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!

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]


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.”


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November  12, 2014

MCPC Meeting


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.

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.

Pickens County Career & Technology Center tour Sealevel Systems Inc.

Educators visit Cornell Dubilier and MST Concrete Products


In The News


The Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County would like to offer our support to the Pickens County School District's 5 Year maintenance plan. We have been working closely with the district and we are very enthusiastic about the quality of education and job skills that are attainable here.


While no one likes taxes and tax increases, sometimes they are necessary. We are blessed to have such high quality new schools in our county. They are a true asset, both in what they offer students, as well as a showpiece for the County to use in economic development. Every company looking to locate here asks about and tours the schools.


As manufacturers, we rely on the district for a skilled workforce. Jobs aren't what they used to be. Today's advanced manufacturing jobs require a much higher degree of skill and training. Some high school students are actually working as interns and apprentices to our companies. As you can see, much has changed.


As business owners, we also understand that you must invest in infrastructure and maintain it in order to stay competitive. We are proud to support economic development in the county, and we know that growing the tax base can only help us all.


For far too long, Pickens County has been "upside down" in many respects. Ours is the second largest school district in the Upstate and 13th largest in the state, yet we are 5th lowest in operating millage and 4th lowest in per pupil operational spending.  This comes as no surprise considering the fact that last year was the first time that we increased our operating millage since 2003.   It makes no sense from a business perspective. We have the top ranking school in the state here, Daniel High, but we have ignored the need to pay our teachers competitive salaries. For this reason we are becoming a training ground for other counties' recruits.  The reputation we have for quality education was hard earned.  We implore that you do what is necessary to preserve our reputation and restore our school district.


Taking advantage of low interest rates and refinancing our debt allows a rare opportunity to supplement our school district's funding and to minimize the burden to tax payers.  The tax plan being presented is reasonable and absolutely necessary to maintain quality in education in Pickens County.


Many are still upset about the expensive building program.  The building program created beautiful modern facilities, but it did not provide a funding mechanism for their maintenance.  It also did not address salaries and operations cost increases.  We can’t keep cutting salaries and teacher supply budgets to pay for necessary maintenance costs.  Only through utilizing our assets and marketing ourselves as a district capable of producing world class scholar technicians will our tax base grow.   An increase in our tax base is a win for everyone.


As Darla Moore, benefactress of the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina so eloquently said -"It means the bar must be raised at every level just to remain competitive. And, to succeed, it means that communities must take a much greater role in the economic well-being of its citizens."


In closing we ask you to be open-minded and ask questions about this issue. Ask us, or come visit our plants. Better yet, visit the Career Center and see what is being taught there, and witness the excitement of the students.


We are proud to be in Pickens County and we hope it shows!


Thank you,


Tom O’Hanlan



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Upstate SC Alliance Keys to Economic Development


The Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County (MCPC) met on August 13th, and had a special guest, John Lummus, President and CEO of the Upstate Alliance. The Upstate Alliance is the key economic development engine in the upstate.


Lummus explained that the Upstate SC Alliance is a public-private partnership founded in 2000. Its mission is to bring new businesses to the 10-county Upstate region. The capital investment from these new businesses increase local tax bases and increase employment opportunities for local citizens.


"By marketing the Upstate as one region with 1.4 million people rather than 10 separate counties, we gain more exposure and impact with site selectors, and maximize our local investments in economic development programs by coordinating our business development outreach", said Lummus.


He also said that this approach creates more opportunities for "wins" for everyone because we are selling our area based on how it really operates.


A few recent examples of higher profile deals in which the Alliance has assisted include:


*   Colgate Palmolive (2013)

     Initial investment $196 million,

     300 jobs, Greenwood Co.

*   McLaughlin Body Co. (2013)

     Initial investment $22.5 million, 250 jobs, Anderson Co.

*   Esurance (2014)

     Initial investment $2.1 million, 450 jobs, Greenville Co.


In all the above cases the Upstate SC Alliance was either the first point of contact or participated in providing research that helped land the project. Lummus concluded with questions from the group, then discussed how MCPC can work more closely with the Upstate Alliance on new opportunities and events.


The MCPC group meets monthly and tries to vary the guest speakers among the social, educational, and economic development lines. Past speakers have included Mike Batchelor, CEO of Baptist Easley Hospital, Kris Frady of the Clemson University Center for Workforce Development, and local elected officials.


The goals of MCPC are to promote economic development through educational improvements, social improvements and quality of life improvements


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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.

Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County Board



School District of Pickens County



TriCounty Technical Collage



Alliance Pickens



Tom Strange

St. Jude Medical

[email protected]



Jim Wanner

KeyMark Inc.

[email protected]