Adapting to Changes

John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” Those words were noted in a report from Jonathan Coleman released at the annual meeting of the Laurens County Development Corporation this week. Executive Director Coleman stated the LCDC continues to change and strives to be an innovator in efforts to look to the future and provide the best environment possible in which today’s advanced manufacturing and other businesses can succeed in Laurens County.

74 new jobs were created from industrial announcements for Laurens County in 2018, which Coleman said was the lowest number of jobs announced in ten years. Investments announced this past year totaled $59 million. Jonathan Coleman said that use of technology results in fewer jobs but more capital investment in technology.

New projects unveiled for Laurens County this past year included the recent announcement of BDS Technologies, LCC, now constructing their first plant in Laurens’ Hunter Industrial Park. A $17,265,000 investment is expected to generate 44 new, well-paying jobs. The highest investment announced this past year was a $35 million project from Birdseye energy. They plan a large solar farm off US 76 just east of Joanna.

Laurens County had two existing industries announce expansions in 2018. Brawo USA is investing $3 million and creating 10 new jobs. Flame Spray is creating 20 new jobs with a $4 million expansion at their Fountain Inn plant.

Jon Coleman also stated that one of the most important resources existing business and new businesses will need is a larger pool of talented workers He said LCDC continues to change the way they develop the workforce. He said workforce development is the key to growth in 2019 and beyond.