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USA: Electric Car Convention Could Energize New Jobs

GREENVILLE, S.C. —
On Monday morning, a convention of electrical and electronic engineers, called the IEEE, begins with hundreds of people seated in a dark room as a fellow engineer presents a series of charts and graphs on a giant slide projector.

This is the morning excitement about electric cars. It matches much of the public perception about the industry which, despite getting millions in taxpayer incentives, appears to be as stuck in neutral.

But as the Upstate lures more companies that build electric cars, carts and buses along with their chains of suppliers, there are actual jobs to show for it.

Joe Wallington is Vice President of sales at Star EV, which makes several types of electric powered vehicles in Greenville.

“We literally in three years have doubled the number of employees. We’re now in our third building as we’ve outgrown our other facilities and so it’s been great for the economy for us to be able to add that many jobs,” Wallington said.

Ron Demcko is with AVX, a company headquartered in Greenville which makes parts for cars like the new electric BMW, among other products.

Asked about the number of Greenville employees, Demcko said. “a few hundred and we’re hiring and growing.”

Kemet had a similar report about their work in Simpsonville.

“We could end up with over 100 people working on this in the next couple of years,” said Vice President Johnny Boan.

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