Greenville County has the largest school district in South Carolina with more than 75,000 students in attendance. Greenville is the site of the only International Baccalaureate Program in the state, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts, and the Roper Mountain Science Center. Eight magnet academies offer unique educational opportunities at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Each academy offers distinct programs in foreign language, communication arts, pre-engineering and health professions, international studies, science and technology, or year-round education.
Local colleges and universities include Bob Jones University, Clemson University, Converse College, Furman University, Greenville Technical College, North Greenville College, Southern Wesleyan University, the University of South Carolina Upstate and Wofford College.
Greenville has a countywide library system with a main library downtown and 10 branches. A Law Library is located at the Greenville County Courthouse. More than 890,000 items are available for circulation, including films and audiovisual materials. Outreach, bookmobile and online services are available.
The Southeastern region of the United States is the fourth largest economy in terms of domestic product. In the center of that region is Greenville, recognized as a business, high-tech, manufacturing and engineering center. Site Selection Magazine places Greenville among the Top 10 U.S. markets for locating a manufacturing facility. According to an Ernst & Young study, Greenville is the center of the nation's next "mega-growth corridor".
In the last 10 years Greenville County has attracted $3 billion in business investment. In addition, 3,000 new companies and 30,000 new jobs have been added to the county in that same time frame. Manufacturing services, and wholesale/retail trade are the largest employment sectors; each accounting for approximately one quarter of total employment in Greenville County. Historically within the manufacturing sector, 40% of capital investment is from companies new to Greenville County, while 60% comes from existing manufacturers expanding their facilities.
While the low country of South Carolina had been settled for many years, Greenville County, once the stronghold of the Cherokee Indians, was not ceded until 1777. The Greenville District was created in 1786, but was known as Pleasantburg until 1831. The origins of the name Greenville County are uncertain. The county was either named for an early resident, Isaac Green, or Revolutionary War general Nathaniel Greene.