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      Haley makes third big SC jobs announcement after losing Amazon

      Photo Credit: FILE

      COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- Gov. Nikki Haley announced the addition of another 700 jobs to South Carolina's economy in the Upstate Wednesday morning.

      Haley says a California-based organic frozen food producer is coming to Greenville with a new plant and 700 jobs.

      Officials with the natural and organic foods brand Amy's Kitchen said Wednesday they will renovate a former Sara Lee plant and begin operation by Jan. 1.

      "Our administration continues to work daily on making sure South Carolina has the competitive business climate that attracts investments like this one. We thank Amy TMs Kitchen for deciding to invest in the Palmetto State and look forward to a long relationship with them, Haley said.

      The firm expects to make a $63 million investment in the region over six years.

      We are pleased to move forward with our plans to locate a new facility in South Carolina, allowing us to expand production capacity and more easily and efficiently reach customers and markets all along the East Coast. Greenville County provided us with an excellent site and an existing structure suiting our needs. The state of South Carolina offered us a positive business environment as well as exceptional market access. We appreciate all the support we have received from state and local officials, said Andy Berliner, CEO of Amy TMs Kitchen.

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      A welcoming ceremony will be held for Amy TMs Kitchen in June.

      The announcement is Haley's third big jobs announcement since online retail giant withdrew its plans for 1,250 full-time jobs and $100 million in investment in Lexington County. Amazon left after lawmakers rejected efforts to give the company a break from collecting sales taxes.

      Michelin North America broke ground last week on a $200 million expansion of its Lexington plant that will add 270 jobs during the next two years to make passenger tires.

      Last week, Wal-Mart announced 4,000 new jobs and an investment of $400 million in the state over the next five years. Wal-Mart was a vocal opponent of the Amazon tax break.

      The state's unemployment rate, which is currently just below 10 percent, has been slowly dropping.

      Do all of the recent jobs announcements make up for losing the Amazon distribution center in Cayce? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)