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Economic development summit is tonight
Caldwell (Web).jpg
Didi Caldwell

An additional two featured speakers will participate in tonight’s economic development summit, which kicks off at 5 p.m.

Former Kershaw County Economic Development Director Nelson Lindsay, now director of the S.C. Deptartment of Commerce’s Global Business Division, and James Chavez, president and CEO of the S.C. Power Team, the economic development organization of the state’s 20 electric cooperatives, will join keynote speaker Didi Caldwell of the consulting firm Global Location Strategies as part of the program.

The Kershaw County Economic Development Office (KCEDO), in partnership with the S.C. DOC and the Kershaw County Committee of 100, will host the summit from 5 to 7 p.m. at the KCEDO office, located on the campus of Central Carolina Technical College in Camden. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this event, according to county officials.

“We’re excited to host this event as it gives us an opportunity to present information to and receive feedback from our community members,” Kershaw County Economic Development Director Peggy McLean said. “There is great interest in and support for the economic development efforts in our community and this will help us as we continue our work to grow the county’s industrial base. We encourage everyone interested in hearing about economic development to join us.”

While this is not the first such event the KCEDO has held, it will be the first such event to be held in the new KCEDO space. In fact, this is the third such summit conference held since McLean became Economic Development Director, she said.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about what the county is doing in economic development,” McLean said. “We’ve had three new members join county council since our last session, so we feel this is a good time for the summit. This will provide an opportunity for them to hear more about the many components of economic development and what goes into industrial recruitment. It also will provide an opportunity for interested community members to learn more about the economic development process.”

To that end, KCEDO has brought in Caldwell, a global site location consultant with Global Location Strategies, a firm that specializes in industrial recruitment, to provide a comprehensive overview of the economic development world, McLean said.

“She plans to talk about why economic development matters, provide an overview of the site selection process, discuss trends in today’s corporate decision-making process and the habits of highly effective site readiness programs,” McLean said.

Caldwell will also present an update, “How Kershaw County Measures Up,” McLean said.

Caldwell’s evaluation of Kershaw County will be based on research she’ll do prior to her visit, as well as a windshield tour of the county’s industrial properties earlier in the day, McLean said.

County Council Chairman Julian Burns said he is looking forward to the summit and is confident it will be informative for council and citizens alike.

“Economic development is the engine of our growth,” Burns said. “This conference will educate and energize our support and form new teams to sustain and win new business … county council expects this summit to help refine our approach to job training and work force development, to new industrial site offerings and many more ideas for current businesses both large and small, and to attract new enterprises.”

For more information, call (803) 425-7685 or go to www.kershawcountysc.org.