Commentary from Statehouse Report:
MAY 1, 2015 | Talk about a shot in the arm for the southern rural counties of South Carolina. Witness the just-announced federal Promise Zone designation for a six-county area centering on Allendale County that should pump in millions of dollars of aid over the next 10 years.
But let’s be clear: It’s a hand-up, not a handout for people in the zone area of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties. There’s a lot of hard work ahead for these counties, nonprofits, government agencies and businesses that are part of the effort to generate more jobs, improve education, reduce crime and get more affordable housing in a region where 28.1 percent of 90,000 residents live in poverty.
Excerpted from the Charleston Regional Business Journal:
APRIL 29, 2015 | The 90,000 residents who live in selected portions of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties have been chosen for a federal program that is expected to add jobs, investment and grant funding to the area.
With a poverty rate of 28.12% and an unemployment rate of 14.7%, the six counties west of the Charleston area were designated earlier this week as the S.C. Promise Zone (.pdf), according to a news release.
The Promise Zone initiative, laid out by President Barack Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address, focuses on creating jobs, leveraging private investment, increasing economic activity, expanding educational opportunities and reducing violent crime in high-poverty counties, according to the news release.