10/13 UPDATE: New grant opportunities and more

New grant funding opportunities and resources for the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone


logo_updateIn this update, you will find new information and recent news on a variety of topics, including:

NEWS:   The Promise Zone has held two town hall meetings so far this month; another is set for Monday in Jasper County.  Allendale, Barnwell and Hampton counties will have meetings in November.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES:  Learn about more than a dozen funding opportunities to help rural communities become stronger – from pilot projects and health center grant offerings to community food projects and training for farmers.

COMING EVENTS: There are a host of coming webinars with good information.

RESOURCES:  This section provides links to studies and stories on rural health, education and more. Read more

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Masonite International’s expansion to create 50 new jobs

JUNE 9, 2016  |  An expansion of the Bamberg County operations of Masonite International will create 50 new jobs over the next year, officials announced this month.

The company, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of decorative interior doors and entry door systems, says it expects additional growth in the future.  Featuring a wide array of patented designs for frames, stain kits and building materials, Masonite International operates more than 70 locations around the world–with 37 sites in the United States alone. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., the company employs more than 10,000 people worldwide.

“South Carolina continues to build on its reputation as a leader in manufacturing, and Masonite’s decision to expand in Denmark is another big win for our state,” Gov. Nikki Haley said.  “It’s special any time we see a company succeed and grow in one of our rural communities, and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the 50 new jobs this expansion means for Bamberg County.”

The 50 new positions will allow Masonite’s Denmark, S.C.,facility to add another auto line shift. Additional growth and capacity increases are expected to take place through the first quarter of 2017. There are also plans for the creation of a weekend shift, which will require additional staffing in auxiliary support departments.

“Masonite is a fine company that has been an asset to our county,” said Bamberg County Council Chairman Isaiah Odom.  “Every good job they provide in our area creates a better future for a family here, where Masonite continues to expand. We congratulate the company and want to help Masonite flourish in Bamberg County.”

If you are interested in applying for any of the new positions, visit the company’s careers page online for more information. Applications must be submitted in person at the facility, which is located at 1349 Locust Avenue in Denmark.

  • For more information on Masonite International, visit masonite.com.
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Bamberg residents share Promise Zone “wish list”

Bamberg County residents talk during a Promise Zone town hall.  SCPromiseZone photo.

Bamberg County residents talk during a Promise Zone town hall. SCPromiseZone photo.

Excerpted from the Orangeburg Times and Democrat, July 12, 2015:

DENMARK — Residents at a Wednesday morning town hall meeting cited a new state-of-the art hospital, industrial growth and enhancement of workforce-training programs as priorities as the community pursues federal dollars.

“This is not a pot of money out there waiting for us to go pick up,” Andy Brack, president of the non-partisan Center for a Better South told 50 to 75 individuals gathered at the Massachusetts Hall on the Voorhees College campus to hear about the region’s newly acquired federal Promise Zone designation and how to reap the benefits from the designation. “It is a potential pot of money waiting for us to go and pick up but we got to work to get it.”

Promise Zones are high-poverty communities where the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, leverage private investment, reduce violent crime, enhance public health and address other priorities identified by the community. Read more

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Rural communities need to seize opportunities

Commentary by Andy Brack from Statehouse Report

People in rural counties across South Carolina know the challenges they face.

Barnwell County residents talk during a July 9 town hall meeting.

Barnwell County residents talk during a July 9 town hall meeting.

They know about their high poverty, higher than normal unemployment, challenged schools and need for better health care facilities. They understand how their tax rates are higher than urban areas because of the lack of a broad industrial tax base to help fund local services.

But they also know these problems can be solved. They just need more resources, better infrastructure and more collaboration to get things done. Read more

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