Tuesday, January 25 at the Statehouse and highlighted 47 individuals from 46 counties for their exceptional efforts to bolster community and economic development activities in South Carolina.
“Secretary Hitt and I have one very clear focus – to make our state the best and most competitive in the country for business development.
‘Can’t’isn’t an option for us. But we can’t do it alone. We need partners across South Carolina to grow the businesses we have, recruit new ones and help put our people back to work, and that’s what today is all about,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.
Gibart is a member of the Lee County Economic Development Alliance and has been integral in promoting Lee County. As a member of the Alliance board, he is a strong advocate for economic development. His experience as a small manufacturer enables him to provide valuable insight and perspective. Gibart oversaw the up-fit and renovation of the former National Guard Armory Building into the current home for Carolina Metal Finishing.
Since 2007, the fledgling company has grown, adding approximately 30 employees. More importantly, Carolina Metal Finishing’s parent company is currently exploring the possibility of purchasing an adjacent building for up-fit for a new production line and the addition of at least 20 jobs.
“Serving as examples of economic success, our state’s existing businesses are one of our most valuable economic development tools,” state House Speaker Bobby Harrell said. “These private sector leaders are at the frontlines of job creation and industry promotion for South Carolina and they do more for our economy than government can ever contribute.
Our Ambassadors for Economic Development serve as a true asset to our state and deserve real credit for their leadership.” “The health of our state’s economy hinges on the important contributions made by business leaders and entrepreneurs throughout South Carolina. Whether it is bringing more capital investment and jobs to our state or supporting initiatives that bolster economic activities in communities, these ambassadors are committed to improving economic opportunities for all South Carolinians. We congratulate each Ambassador for Economic Development and thank them for their efforts,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.
Each year the Department of Commerce joins local communities to thank businesses for their vital contributions to South Carolina’s economy. The Department of Commerce kicks off Industry Appreciation Week each year by recognizing individuals throughout South Carolina as Ambassadors for Economic Development. These individuals include local leaders from the private sector representing a variety of businesses and economic development organizations committed to securing new jobs and investment in their communities.