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Tires a big part of SC manufacturing renaissance

Michelin North America President Pete Selleck, from left, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pose with Michelin's mascot "Bibendum" at the tire maker's North American headquarters in Greenville, S.C. on Tuesday, April 10
Michelin North America President Pete Selleck, from left, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pose with Michelin's mascot "Bibendum" at the tire maker's North American headquarters in Greenville, S.C. on Tuesday, April 10, 2012. Michelin announced plans Tuesday to break ground on a new plant in Anderson County that could create 500 jobs making giant tires for use on heavy equipment in mines, quarries and construction sites.
Jeffrey Collins, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — It's not just tires fueling a manufacturing renaissance in South Carolina.

While three huge new tire plants will add more than 3,300 jobs in the state over the next decade, manufacturing jobs are returning to the state now.

Employment figures show in the past year, the state has added nearly 10,000 manufacturing jobs. That's good news after globalization and the Great Recession hit manufacturing hard in the past decade. State figures show South Carolina lost 38 percent of its manufacturing jobs as 125,000 workers saw their plants close or move somewhere else.

Shipping things overseas is helping South Carolina out of the economic doldrums. U.S. Census data shows exports from the state rose 21 percent from 2010 to 2011, with BMWs, turbines and tires leading the way.