At the recent annual meeting of the Oconee Economic Alliance (OEA), a record crowd of over 120 supporters heard how 2017 was one of the best years on the economic development front for Oconee County.
This meeting took place at The Lighthouse conference center on the banks of Lake Keowee and featured speakers from the OEA, Tri-County Entrepreneurial Development Corporation (TCEDC), AT&T and the South Carolina department of Commerce.
TCEDC, in partnership with the Oconee Economic Alliance, made a special economic development announcement as those in attendance were made aware of Vermon NDT, a French company, deciding to locate its first U.S. operations at the Oconee Business Center in downtown Walhalla.
AT&T announced that the Seneca Rail Park is a “certified fiber ready” industrial park. This is the first industrial site/park in Upstate South Carolina to receive this designation and will aid its marketability to future industrial prospects.
The OEA staff also touched on several other accomplishments for 2017, which were:
- Since January 1st, your OEA has worked to bring in $153,229,800 million in new taxable capital investment to the County -àThat is the highest total EVER in the County.
- Your OEA ushered in the single largest capital investment project in the history of Oconee County with BorgWarner’s decision to expand in the county with a $73 million capital investment and 163 new jobs planned for the Seneca facility.
- On the job recruitment hunt, the OEA announced that 365 new jobs have been announced for Oconee County through the efforts of the OEA.
- Development at the Golden Corner Commerce Park has begun after the OEA secured $391,000 in grant funds to aid in the construction of a new entrance road.
- The grading at the Oconee Industry and Technology Park is complete as 1.1 million cubic yards of dirt was moved to make way for a new Workforce Development Campus, which will open in August 2018 with a new Tri-County Technical College building.
- The OEA announced that their grant application to fund the removal of the trees on the 111-acre Seneca Rail Park and to build a new monument sign at the Golden Corner Commerce Park was supported. The OEA will be allocated $256,000 dollars from the SC dept. of Commerce towards those projects to help those industrial parks be more competitive. This grant announcement is in addition to the $1.2 million dollars the OEA secured to fund the construction of new roads with the Oconee Industry and Technology Park.
- Through Destination Oconee…. over 5000 pounds of litter has been picked up this year, two new gateway signs have been placed, and THINK OCONEE has become more than just a buy local slogan.
- The OEA strengthened its approach with the addition of two new team members – Emily Hodge and Daja Dial.
Since 2012, the Oconee Economic Alliance has worked 32 economic development projects that have brought in $432,326,354 in new taxable capital investment and 1355 new jobs. The momentum continues for Oconee County as evidenced by a strong 2017. However, the goal of the OEA remains….For Oconee County to be the choice location for investment decisions. Give a toast to 2017, but remain focused on the long-term gains in front of Oconee County.