By Angelia Davis, Greenville News

The state's largest manufacturing employer - Michelin North America - has also been honored as one of the best.

Michelin was recently recognized as the 2013 Manufacturer of the Year by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

It was the only Upstate-based plant to receive one of the awards given to a small, medium and a large manufacturer across the state. The companies received the awards at a luncheon presented by the Nexsen Pruet law firm in Columbia.

The state Chamber's Manufacturer of the Year designation recognizes companies that "strive for manufacturing excellence, have a positive economic impact, remain committed to workforce development, and are outstanding community stewards."

Graniteville Specialty Fabrics in Graniteville was honored as the small manufacturer, while Cox Industries Inc. in Orangeburg was given the top award in the medium category.

Michelin, which has 8,500 employees in the state, was the large manufacturer honoree. It was cited for making South Carolina home to eight - and soon, nine - of its 18 manufacturing plants in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The chamber also noted that Michelin continuously dominates the J.D. Power and Associates Satisfaction Survey awards.

And, Michelin is "a proven corporate leader and innovator in employee health, employee engagement and quality of life programs," the Chamber said.

"Michelin planted roots in South Carolina 40 years ago, laying the groundwork for the state's dynamic transformation to a high-tech manufacturing economy," said Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America.

"With a strong and improving infrastructure, access to the Port of Charleston, and a highly skilled workforce, Michelin continues to invest in the state of South Carolina."