Dorchester County Should Focus on Job Creation & Industrial Growth

OneRegion_DCSenator Sean Bennett joined Patricia Ferguson, Regional Workforce Advisor with SC Department of Commerce, and Henry “Hank” Taylor, Brig Gen USAF (Ret.) yesterday for a discussion of Dorchester County’s future economic development plans. The discussion was part of the One Region plan roll out.

Recently the Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA) and Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce commissioned a study of the region’s current economic development progress and future opportunities. The results, One Region – A Global Competitiveness Strategy, outline the future of economic development and job creation for the three county region but also included in-depth analysis and recommendations for each county’s individual opportunities.

The Dorchester County centric discussion, attended by several hundred community members, touched on workforce development/education, transportation infrastructure, water & sewer capabilities, marketing, growing career opportunities and how we connect them with education systems.

Recruitment of new industry, expansion of existing industry, and the next generation career opportunities each provide, are critical to the county’s future success according to the study. Senator Bennett added that “Dorchester County stands to benefit greatly as the Charleston region’s economy expands. But it must act very purposefully and prepare to take advantage. The county can not rest on its laurels and hope for success. It must be proactive and execute its vision.”

Bennett also urged the attendees to consider themselves as much a salesperson for Dorchester County as the paid professional economic development team.  He challenged the group to help end the frequent anti-growth rhetoric in the community. Calling the arguments “stale, boorish, and unproductive”. Bennett went further to say that “People are rightfully frustrated about the problems that fast growth has brought to our community. But the answer is not reactive retraction. The answer is creating an environment where our local economy can expand and diversify. We live in a beautiful community. People know that and will continue to come here. Our problem is our overweight of residential vs. industrial tax base. We begin to balance that disproportionate alignment and many of our most painful problems are not only alleviated but will allow us to expand opportunities and our quality of life.”

Dorchester County Economic Development had already begun to implement some of the recommendations identified in the One Region study. They are now moving forward to capitalize on newly identified opportunities to complete for the jobs of the future.

Filed in: Economic Development, Education, Jobs, Uncategorized Tags: ,

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© 2017 Senator Sean M. Bennett. All rights reserved.