Spec buildings get a thumbs up

The use of a spec building to attract a tenant, controversial to some, is considered by others to be a valuable tool to attract economic development. And that tool got a thumbs-up this morning at a meeting near Seneca, from a man whose company represents Oconee County’s newest addition to its manufacturing community. In relocating from Georgia to South Carolina, aerospace component maker A-I-D bought Oconee County’s one and only available spec building and has begun production inside the county Commerce Park on highway 11. Representing A-I-D and the manufacturer’s parent company, RBC Bearings, Stan Griffis was asked during today’s Oconee Alliance meeting whether A-I-D would have relocated to Oconee County if the spec building were not available. “I can’t answer that question for sure, but I would say it’s very likely that we would not be here, simply because there are a lot of things that go along when changing states—everything from regulatory issues to permits. You name it,” Griffis said. In the move from Rabun County, A-I-D brought 22 employees. Since then it has hired 28 others and is still looking for others, especially those proficient in machine and welding skills.