The Oconee Economic Alliance is one of the country’s top economic development corporations, according to an annual list by Global Trade Magazine. The organization’s creative, “holistic” approach to economic and workforce development won it a spot among 18 honorees nationwide.
“Teaching 5,000 eighth-graders about production may be an unorthodox way to prepare the next generation for careers in manufacturing, but thinking outside of the box is the OEA’s specialty,” according to Global Trade Magazine. “The South Carolina-based organization, which takes a ‘holistic approach’ toward economic development, has also developed a countywide youth apprenticeship program to invest in future leaders.”
Global Trade also cited the corporation’s $190 million in new capital investment over 36 months, as well as efforts to certify Oconee as an ACT Work Ready Community.
The award is not the first for Oconee Economic Alliance, which was among Site Selection Magazine’s top U.S. micropolitan economic development groups for 2015 and a recipient of an award for excellence in Metal Fabrication by Expansion Solutions Magazine.
“It is quite an honor to have our economic development team named one of the best by this publication,” stated Glenn Buddin, chairman of the Oconee Economic Alliance. “Oconee County has many strong factors that play into this continued recognized success, such as: an unmatched quality of life, an excellent location on the I-85 corridor, a progressive business climate and an extremely supportive County Council. We don’t envision our economic development pursuits slowing down anytime soon.”
Top Oconee County capital investment projects during 2015
ITECH South, LLC: $6.03 million and 34 new jobs
ITT Corporation: $2.5 million over the next five years
BorgWarner: $13.3 million and 50 new jobs
Hartwell Village: $30(+) million and 300(+) new jobs
CRM Global Manufacturing: $500,000 and 10 new jobs
US Building Innovations, Inc.: $1.02 million and 31 new jobs