FujiFilm Manufacturing USA, Inc., the worldwide leader in silver halide technology, celebrated their silver anniversary Wednesday night at the Arts Center in Uptown Greenwood.
FujiFilm’s first manufacturing facility in North America opened in Greenwood in 1988. The project was initially set to be a $100 million investment and have 80 employees. Since that day in 1988, the company has invested over $1.8 billion and has over 1,200 employees.
“Having world-class companies like Fujifilm continuing to thrive here is a testament to South Carolina’s overall business-friendly environment,” said South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. “The lines of communication between our industry leaders and our administration are always open – allowing us to stay on top of what they need to succeed and providing South Carolinians with even greater employment opportunities.”
Haley was one of several speakers that heralded the relationship between Greenwood and FujiFilm. Other speakers included Greenwood County Council Chairman Mark Allison, FujiFilm – South Carolina President Tomoyoshi “John” Ueno, Consul General Kazuo Sunaga and Shigehiro Nakajima, president and COO, FujiFilm Holdings Corp.
“As our business grew in the U.S., so did our need for manufacturing, so we began our search for the right location to build our production facility – and we chose Greenwood,” Nakajima said. “I am told that it all began with farmland and that the Greenwood employees in the local community helped transform it into the state-of-the-art manufacturing campus we have today. Fujifilm Manufacturing also met the challenges of our time and transformed itself over these past 25 years, as it grows with the company’s new direction and objectives.”
Japanese traditions are big on gift giving and FujiFilm continued that tradition by presenting a $100,000 check to the Greater Greenwood Parks and Trails Foundation to go toward the new Grace Street Park. Billy Nicholson, president of GGPTF accepted the gift on behalf of the foundation.
“I really think one day the community will look at (the Grace Street Park) and say that Fuji got it all started,” Nicholson said after receiving the gift. “A lot of the (work) will be done by volunteers, but brick and mortar costs money. We are very thankful that Fuji viewed the park as a worthwhile project.”