By Danny Black, President and CEO, SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance
BARNWELL, S.C. — Hundreds of people from our neck of the woods helped to craft the new long-term strategic action plan that will guide the South Carolina Lowcountry Promise Zone in the years ahead. Months of truly collaborative work provide us with a detailed map of what we need to do and how we must work together to reduce poverty by growing jobs, improving education, reducing crime and building more opportunities for citizens who live in the six counties of the Southern Carolina region.
Last year, you may recall, our area received a coveted Promise Zone designation from the federal government to encourage local governments, state agencies and area organizations to apply for federal grants and loans. Because we were named the South Carolina Lowcountry Promise Zone, applications benefitting our residents get special preferences, which should infuse significant federal dollars here to go with the millions of capital investment that the SouthernCarolina Alliance has been successful in bringing here for the last 20 years. Read more →
Susan Glisson of Oxford, Miss., makes a point during a small group session as other participants listen. Also pictured, from left: Claire Anderson, Center for a Better South; Lavastian Glenn, Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Bill Milliken, Alexandria, Va.
FEB. 2, 2016 | A dozen leading thinkers and analysts from across the South met over the weekend to learn about the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone and make suggestions to broaden the impact of its collaborative efforts to reduce poverty.
“The ThinkBIG conference was an important step in our planning process in realizing our Promise Zone goals,” said Danny Black, president and CEO of SouthernCarolina Alliance, the lead organization of the Promise Zone. “We were fortunate to have guidance from and discussion with experts from around the country in rural economic and community development, who joined us to share fresh ideas and innovative approaches to our challenges.” Read more →
There’s been lots of great news since the start of December for the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone, including announcements of more than $241 million of capital investment and 162 new jobs in the region as well as $2 million wastewater infrastructure grant for Walterboro. Details:
A worker at Kronotex in Barnwell County.
$230 million expansion at Kronotex in Barnwell County: Swiss Krono Group announced Dec. 22 it would invest $230 million and create 105 new jobs in an expansion of a Barnwell County plant, officials announced today. To support the expansion, the Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits, as well as a $1 million Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Barnwell County to assist with the costs of real property improvements related to the project. Read more.
Cypress Creek Renewables investing $8 million in Allendale County:Cypress Creek Renewables, a company that specializes in the ownership and development of long-term solar energy projects, has taken first steps toward investing $8 million in a solar energy project in Allendale County. The project, which is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2016, will create 40-60 jobs during construction. More.
$3.6 million investment in Bamberg cooperage: Bamberg County will get a new cooperage facility from a $3.6 million investment that will create 57 jobs over the next five years, officials announced Jan. 6. More.
Walterboro gets $2 million grant to improve wastewater plant: The City of Walterboro has received a $2,040,000 grant as part of the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone to make significant upgrades to its water and sewer treatment plant, officials announced Jan. 5. More.
Black column on Promise Zone: SouthernCarolina Alliance President and CEO Danny Black penned a holiday column that looked back on the blessings that came in 2015 with the establishment of the Promise Zone. An excerpt:
By Danny Black, President and CEO, SouthernCarolina Alliance
DEC. 25, 2015 — From Allendale County to Jasper County and all points in between, there is much for people in our part of the Palmetto State to be thankful for this year. One reason is that we live in the new federally-designated South Carolina Lowcountry Promise Zone, which has already begun to bring new opportunities for our area.
SouthernCarolina Alliance, our area’s economic development organization, is working daily to attract new companies to our six counties and helping our existing industries with expansions. As SouthernCarolina Alliance shares our exciting story with prospects across the nation and world, the Promise Zone’s 40 partners and supporters are applying for grants and working hard to make our story even better. This combined effort is generating a new excitement for our region that’s going to transform our future. Read more →