Greenville Tech Foundation honors local businessmen at Workforce Development Salute

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Jim Benson (center) was honored during the 2017 Workforce Development Salute at the TD Convention Center. Photo provided

The Greenville Tech Foundation hosted the Workforce Development Salute to honor local leaders for their support of Greenville Technical College on Oct. 10, 2017. Jim Benson, Steward Spinks, and Melvin Younts were the 2017 honorees. In total, they have funded programs that benefit more than 3,000 students and have contributed over $4 million to the Greenville Tech Foundation.

The Greenville Tech Foundation supports Greenville Technical College’s mission to change the lives of students and help the community by providing a high-class, affordable education to build an educated and engaged workforce in the Upstate. They host this event annually to celebrate students, the college, and contributions of businesses and community members.

Jim Benson, owner of Benson Automotive Group, has served as president of the Greer Chamber of Commerce and has been a dedicated supporter of Greer Community Ministries. Benson has been recognized by the city of Greer for his community service and was awarded outstanding philanthropist by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2009. Over the years, he has given more than $3 million to grow the Greenville Tech Benson Campus in Greer, which serves 2,500 students each year. Benson is an emeritus member of the Greenville Tech Foundation Board.

Stewart Spinks is a South Carolina native and currently serves as chairman of the board and founder of SPINX Company. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, he served in the U.S. Army Reserve and then went on to start SPINX Company in 1972. He has served on the board of the Furman Foundation, the National Association of Convenience Stores, Coca-Cola Leadership Council, and Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers Association. He is a former board member of the Greenville Tech Foundation and was inducted into the Entrepreneurs’ Forum in 2001. Spinks has endowed two scholarship funds and gifted a Falcon 10 Jet to the Greenville Tech Aviation Maintenance Technology program, providing invaluable hands-on education.

Melvin Younts graduated from Furman University and continued his education at the University of South Carolina School of Law. He then returned to Fountain Inn and established a law practice that has been successful for 60 years. Younts has been involved in the Fountain Inn community, including time spent as president of the Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Dollie, have given generously with a focus in higher education, including several universities and establishments that span the Southeast. Younts and his wife have donated more than $1 million to Greenville Tech to benefit the new Center for Manufacturing Innovation Campus.

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