At the recent annual meeting of the Oconee Economic Alliance (OEA), a crowd of over 100 supporters heard how 2018 was yet another record breaking year for the Oconee Economic Alliance and for Oconee County. This meeting took place at The Lighthouse Event Center on the banks of Lake Keowee and featured speakers from the OEA, Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, and RSCT Architecture + Design.
Zach Hinton, Vice Chair of the Oconee Economic Alliance and V.P. of Economic Development and Government Relations at Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, made a special presentation to new 2018 investors of the Alliance. Christine Tedesco, owner of RSCT Architecture + Design, welcomed the group of various industry leaders, and was later recognized in the meeting for her two years of service as Chairwoman of the Oconee Economic Alliance.
The OEA staff also touched on several accomplishments in 2018, which were:
- Since January 1st, your OEA has worked to bring in over $69,000,000 in new taxable, capital investment to the County.
- Your OEA ushered in a first for the county, with the announcement of two breweries – Keowee Brewing Company and Jocassee Valley Brewing Company.
- On the job recruitment hunt, the OEA announced that 123 new jobs have been announced for Oconee County through the efforts of the OEA.
- Unemployment rates reached a 20 year low of 2.7% in April and remained lower than the national average at 3.2% in October. In addition, more people than ever before are working in the county at 32,919.
- The construction of the new Workforce Development Campus was completed and the OEA celebrated having a new Tri-County Technical College building in the county. Classes began at the new campus in August.
- Through Destination Oconee, 125 wayfinding signs will be placed throughout the county, directing people to lake access points, cultural centers, and downtowns, among other points of interest.
- The OEA strengthened its approach of the Think Oconee campaign with the addition of a Think Oconee website and video.
Since 2012, the Oconee Economic Alliance has ushered in 38 economic development projects that have brought in over $501M in new taxable capital investment and 1591 new jobs. The momentum continues for Oconee County as evidenced by a strong 2018. However, the goal of the OEA remains….For Oconee County to be the choice location for investment decisions. Raise a glass to 2018, and be certain the OEA staff will remain focused on the long-term gains in front of Oconee County.