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Letter: Thanks, KCC for econ dev efforts

Posted: April 5, 2018 3:07 p.m.
Updated: April 6, 2018 1:00 a.m.

After the great recession of 2008, Kershaw County’s economy is growing once again. Since 2012, our local manufacturing and distribution companies have announced that they will invest over $278 million in new machinery, equipment, land, and buildings and create over 700 new jobs in our community. That is a strong record -- proving that Kershaw County is a great place to do business.

It is important to note that since county council refocused the county’s efforts in 2012, fee in lieu of tax revenue has increased every year and reached a high of $5.3 million last year. In 2015, council commissioned a study which underscored the need to invest in ourselves with “product” -- industrial parks sites, and buildings.

Through the economic development bonds county council approved in 2015 -- which the Committee of 100 supports -- we are improving our industrial parks and building a new shell building, our first in 10 years, and sending a powerful message that Kershaw County is investing in ourselves.  After all, how can we expect others to invest here with us if we are not willing to invest in ourselves?

To be competitive and attract new manufacturers, we must have quality industrial sites, parks and buildings. The communities around us who have been successful are the ones that invested in themselves and their properties years ago. We are playing catch-up. The investments we are making in existing businesses and in recruiting new ones will yield positive results in the future of our county and create brighter futures for our children.

For our county to continue to grow and prosper, we must continue to invest in economic development. We need the economic support provided by our industries for many reasons. Our businesses and industries carry the significant burden of funding our school district.  Residential property taxes do not support our school district -- our businesses do. More businesses expanding and attracting new businesses equals more jobs and an increased tax base.  Economic development is a key element to the vibrancy and pride in our community and is the main path to a great quality of life for all our citizens.

County council’s support of the school district’s referendum, to include funding for the new Central Carolina Technical College (CCTC) building, has created a collaborative and innovative education campus here in Kershaw County. The co-location of ATEC, CCTC and Kershaw County Economic Development offices at one site will create a dynamic partnership between the schools and the county to serve as a direct feeder of talented workers for local businesses.

I am pleased to report that our training space has already been used by our local industries as well as Central Carolina Technical College.  And next month, the space will be used to accommodate more than 200 eighth graders from every middle school in Kershaw County at our upcoming 8th Grade Manufacturing Expo. Not only will local industries make use of our expanded space, we feel sure industries looking to move to the Midlands will view this training and incubation space as another positive reason for their move to our county.

The Committee of 100 would like to invite each of you to visit the new offices of Kershaw County Economic Development in the near future for a “Lunch and Learn” to hear and see for yourselves why the Committee of 100 and our members support your efforts to improve the economy of Kershaw County.

The Committee of 100 would like to publicly thank county council, county administration, and the economic development office for their ongoing commitment to economic development and we urge all Kershaw County residents to join in because the investments we make in ourselves today will have positive and long lasting impact on our community and our families.

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