State and local officials and community business leaders gathered at the state house's south side steps to witness the historic official signing ceremony of the Scout Motors Inc. Project Development Agreement.

Governor McMaster, along with Scout President & CEO Scott Keogh, Secretary of Commerce Harry Lightsey, Richland County Council Chairman Overture Walker, and City of Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann, all signed the agreement after the state house and senate jointly approved the House Bill 3604 or 'Scout bill' earlier Monday morning.

The new development will be the most significant economic investment in the state's history and has the potential to create 4,000 or more permanent jobs and produce more than 200,000 all-electric Scout SUVs and pick-up trucks per year.  Governor McMaster said Blythewood was one of 74 locations considered and added that what made South Carolina stand out was how everything was in place and ready to go, which helped expeditiously finalize the process in roughly 60 days.  He added that the quick turnaround shows that 'South Carolina is open for business.'

"One of the biggest companies in the world has chosen us that shows the strength of our people, and what that will mean is not only for jobs and happiness in careers in the Midlands but all across the state. Also, it will be yet another signal to those other companies looking for a place to invest that this is the place to do it."

Secretary of Commerce Harry Lightsey said the success from the BMW site located Upstate shows how impactful Scout will be across the Midlands.

I think if you look at Geer and Spartanburg and Greenville and what has happened in the 30 years since BMW located in the Upstate, I think we can expect to see that kind of transformation in Columbia and the Midlands," said Lightsey. "I think we will see very innovative opportunities for companies to start here, and supported by the University of South Carolina and technical college system, I think we can expect a whole different culture in terms of businesses locating in the Midlands and in Columbia, and then that will lead throughout the whole state."

To help support the development, the House and Senate approved a 1.3 billion package which includes $25 million to build a publicly owned Midlands Technical College training center for employment with Scout. In addition, the agreement includes clawbacks for slightly less than $800 million to help with non-public infrastructure and a $200 million loan to Scout, which is backed by Volkswagon, for additional infrastructure work on site.

Scout is headquartered in Tysons, Virginia, backed by Volkswagen Group, and The new $2 billion South Carolina production plant could generate up to $15 billion for the state's economy by 2029. The Blythewood site is estimated to be 14 million sq. ft. and is expected to break ground in mid-2023.

Blythewood was chosen for many reasons, but in the end, Scout President and CEO Scott Keogh said the feeling of home sealed the deal.

"I think when we physically got there, it was the warmth and the personality," said Keogh. "I think there's the business metrics, but then it is just a place we could call home, and it felt like it was, and we are convinced that it is."

To learn more about Scout, visit

Watch highlights from the signing ceremony.

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