Posted By Alan Donald @ Jul 1st 2021 8:05am In: Charleston

Olympic Games Flags

Two Local Athletes Make the US Olympics Team!

The 2020 Summer Olympics, which were delayed by a year due to COVID-19 and begin on July 21st in Tokyo, will be welcoming two of our own Charleston natives, Raven Saunders and Khris Middleton. Raven Saunders threw 65 feet 5 inches for a personal best and record breaker in the women's shot put final at the US Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon last week to qualify for the second time to join Team USA. According to Team USA, Raven's throw ranks 5th all-time among US athletes and is the 3rd best shot put in the world so far in 2021. Her Hulk mask and green hair, exuberance following her achievement, and shout-out to Charleston have been spreading across the media, Internet and social media. Saunders was born in Charleston, graduated from Burke High School and studied at Ole Miss, where she won three NCAA titles. At the age of 20, she placed fifth in the Rio Olympics in 2016. Read more here.

Khris Middleton plays as a Forward in men's basketball. Khris was named a finalist for the 2021 USA National Team and the US Olympic Men's Basketball Team in March of this year, after having been an NBA All-Star in 2019 and 2020 and a member of the 2019 USA World Cup Team. He graduated from Porter-Gaud, where he was a two-time state player of the year, and from Texas A&M University. Khris currently plays for the Milwaukee Bucks. Read more here.

Other athletes from elsewhere in South Carolina who have made Team USA and are currently planning to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo later this month include A'ja Wilson (Women's Basketball, from Hopkins, SC), Clarence (CJ) Cummings, Jr. (Weightlifting, from Beaufort, SC), Doug Payne (Equestrian, from Aiken, SC), Naya Tapper (Women's Rugby, from Beaufort, SC), and Sandi Morris (Track & Field, from Greenville, SC). We wish each of them much success! Keep up to date with Team USA here.

Local Manufacturing Companies - Many in or supporting the Electric Vehicle Sector - are Expanding & Hiring!

Volvo Cars and its China-based parent company Geely Holding Group formed Polestar, its electric-vehicle brand, in 2017 and they now plan to produce its first all-electric premium Polestar 3 SUV at Volvo Cars' Charleston-area plant in Ridgeville. It will become Polestar's first car to be produced in the US and potentially Volvo's first electric car to be manufactured in the country. The company is investing $118 million to prepare the plant where the XC90 is currently manufactured, with production expected to begin in 2022. Read more here. This follows the recent grand opening of the 112,000sf Volvo Car University campus and the Volvo Car South Carolina Technical Center, also part of Volvo's shift toward producing all-electric vehicles. Read more here.

In anticipation of growing market demand for both electric cars and traditional gas-powered vehicles, the Bosch Group's Robert Bosch plant in Dorchester County will be undergoing a two-year, $80 million expansion that adds production lines for both its traditional internal combustion engine powertrain and new electrified powertrains for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. The company is already hiring, with all or more of the positions terminated last year expected to be replaced. Read more here.

Mercedes-Benz Vans, LLC is planning to invest ~$59 million to build the next generation eSprinter van on the site of its current assembly of the Sprinter van in North Charleston, making it the company's first US location to produce this vehicle. The company is hiring, with the new production line planned to go live in mid-2023. Read more here.

Cummins Inc.'s Cummins Turbo Technologies, a world leader in air handling for commercial vehicles, is planning a $10.7 million expansion of its turbocharger manufacturing operation in North Charleston that is expected to be completed by the end of 2021 and to create over 250 new jobs. Read more here.

Other local companies planning expansions are listed here.