May, June First Friday to highlight local industry

The strength of Aiken County can be seen in its manufacturing base where the past few years have seen major expansions and new industry relocating to the community.  
 
The products produced by these companies are as diverse as the markets in which they are used.  They cover everything from diesel engines to pharmaceuticals, tires and chemicals, to polymer extrusions, industrial valves, and high performance materials for automotive, aerospace, and recreation industries.  The list of products is endless.
 
Aiken Chamber members will have an opportunity to learn more about some of these products in May and June when the Chamber highlights local manufacturers at its next two First Friday Means Business breakfasts.

Presenting at the May 4th First Friday are Edward Fox, director of operations, ASCO Valve Manufacturing; Steve Thompson, manufacturing executive, Zeus Industrial Products; and Drew Walker, president, AGY.

"Aiken County enjoys a strong manufacturing base, which strengthens our community's economy and adds value to our quality of life.  Our manufacturers' commitment to the community has paid off in new jobs, increased tax base, and an expanded industry mix," said Chamber President J. David Jameson.

"I think those who attend the May and June First Fridays will walk away with an understanding of, and appreciation for, what is made right here in our own back yard.  In fact, the programs will probably be an eye-opener for many," Jameson said.
 
The May and June First Friday programs support the South Carolina Department of Commerce's Annual Industry Appreciation Week held in April.  The event is designed to recognize and thank companies and individuals for their many contributions to local communities.  It also provides a chance to build awareness that existing business is a fundamental driver of both the state and local economy.

"We decided to keep the momentum going through May and June by creating manufacturing awareness opportunities for our members," Jameson said, adding that the first Aiken's Makin' almost 36 years ago actually showcased the products of local industry.

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