The Mission:  Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County goal is to reach out to our Pickens County community, to enhance, develop, and enrich our socioeconomic values and conditions to higher and higher levels.

MCPC Board Members represents:

- $500 million in revenue

- 1500 jobs and

- $60 million in payroll

ALL right here in Pickens County!

Students from Pickens County Career & Technology Center tour Sealevel Systems Inc. as a part of the MCPC development goal.

Cornell Dubilier and MST Concrete Products are among the MCPC Members that were involved with visits from educators of the School District of Pickens County.

Tom O’Hanlan, CEO of Sealevel Systems, is the Chairman for Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County (MCPC).  This newly formed group of business leaders has big goals to improve the economic development climate and attractiveness of Pickens County.


Recently, MCPC sponsored an event that gathered together guidance counselors from all the Pickens County schools to learn about job outlooks, training programs, economic development benefits and strategy, and what skill sets local manufacturers look for and hire.  Manufacturers want and need skilled and educated employees in their work force.  They can attain these employees through various efforts in cooperation with the School District of Pickens County and Tri-County Technical College.  Better education does not only lead to better employees, but better parents, families and societal quality.


A more attractive work force will result in more companies expanding and moving to Pickens. More companies leads to more jobs, an increased tax base, and more money to be spent on education and social services.  There are many other intangible benefits that are driven by economic development within the county and MCPC is striving to make this happen.


Tom sums up the goals of MCPC very nicely in saying, “the group was formed to advocate STEM Education, Economic Development and Social benefits, impacting quality of life and growth in Pickens County.”


For More Information on or how to get involved with Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County please contact us at [email protected]


In The News




Straight From High School to a Career


APRIL 15, 2016


CANDIDATES from both parties have been talking a lot about the loss of American jobs, declining wages and the skyrocketing cost of college.


But missing from the debate is the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of “middle skill” jobs in the United States that are — or soon will be — going unfilled because of a dearth of qualified workers. Employers complain that electricians, pipe fitters, advanced manufacturing machinists, brick masons and radiology technicians are scarce. More than 600,000 jobs remain open in the manufacturing sector alone. These are jobs that provide a middle-class wage without a traditional four-year college degree.


American high schools once offered top-notch vocational and apprenticeship training, preparing young people for jobs...


Read about Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County and Pickens County Career and Technology Center in the full article at “Straight From High School to a Career” from The New York Times.



Upstate pulls in $1.3B in investment in 2015

by Ashley Boncimino


For calendar year 2015, the 10-county Upstate region attracted just over $1.3 billion in capital investment commitments associated with nearly 6,000 new jobs. Projects ranged from the hundreds of millions – such as the $104.4 million Dollar Tree project between Spartanburg and Cherokee counties – to projects of just a few thousand dollars.


The top three grossing counties by announced and unannounced investment dollars were Spartanburg, Greenville and Laurens counties respectively, though top job creation counties were Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson counties respectively. Spartanburg, Greenville and Greenwood counties chose to disclose 2015 project commitments that were not formally announced by S.C. Department of Commerce.


Link to Article


Manufacturers group opposes Pickens County coal ash landfil

Ron Barnett, [email protected]


A manufacturers group in Pickens County is opposing a proposed coal ash landfill near Liberty, citing environmental and economic concerns.


Pickens County Council is scheduled to consider a resolution on the proposed landfill at its 6:30 p.m. meeting today.


Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County, a nonprofit organization that works to improve education, awareness of social responsibility and economic development in the county, issued a statement in advance of the meeting outlining its reasons for opposing the plans of MRR Pickens LLC to landfill thousands of tons of coal ash.


"MCPC (Manufactures Caring for Pickens County) is opposed to this landfill proposal due to the lack of any published study on the environmental impact, the economic impact, or the suitability of the current site to contain the toxins,” the statement says. “The transport method of coal ash to the site, the remoteness of this site to the power generation plants responsible are also concerns and unknown at this time.”


The state Department of Health and Environmental Control has approved the company’s plan to install a synthetic liner in the landfill it has been approved to build along State 93 and Cartee Road.


Such a lining would allow it to deposit a type of coal ash that is considered less toxic than the most dangerous type that's laden with toxic heavy metals.


But DHEC is awaiting more information from the Raleigh-based company on how much coal ash it would put in the landfill, where it would be coming from, and how it would ensure that it meets the less toxic standards.


The manufacturers group said it is “deeply concerned” in part because the proposed site is near many of their facilities at the Pickens County Commerce Park and along State 93.


“This will have a direct impact on our facilities as well as other businesses and residences in the area," the group said.


“It is inconceivable that such a project would be approved without considering the impact on the health and well-being of those most directly affected, not to mention the potential business and financial damage to companies located in the Commerce Park and other nearby areas.”


The company received approval to build a landfill there in 2007, which was to be designed for construction and demolition debris. But the landfill was never built because of the recession that followed, company officials told the county Planning Commission last year.


The company submitted a request to DHEC a few months ago, saying it had made tentative arrangements to undertake “a large disposal project” involving coal ash.


It told DHEC it needed “a significant increase” amount of material it was limited to receiving in its original permit, which was 70,500 tons per year.


The company has not responded to questions from The Greenville News.


Link to Article


Coal ash landfill causing uproar

D. C. Moody - [email protected]


In 2007 Pickens County entered into an agreement with MRR Southern LLC, a Raleigh-based company, for the development of a construction and demolition landfill.


Now, eight years later, MRR Southern has applied for permits from the state that would allow the landfill — still undeveloped — to accept coal ash.


That doesn’t sit very well with the Pickens County legislative delegation.


Sen. Larry Martin, Rep. Gary Clary, Rep. Neal Collins and Rep. Davey Hiott said they will oppose any expansion of the facility’s intended use beyond the disposal of construction and demolition debris.


“The bottom line is the agreement Pickens County made was for a C&D (construction and demolition) landfill we have a need for,” Martin said. “The agreement doesn’t contemplate the addition of coal ash. That’s the part I am most furious about, the county as well. Residents close by are upset, and even though I haven’t heard from anyone in the industrial complex, I’m certain they don’t want it in their backyard.”


Clary said he had no idea this was even being suggested by MRR.


“As a matter of fact I was unavailable to sign the letter when it was written but received a copy from Sen. Martin and have placed that letter and a cover letter to Director Heigl with DHEC,” Clary said. “I am in full agreement with the letter and reinforced my strong opposition to any variance being granted for this landfill. This never came across my radar. I know I want to have a conversation with Director Heigl about this and how to stop it.”


Martin cited previous environmental issues created by toxins in Pickens County, namely PCBs, and his opposition to the county having to deal with another concern such as this again.


“Pickens County has been plagued by environmental issues back to the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s, specifically PCB’s in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s and I don’t intend to sanction anything like this which could cause a great problem,” Martin said. “Coal ash is a different animal and the thought of the disposal of a toxin like this in Pickens County when we don’t generate it is out of the question.”


Martin and Clary stated emphatically they would do all within their power to prevent the dumping of coal ash in Pickens County.


“You can rest assured, DHEC will enforce its regulations to the letter to see everything is done correctly before issuing any variances on this permit, which will play into our favor as they take issues such as this one seriously,” Martin said. “And you can rest assured I will be doing everything I can to put a stop to this.”


According to statements made by members of Pickens County Council, the landfill was never intended for this purpose and they are as surprised as the county’s residents this has become an issue.


The agreement for the landfill, located at S.C. 93 and Cartee Road, was originally created as part of an agreement to expand the county’s landfill facilities when the present availability was becoming limited in 2007. The proposed site borders on the industrial park in Liberty.


MRR Southern LLC, citing economic downturn in 2008 at a meeting in January 2015, never began construction despite the issuance of a permit by DHEC. The original intent was to dispose of non-toxic construction and demolition debris.


Notice has been given to Pickens County Council that the company is moving forward with the construction of the site, eight years later, and has made no statement concerning coal ash as the primary waste to be shipped to Pickens County.


In March 2015, MRR applied for and received approval to install a liner to accommodate Class 2 coal ash waste, with the application stating the purpose of the amended permit was to add the synthetic liner “so the facility could potentially receive (less toxic) Class 2 coal ash from power generating utilities.”


In the intervening months, MRR has also applied for “a significant increase” in the original 70,500 tons per year permit originally issued but not ruled on by the regulatory agency.


DHEC has asked for more information from MRR concerning where the waste is produced and how much but has yet to receive the information.


Local industry leaders also expressed concern over the possible disposal of coal ash in the county.


“Manufactures Caring for Pickens County (MCPC) is opposed to this landfill proposal due to the lack of any published study on the environmental impact, the economic impact, or the suitability of the current site to contain the toxins,” said Tom O’Hanlan, CEO of Sealevel Systems Inc. “The transport method of coal ash to the site, the remoteness of this site to the power generation plants responsible are also concerns and unknown at this time. Additionally, several MCPC companies are within close proximity and are deeply concerned about the landfill coming to Liberty.


“This will have a direct impact on our facilities as well as other businesses and residences in the area,” he added. “It is inconceivable that such a project would be approved without considering the impact on the health and well being of those most directly affected, not to mention the potential business and financial damage to companies located in the Commerce Park and other nearby areas.”


Calls to MRR’s legal representative were not returned.


Link to Article


Stay tuned for future announcements.


Bobby Richardson, Director of Operations at Sealevel Systems Inc., demonstrates circuit board assembly to David Rhyne, Traci Carter and Sue Meehan, Guidance Counselors from Daniel High School and Ken Hitchcock, Jan Sparks and Dr. Brian Richard from Pickens County Career & Technology Center. The visit was part of administrator and student tours that was setup by the MCPC to update educators about current job skills needed in the marketplace.



January 15, 2016

MCPC Meeting - Noon


The students in the Crosswell Elementary STEM club are an impressive group.  They were very engaged in the Company presentation and the plant tour.  They asked very good questions and produced insightful answers when questions were asked of them.


The STEM program, along with the desire to learn, will prepare the students for the future both locally and globally.  Giving students an opportunity to see a manufacturing environment and witness all the steps it takes to make a product is an experience that  can’t be gained from a book.  Tri-Tech USA, along with MCPC, is committed to promoting STEM education and being part of challenging and developing our youth.


Robert Colcolough

Plant Manager

Tri-Tech USA



Crosswell Elementary STEM club Visits Tri Tech USA, Inc.

Pickens County Career & Technology Center tour Sealevel Systems Inc.

Educators visit Cornell Dubilier and MST Concrete Products


Two 3D Printers Donated to STEM


Middle school students in Pickens County will soon have two 3D printers to use in their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) studies. The 3D printers are a donation from Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County, a non-profit whose goal is to enhance, develop, and enrich socioeconomic values and conditions in Pickens County. The printers have a combined value of $5,000.


"MCPC is proud to play a role in exposing the future generation of enginerrs, scholar technicians and designers to real world solutions’” Said Tom O’Hanlan, MCPC chairman and founder of Sealevel Systems Inc. in Liberty, SC.


Getty Middle School will be the first school to integrate the technology into the classroom. Teacher Jonathan Scrivner’s Gateway to Technology class will be the pilot program, before it can be scaled to each middle school in the district.


“GMS is really excited about this opportunity and would like to thank MCPC for such commitment to enriching the engineering experience for our students,” Scrivner said. “After seeing a few 3-D print samples provided to us by MCPC, the students are really stoked at the thought of printing some of their own work.  This will play an important role in helping our students link the engineering curriculum to real world applications.  Having such a supportive community to make these opportunities possible proves a priceless asset to our students.  We cannot wait to put these to work and see them in action!”


“3D printing is definitely the future and many of our member companies are already using it for prototyping parts,” O’Hanlan said.


“The STEM program at Gettys is dedicated to offering students truly authentic project-based learning activities that have outstanding support from groups like the MCPC,” said Mike Cory, principal at Gettys Middle School. “The support of manufacturers in Pickens County offers our students the very best in becoming career-ready citizens and it provides our students with a great advantage in their education and future career goals.”


Download This Press Release PDF


Gettys Middle School takes First Place Middle School Engineering Competition.


Gettys Middle School sent a group of 7th grade STEM students to the TSA TEAMS Middle School Engineering competition hosted by Clemson University and Tri-County Technical College in February.  The competition included a multiple choice test, an essay portion, and a design/build challenge.  The GMS team took first place and qualified for the national competition. We want to wish a big congratulations to Gabi Beasley, Sydney Thompson, Trevor Kelley, Aiden Vogel,Michelle Becerra and Garreth Moore for this awesome accomplishment and can’t wait to see how they do next year!

MCPC Board Member

“John Cutchin is the original Scholar Technician”


Cutchin became interested in electropolishing while taking chemistry during his junior year of high school. After winning second prize at a regional science fair held at Furman University, Cutchin bought a bronzing kit for $50 and began bronzing baby shoes and other items for the community. Shortly thereafter, Cutchin incorporated Palmetto Plating. Read the full article “John Cutchin is the original Scholar Technician” in The Easley Progress.

Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County Board

Jim Wanner

KeyMark Inc.

[email protected]




School District of Pickens County



TriCounty Technical Collage